When I was a little girl, I always felt different. I could never define my differences. Sometimes I thought it was about how I looked. Other times it was about my imagination and how I liked to play. Not to say I wasn’t a confident kid, but I felt a little poorer, a little shorter and skinnier, a little weirder than my friends. I was shy and afraid of water and loved to use curse words. I was allergic to milk and slid chocolate candy bars under my pillow on Halloween and Christmas eve that I would eat when my parents went to sleep. I hid in the bushes for hours when I thought I was in trouble. I would scare myself to sleep every night listening for every crack and pop in my house, imagining it was a monster breaking in that I must make believe I was asleep so he wouldn’t eat or kill me. I played piano songs on the back of my teeth with my tongue and twirled my hair vigorously when I was nervous. I tried to make my family laugh with wigs and make up and I wore my sister’s dance costumes to the grocery store, just because. I dreamed about the neighborhood dog kidnapping me on a regular basis. My mom and I were the only people I knew in town who took taxis.
I had a big imagination and most of my time was spent thinking about what I would be like when I grew up. I always imagined myself as the most normal person in the world. I would stop cussing and love to swim. I would have plenty of money and eat anything I wanted and stay up late so I would just fall straight to sleep when my head hit the pillow. I would have a family that never embarrassed each other and maybe even my own dog that I wasn’t afraid of. I would be married to this guy who thought all of my idiosyncrasies were adorable and my kids would do all the things I never got to do.
The other day I caught myself saying this silly little mantra again about how I never thought this would be my life. I got into a funk about being divorced and how afraid I am of not being the best mother I can be. I thought about the people who don’t like me anymore and the people who don’t know me, but never did. I thought about the education and career choices I have made and how I could have taken a road more lucrative.
But tonight I’m wiggling out of that funk because I remember. I remember that I must accept and love myself and my life. If I keep trying to travel upstream, I will only stay in the same place and get really, really tired. My life is very meaningful. I may be in a spiritual crisis, but it is leading me somewhere, and I think that place might just be back to me. I was imagining this “someone else” in all my fantasies, but it’s me that I take on this journey. Every day I see, teach and talk to the most interesting and strange people and I love every minute of it. Each time someone exposes some odd fact about themselves, I smile all over. We are extremely important and less than a speck in the universe. I am a weirdo. But so are you.