Please tell me who I am supposed to be when I grow up, because I can’t seem to figure it out.
I have always been “different.” I have never run with the crowd. I swim upstream. March to the beat of a different drum…What other cliche phrases can I use to describe myself? It used to bother me. When I was younger, even as a mother in my 20s, I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to be one of the cool moms who met for coffee every morning at the local coffee shop, after dropping their sweet babes at school. The thing is, I have never had a messy bun, I don’t wear leggings in public, and I hate coffee. Oh- and I homeschooled my children. I’m weird like that.
My 20s are gone….long gone, 30s are a blur, and my 40s are running toward 50 like there is some sort of prize waiting there. The marathon pace is uninvited, and I would prefer a slow walk – thank you.
Here is some good news. Ladies, listen up. It is okay to like yourself. I like me. I don’t want to fit in. Fitting in is boring. It is okay to live life on your terms, no one else’s. By this age, (47), I should no longer care what anyone thinks. I tell my older children all the time, “This is YOUR life. It is not mine. It’s yours! Find what you want to do, and do it!” I don’t care if that means no college or no great wealth. It is fascinating how people bombard them with unsolicited advice on how life works. We get one shot here on this earth. I’ll be damned if I will pressure my children into the exact same mold as everyone else. I have been a “different” sort of mom through the years – never following the same path as my suburban neighbors. Why would I expect my children to be anything less?
I think we may not realize we are often making huge life decisions, based on what others may think. It takes confidence and some retraining of our thoughts to tune everyone out, and believe we truly know what is best for our lives. Sometimes I long for days of silence and meditation so I can think clearly and hear what my true thoughts are. What do I really want?
Looking back I can see it. I can see the paths where I knew in my gut which one I should take. I knew which one was best for my life. But as I see everyone else who loves me, waving me over to the other path, I begin to doubt myself. People often feel they know best because they love you, but the reality is, when giving others advice, we are often comforting ourselves without knowing it. We want our loved ones to make safe, secure choices so we don’t have to worry. Unfortunately, dreams are seldom accomplished through safety and security.
So…on to the beating of my different drum once again. For me, it is the only way I feel peace in life. And peace is a tough commodity to find these days.