“When they made you, they broke the mold!” Whenever I did something that reduced my mother to shaking her head in wonder, that’s what she would say. I was the “different” one in the family, not exactly the black sheep, but not exactly Snow White either.
My older sister, older by only two years, was more like a decade behind me. While she dressed like Sandra Dee, I dressed like Ringo Star. While she went to dances, or hung out in her girlfriends’ bedrooms doing each others’ hair and nails, I told my mom I was sleeping over at a friends and snuck out to rock concerts in refurbished airplane hangers (hey, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels were HOT!).
Years later when I returned to college in my 30’s, juggling work, home, kids and school, I took part in a demonstration along with some of my professors (most of whom were my age anyway) to force our college administrators to divest the school’s investments in South Africa, this while apartheid was the hot social movement of the moment and Nelson Mandela was still in prison. My mother was appalled! “What if they throw you out of school? Can’t you just hold off until you graduate? When are you going to grow up?”
I am, unapologetically, uniquely one of a kind … and so are you. If you are reading this, you are the one in your family that was always a bit “different.” You are the one that was sure a mix-up had been made at the hospital and that you went home with the wrong parents, regardless of the fact that you look and sound just like your mother! You are also a member of that very select group of individuals who are the change agents, the ones who question the system, demand answers, and refuse to abandon your beliefs. That is what drives you to create an authentic life. That is what compels you to challenge the cultural beliefs about getting older and demand to be seen as who and what you are, and who and what you can become. Age is just a number. Authenticity is the new norm.
How are you unique? What is it that sets you apart from the crowd? What makes you the different one in your family, and how has that served you? If you guessed that this is the basis of our writing assignment on the Home Page this week, you are absolutely correct. I shouldn’t have to tell you to have fun with this one … this should be a celebration of you in all your unique and quirky glory! I will, however, remind you that you should always, always, keep writing!
Peace and blessings.