Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Feeling Different

One of the major themes of my life while I was growing up was wanting to be normal, to fit in. For as long as I can remember, I felt like an alien, in my own family as well as in school and with friends. I was so different from both my parents in temperment, idiology, beliefs, that I was convinced I was either adopted or, as I said, from a different planet. With friends, my extreme sensitivity, whether it was regarding my own feelings, or something I sensed about theirs, always seemed to get me in trouble. Other people mostly don't like to hear they might be feeling something they may not even be aware of feeling.  The problem was, I'd sense someone was feeling something they weren't saying, but I'd make assumptions about what that feeling was. That's where we can get ourselves in trouble bit time -- making assumptions.

But getting back to the topic at hand--feeling different--it wasn't until very recently that I've come to the conclusion that being different isn't a negative. Truth is, we're all different, we just learn to conform. It's what humans do. Being okay with being different is part of accepting myself as I truly am and letting go of the chameleon aspect of my personality that adapted to everyone and everything around me in order to be liked and to fit in.

What kept me that way all these years was a fear of growing old and being alone. Now, it's in my solititude that I grow the most, so if I end up old and alone, perhaps it won't be so bad. But I don't think that's my destiny.

How do you feel about being different? Are you? If so, how?



Vicki Rocho said...

It depends on WHY I'm different. If it's because I'm the only one wearing jeans to a formal occasion, I'm gonna feel like a complete dork.

If, however, I'm different because something I wrote is leaping off the page with eloquence and grace or because I knew the answer to something no one else did, then I'm okay with that!

Sharon Lippincott said...

OMG YES! I grew up feeling sooo different! After talking with a friend from high school recently, I've realized that we all felt different, at least everyone I hung around with. We all wanted to fit in, and despaired of ever doing so.

Like you, I now enjoy my own company ever so much as a time of growth, but now rejoice in my differences, and draw on them as strength.

BTW, I like your new blog look.

Ann said...

I am different yet ordinary. No matter where I am I speak differently than everyone else. My accent belonging nowhere and everywhere.

People used to ask me where I would prefer to be, here or there, my reply in your everyday existence, you still get up to the alarm clock every morning, eat your breakfast, put one foot into your trousers and then the next, no matter who you are or where you are. There lies the ordinariness of it all. Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Mason Canyon said...

I think you're right, we're all different in some way and that's a good thing. I love people, but at the same time I like my alone time very much. Different is good. I say it keep life interesting.

Thoughts in Progress

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

I've always been different because although I love people, I like being with me as well. I learned early that life is too short to live someone else's ideals.

Sorry for the edit-- seems my fingers are all thumbs this morning and the thumbs aren't exactly working.

Giggles and Guns

Joanne said...

I could never understand the whole Northface, Ugg boots mentality where a whole generation wears the exact same uniform. Well I could understand why they're doing it, to fit in, be accepted, and all that. But why wouldn't they want to be their own work of art?

KarenG said...

Being different is good, but sometimes it takes a lifetime to accept that!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOL! I grew up a tomboy who liked all the things girls shouldn't like. I was definitely different.
But then I grew up and met a man who loved me first as a friend because we had so much in common in terms of likes, hobbies, and beliefs. Had I not grown up a tomboy, we wouldn't have fit together so well!

The Old Silly said...

I am definitely "different" and I like it that way. I have no problem if anyone considers me off-beat, wierd, or whatever ... my life and I'll live it as whacky as I want, lol.

Jemi Fraser said...

I never quite matched my family with my love of sci-fi & fantasy and my quiet ways. But, my family always supported me in whatever I wanted or needed to do. So I've maybe never matched everyone else, but (except for a few years as a teen) I'm okay with it. :)

Anonymous said...

Keep your wonderful hubby's love tank full, and you'll never be alone. Be different. Be proud of it. In high school, friends TOLD me I was different. I wore it proudly.

Tabitha Bird said...

Are there any of us that are the same? I actually love being different. Hence my shaved head :) But I do understand the sentiments here in your post.

Thanks for your kind words on my blog :)

Jody Hedlund said...

I think there is so much pressure in our society to conform to certain things--appearance, beliefs, etc. It's hard to withstand that pressure (especially for kids!). I know I had to reach a point of personal maturity where I stopped caring so much about what others were like and lived with confidence in who I uniquely am.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I think we're all "different" but some of us think we're boring or ordinary because we get caught in little ruts. I first started feeling really good about myself when I realized I wasn't the only one who had little quirks, who'd done stupid things in my youth, and who had lifelong dreams they still had time to fulfill. Knowing that, I like to be around people and talk to them a lot more than I used to.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Karen, this is such a stunning color combination!. It looks so different from my blog that it took me awhile to realize it's the same template. Awesome interpretation.

Helen Ginger said...

The older I get, the more I seem to "come into" myself. I'm not trying to blend in with the wall anymore.

Love your blog's new look!

Straight From Hel