Ah…The same old story of teenage angst. Struggling to fit in. Trying to NOT be different from the others. Looking for your niche, posse, gang…others like you.
I am sure most of us have a story similar to this. After all, we just want to be accepted among our peers and/or colleagues.
Does this feeling ever, truly go away? Maybe for some it does. It hasn’t for me.
You see I’ve always been the outsider. The Hearing-impaired girl with hearing friends who didn’t fully understand. The Hearing-impaired girl not accepted by the Deaf community because I went to a regular school and didn’t know how to sign.
The Visually-impaired (VI) girl who hid her disability from the world until she no longer could. The VI girl who was an accomplished Interior Designer. If that is not an oxymoron, I don’t know what is.
But such is my life, a series of oxymoron’s.
I was the only one of my friends that didn’t want children. I knew this even when I was a young girl and had no qualms telling anyone who would listen. I didn’t want to be married. I didn’t dream in pink and flowers like all the other girls.
Being a tom-boy was where I felt most at home in my youth. Being covered in mud, dirt and scrapes is still, as of today, where I feel most at peace.
I am the one who shows up to the an event wearing whatever the heck I feel like, and more often than not, it is in torn jeans, dirt covered kicks and a t-shirt that has seen better days. Looking around at all the other glamorous women I may have a stab of regret because what if I didn’t brush my hair?? OMG did I FORGET to brush my hair? I rarely look in the mirror.
I don’t wear make-up…like ever. With the exception of the odd wedding or party, I haven’t put on make-up close to 10 years now.
This is not a “woe is me” article. You see, I really don’t mind being the odd one out (at least now I don’t). It has taken me years and years of learning about myself, therapy, counseling and getting older (and wiser) to accept that.
I like being a little different. Being my own person. It’s what makes me….well…me. Aspects of my personality are shaped by my disabilities. They allow me to “see” things from different perspective.
If you are afraid to break from the norm, promise me this: that you will find the time to march to beat of your own drum at least once.
Here’s a little secret….It’s actually fun being on this side.