Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Accepting My Life is Different than Yours

I haven't written in a while and I have wanted to for some time. So here I am, back at it and I wanted to discuss why most of us are constantly comparing ourselves, our lives, our kids, our whatever, to other people. WHY? First you should remember that the story you think you see, the truth you think you know, is almost never the truth behind the curtain. And I've come to realize that it's not even intentional most of the time. Most of us just like to share our favorite pictures or a happy day and that's great. But please remember, that is about 10% of the full story. And also, even if it is the absolute truth, good for you. Seriously, I hope that everyone is happy and healthy and doing amazing things. Even if my life feels messy and hard and exhausting, I still hope that yours is amazing.

More important, what "they" are doing with their lives has absolutely nothing to do with what I am doing in my life. LIKE NONE! Zero, Nada...Look, it took my son 5 years to graduate high school. Yup, not college, high school. He made the very mature decision in the middle of his senior year to take a medical leave and do it all over again the following year. And I am sure it was hard on him, to watch his friends graduate and move on and have to head back to school without them. But you guys, it may have been way harder for me. Like really, really hard. But he graduated and he's headed to a good school in the honors program with a merit scholarship. And it taught me a few life lessons:

1. Every path is different. EVERY. PATH. IS. DIFFERENT. There are a million places to go and a million ways to get there. There is no one right way to do life. Don't let anyone tell you it "should" be this way or that. That is bullshit.

2. It's almost never about you. People will judge you because things that are different make them nervous. When someone does something different, it makes them question whether they are doing it right and that makes people nervous. Its' okay to be you. It's okay to do something that someone else doesn't understand. Don't take their judgement personally.

3. Be true to yourself. This one is hard, I get it. Sometimes we lose sight of who we are, what we want with so many messages in the world about who we should be. Lucky for me, the Universe sent me two very unique, very different, very strong individuals who scream out loud daily about who they are. Watching my oldest son walk away from kids he no longer wanted to be friends with or decide not to go to a party everyone was at definitely made me uncomfortable, but he couldn't care less. He knew what he wanted to do and why. And my youngest son has dyed his hair a few different colors including pink without a care in the world about what the world would think. I am 43 years old and it has taken me this long to love myself that much. You are you, celebrate it, own it and be amazing. If someone else is uncomfortable, that has nothing to do with you.

4. It will all work out. This is also a hard one to believe in the moment. In the moment, there is stress and helplessness and fear. But what I have learned is that those feelings are almost never helpful. Most of the time, when we are past the hard part and the sun is shining, we can look back and see how crazy our fear was. If we can remember this in the moment, we can enjoy life more. We can dance in the rain instead of be angry that the sun isn't shining.

My life is probably nothing like yours and it most certainly didn't go according to any plan. When I married my husband it was "supposed" to be forever.  My son was "supposed" to be the class of 2018.  And I could list about a hundred more things that were "supposed" to be.  I can spend all day comparing my life to everyone else's but to what end, I am where I am. And where I am is pretty amazing. And where you are is pretty amazing too.

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