Being ‘different’ is both a blessing and a curse. It’s not even a choice, usually. We are who we are, and Sylvia Plath wrote this passage in her journals, when she saw a group of girls at a party, all the same, all feeling important, all attracting the attention of the men in the room.
Sylvia wanted to be important too, to attract the men’s attention, but there was something else. She wanted to be different.
I too want to be important. By being different. And these girls are all the same.
Ever since I can recall, I’ve been, well, different. It’s not really a choice. It’s just something inside. Like Sylvia, when she sees these girls, all the same, at a party, she just knows she isn’t the same.
Being different doesn’t mean just dying your hair, wearing something wacky and disagreeing with everyone! Being different means dancing to your own tune, creating your own rules, living your own vision.
It’s not the best idea in some situations. I have a huge problem with authority, because I don’t want to conform. It can lead to tortured moments when you feel yourself disagreeing simply because you cannot go along with the masses.
It’s not as simple as being contrary for the hell of it. It’s a feeling that you just cannot fall in line, you just can’t do what everyone else wants, as much as perhaps, at times, it might be easier.
Being different for me, is a blessing though, more than a curse. It’s also inherent. It’s subconscious. It’s just in me. It’s a wonderful thing, something we should relish and cultivate, if we have it in us.
When I was 11 years old I went on school camp. I had yellow Kickers (different!), and to the Saturday night disco in the middle of our school fortnight I wore a grey and white pinstripe mini skirt with braces. All of my classmates – boy and girl – wore stay press trousers; THE trouser to have in the early 1980s.
I don’t remember the conscious decision not to wear them, I just know that I must have not wanted to with all my might!
In my twenties I tried to fit in. I got the big hair, the fake tan, the false nails, the dress everyone wore. But none of it was ever the right fit.
So I abandoned any idea of conformity and created my own style, my own look, stopped trying to fit in, stopped trying to be the same and just went with it.
Now in my forties, do I feel important? Too right I do. By being different, I found my place in life, I attracted the life I wanted to me, and the people to me who allow me to dance to my own tune, and love me for it.