Friday, 19 July 2019

Living Life Outside The Box

Ever since I can remember, I've had a deep rooted fear of being "different".

I suppose it's because I always did feel like the odd one out as a child and because of that, I didn't quite fit in. I struggled to make and maintain friendships, I always felt that I was trying to force myself to be someone else in order to "trick" people into liking me.

If you'll pardon the cliche, I've always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

No matter how much I've tried to mould myself to fit into social groups over the years, no matter how hard I've tried to force myself to conform to the "Norms" of society - I've always struggled.

But over the last few years , as I've started to care less about what other people think of me, I've started to finally feel more free to accept who I am and live life accordingly.

 My life doesn't really fit into most people's idea of "normal".

For a start....I don't have a standard job.

For most of my adult life, I tried to fit into that mould. Over the years I've worked as a nanny, a nursery nurse, a waitress, an office worker. I tried many different ways of earning my crust. But I always struggled with anxiety, and - more pressingly - my fragile physical health always made things very difficult for me.

Living with chronic health conditions makes it difficult to hold down a job - constant hospital appointments, long lists of often debilitating symptoms and a weakened immune system resulting in virus after virus does not make a person popular with employers no matter how much enthusiasm they show for their job!

I tried though. For years I tried to do what was expected of me by society and hold down a steady job. I tried even when it was making me miserable. I tried even when I would spend my walk to work each morning fantasising about stepping out in front of a car - wishing to be injured just a bit. Not enough to die, but just enough to get a few days away from work!

Now...I don't spend my mornings wishing injury upon myself. Instead I enjoy what I do to earn money. Even 6 years in to it, I still get excited to write posts. I get excited to work with brands. I get a lot of satisfaction from what I do.

And I have the luxury of working for myself - so I can pick and choose the hours I work to suit my family life. I can work around my health issues and medical appointments. And I can support my family and earn a decent living.

So having a "different" job so bad?

Then there are my interests.

I've always had an interest in spiritualism - ever since I was 12 years old.

But people told me it was "weird" I tried to push it down. I tried not to follow my heart. I tried to force myself to be interested in more "normal" pursuits.

But over the years, I kept finding myself drawn back to spiritualism.

It just resonated with me. And so eventually...I decided to stop ignoring it, and just go along to a spiritualist centre.

A year later, I still attend twice every week. I've embraced spiritualism fully into my life in various ways, and it brings a sense of calmness and reassurance that I've always felt was missing.

So having "different" interests so bad?

And then there's our family life.

My children don't attend regular school.

Instead, we home educate them.

We tried to do the "normal" thing. My eldest son started school, just as he was "supposed" to - just as society expected.

But he was miserable. Which meant, in turn, that I was miserable too.

And so...we decided to try something different.

And now, a year and a half son is happy and thriving.

So doing education "differently" so bad?

We've found ourselves under scrutiny recently...with all of these "different" aspects of our lives being judged and pulled apart.

And no matter how you look at it...this judgement comes from a place of ignorance.

Of not understanding, or even attempting to understand, that just because somebody lives their life differently to you - doesn't make their way of life wrong.

Just because you do things the same way that the majority do, doesn't automatically make your way of living "right".

Aside from the obvious exceptions, there are very few things in life that are so black and white. There are very few circumstances where there are clear rights and wrongs when it comes to lifestyle choices.

My life doesn't look like everybody elses.

I work a flexible job from home in a business that I created for myself. I home educate my children. I practice mediumship and go to a spiritualist centre. I have regular online counselling.

But do you know what?

I LOVE my life, now.

And I have 3 happy, confident children.

There is so much to be said for being truly free in life - for embracing the things you love, following the path that feels like the right one for you and your family, and just not giving a damn what anybody elses thinks about it.

Different isn't's just different.

And a life lived for the approval of other people is truly a life only half lived.

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