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Different - What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open. - Muriel Rukseyer
Yesterday we talked about whether different meant wrong. There are so many parts of my life I am satisfied with, yet I still drive with my head partially cocked to the side, listening for the murmurs from behind me. Those whispers of disapproval, or worse, pity. Instead, the voices are surprisingly loud: "I don't know how you do it all!" "You look great!" I hear the accolades, certainly, and I appreciate them even as I brush them off- "Well, I don't brag about how messy my house is". Secretly: {I don't brag about how alone I am on holidays}.

Except.. I'm not. It's time for me to stare straight ahead and fess up. I'm NOT alone, or if I am, it's because of my choosing. I have plenty of friends, and lots of options. I have had some amazing memorable times that I wouldn't want to trade for anything.

I don't even think it was being alone I dreaded, it was the perception of others. I was stepping outside the lines, not behaving as society tells us. I felt bad for feeling differently. {differently, or different? The lines are blurry}

Well, I guess I was just some crazy happy rebel. But I tried to hide my own happiness in a shroud in guilt and an obligation to conform.

As I told a friend the other day, I've realized that I guess I don't really want children that much. Everything else in life I've wanted, I put a plan in place and made it happen. Move to foreign country - check. Get a graduate degree (or two?!?) - check. Find a job in Colorado - check. Run multiple marathons, setting some pretty good times along the way - check, check, check. I figured out what I wanted to do, and I did it. So if I haven't even really started on this path, I guess that lets me know where it stands for me. And that's ok.

Many of the women I've dated have told me they're different around me - that they see themselves differently or explore different aspects of themselves when I'm around. At one point when P and I were first getting to know each other, I had a strong deep-seated sense that perhaps that is the role I'm meant to play on this earth. I come into people's lives at a given time, shake things up, and leave once they have changed. As it is, I cherish these deep connections, but they're intense and I sometimes feel they really are not sustainable. A roaring fire is impressive, offers warmth - and can destroy lives.

We know the safe, standard path we're all supposed to follow in life. Find someone to love, settle down, pop out some kids, that's how the world goes round. I suppose that's never really been the path I wanted to take. There is so much I still want to experience, so much I think I can do in this world.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I'm a leo, so even as I write that I wonder if that's my ego writing. Except I don't know that it is. I don't want to be impactful for accolades (although certainly those are nice), I want to do the right thing because I've been blessed with energy and talent and a sense of what's right. Sometimes I think of Amber asking "so if you don't believe in Heaven, why be good?" I do the right thing because it's the right thing, not because I expect it'll pay off for me down the road.

I used to be so afraid of pain I would hold people far away, or I would lash out at them so they wouldn't see my wounds. But that recoil and anxiety wasn't a pleasant state in and of itself. Now I feel ok with being open and I'm not rigid with fear of the unknown and that for which I'm unprepared. I'll do the best I can, and who cares if someone would have done things differently? That's their story. This is mine. The only question, I suppose, is if I even care to tell it.
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