I’m sitting here by myself at a local Mediterranean Restaurant. I’m here for a little bit of much needed “me” time. Of all of the places to spend my time, I chose this one because the music is great, the people are friendly, it’s not too loud, but most importantly the food is amazing. I also chose this place because no one in my family likes this type of food. I don’t have it often, so it’s kind of a treat to myself. As I sit here enjoying my time away, I am reminded of just how different-unique- from my family I am.
I am an only child, I was born and raised in a very urban area in the north east, I love diverse types of foods and cultures, and I love all different types of music…well except for country. All of these things are quite a bit different from that of my husband and children. While we never really focus on things we differ in, as I sit and ponder these things it reminds me of how wonderful being different can be.
When you think of the word different, at times it can have a negative connotation to it. Growing up, I looked at different as being weird or strange. In this very moment as an adult woman, I see that the word different also can mean unique. I always looked at things that were different about me as being bad. For example, I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I have always been curvy, but after having 3 children and being almost 40 years old, I am finding that it is much more difficult to get back to the figure I once had in my 20’s. My body is different now. Areas that were once firm are now jiggly, and my stomach is covered in stretch marks. All of these things are very different from what is portrayed on television, in films, magazines and social media. But guess what? These things are unique to me. My body is different, and my belly has stretch marks because I am different. I have carried 3 people inside of my body and given them life. I’d say that’s pretty special. So while I may never be wearing a bikini, I am very proud of what my unique body has created, and I can maintain my health even if I’m not the size I was years ago.
I also used to hate that my parents were divorced. They separated when I was very young and divorced when I was 12. I have always been very close to my mom for this reason but growing up my closest friends lived with both their mom and dad. No one else that I knew had to split their holidays or spend weekends away from home. I used to always feel that this difference was so bad. Now looking back on it, I see how special this really was. This allowed me to have a relationship with my mother that not many people have. It has also showed me the value of marriage and has allowed me to be able to give advice to divorced friends who are worried about how their children are coping. This thing that set me apart from my friends as a kid has allowed me a unique advantage as far as my perspective on marriage and parenting as an adult.
So yes, I’m different. I’m unique. I’m special. I’m me, and I love me some me! I may not have all of my I’s dotted or my T’s crossed. I may still struggle with some insecurities and overthink how I could have done or said something better. I’m not perfect, but I am enjoying this journey of learning to love the once different, now unique me.