Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Being different

For the last few days, random thoughts have been swirling around in my head, getting louder and louder, wanting to get out so I can find some inner peace again.
So I oblige, and here they come. I let my thoughts direct my fingers, without thinking or planning too much - let's see where they will lead us, shall we?
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If my husband wouldn't absolutely despise tattoos, this would be on my body now. As a reminder, a confirmation, a positive affirmation.

You see, I have always felt a bit different. Different from the people around me.
That feeling is what led me out of Germany, a country that doesn't feel like home, despite being born there and having lived in it for 23 years.
That feeling also made me feel restless and incomplete with perfectly nice, age-appropriate boyfriends who were sweet and even wanted to marry me.
That feeling made me retreat from girlfriends whose lives I can't relate to.
That feeling has made me feel like an outsider many times.
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We tell our kids that being different is good. Be unique, be yourself, don't worry about what others say. I say these things all the time to one of my girls who is the most unique, special and beautiful person I know.

But you know what? It's f**ing hard sometimes.
It's a struggle that makes you feel lonely, and strange, and doubtful. Is something wrong with me? Why can't I just be like the rest of them? Wouldn't life be easier that way?

It may feel great on the good days.
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You feel proud and unique and you own it. You are a role model to all the young kids out there, teaching them to find their own path.

But.

On the not-so-good-days, the days when you feel vulnerable and not so great about yourself and full of doubt, then it's hard. Being in a group of friends and feeling like an outsider.
Looking at other people's lives and feeling like your own life is backwards.

I was a part-time mother to school-aged kids when I was 23 years old. Picking them up from school I was terrified of the other mothers because I felt like a fraud. (Plus large groups of women frighten me.)
We have friends whose kids are my age and I can't even talk to them because I feel that we have nothing in common.

Our wedding was a sad little affair with every guest expecting it not to last. Happiest day of our lives? Oh no, far from it.

I have parents that are so indifferent it hurts. They never call. They don't know much about our life. About my job (x-ray technologist) my mom told me: "They could pay me a million bucks and I wouldn't wanna do it."
I envy everybody who has a close relationship with their parents. Who can call their mom or dad their best friend. It is so special! Don't treat it like something ordinary, because it isn't.
(No worries that they will read this - they don't read my blog. Think it's weird that I have one.)

When co-workers are planning their weddings, I always feel both too old (I've been married almost 9 years) and too inept to participate.
I know a happy marriage is a million times more important than a beautiful wedding. I do. And I treasure our marriage more than anything else in my life.
But, once in a blue moon, envy and self-pity rear their ugly heads and I feel the urge to whine come on. Sorry about that, and I promise I stop now.

Hmm, I veered off topic for a bit. That happens if you let your emotions free rein without thinking first.

But it needed to come out. Because I feel here, in this blogiverse, I'm not alone. There are lots of bloggers who know what I mean. Who feel different too. Who are self-described nerds. Who blog because you belong to a community of like-minded individuals.
Even if we are mostly proud of being different, everybody wants to belong somewhere.
And we belong to this. Even though it's virtual it's also real, because there are real people sitting behind their laptops somewhere, writing about real lives, and about their struggles and insecurities.

Writing it all down is cathartic. It's like a major clean-up, it organizes your thoughts and emotions, and quiets the restless mind.

And it makes you realize the good things about being different:
It made me find my husband, the love of my life. He loves that I'm different from other women.
It made me find my way to Canada, a country that is my home now.
It made me a stepmom, and find a new family I treasure and love.
It made me realize that age really is just a number. I honestly don't care how old someone is, and generally feel most comfortable with people older than me. The older you get the less you care about what others think, and I strive to be like that one day.
It makes me connect with interesting, special people, even if it is just for a short little while sometimes.
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Do you feel different sometimes? Have you grown to love it? Resent it? I would love to hear your stories!

xo Miriam
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7 comments

  1. I love you Miriam!...I have soooo much more to say, but for now, that's it...and THANK-YOU! ...going for the tissue now, will write back later ...hugs till then.

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    1. Robyn, are you my Robyn? Thanks for reading and understanding and being so funny. Love you! xoxo

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  2. Such a powerful post Miriam! I can totally relate you on this. I have felt these feelings so many times. I try to embrace my "uniqueness" but it isn't always easy. Most of the time I just end up feeling one step farther out than everyone around me. I also have an amazing husband who helps me through the times when I didn't see it all in a positive light.

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    1. Aren't they the best? A good marriage is the most important thing in the world in my opinion. Thanks for commenting and the support Tabitha, it means a lot to me!

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  3. I love this post so much, and I relate so much. I also never felt really at home in my birthplace, I have journals filled with how I was always feeling suffocated and could not wait to be old enough to move away and when I finally did it was just so wonderful!
    As to uninterested parents that is my in laws to a T, their son my husband is doing so good in school and they never call to see how we are and when we do have to see them they completely ignore me like one day I will just disappear and they will not have to deal with the fact their son married someone so different.

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    1. Thank you so much Bailie! The support here means a lot to me. I'm so sorry that your in-laws behave like that, I don't understand why people feel the need to be hurtful. But it's their loss! As long as you and your husband love and support each other everything else isn't that important.

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    2. Yes, I love the way you write about your marriage because it seems so much like mine, our own little family of support just the two of us!

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