A note on being different

We are all different. In big ways and little ways. Throughout my journey to date I have found that it can be easy to gravitate towards those who we share things in common with or who are (cringe) ‘like-minded’. I’m not such a fan of that term– our minds are our own and should be encouraged to be individual, open, ever-changing and growing. I don’t believe you have to share an interest, a life path or phase to be able to connect or share time or tea with someone. However I do believe you have to have a mutual understanding, respect and curiosity for each other. You can feel all these things for someone that is your complete polar opposite.

I connect with people easily and often. As I caught up with a new friend in the park recently she confessed she had been worried that we would be ‘too different’ to be friends. After looking under the hood, we realised we actually had a scary amount in common. Surfaces can be deceiving. Never the less, this brought up a whole lot of thoughts for me on both friendship and being different.

1)      Life would be so boring if all my friends were just like me. It would be like talking to myself – yawn

2)      It’s great meeting different people as it allows me to learn, experience and grow

3)      It doesn’t really matter if someone is different to me or does things differently to me. As long as I respect and like them and want to spend time with them (and vice versa) then we are good to go – kettle’s on, biscuit tin open.

4)      My life is richer for all the different and wonderful people I have in it. Thank god I am not part of a zombie suburban mummy tribe wearing tracksuits with juicy on our bums and sipping lattes at the same café every day. I thrive on my hectic, diverse schedule and all the people in it.

5)      People often make quick judgements about each other (including me). They mentally label them as ‘too different’ to fit in their friend-shaped cookie cutter. And that’s that. I feel this is a sad loss. Remember the saying ‘pretty things come in brown paper packages’ – this is true of people too. It is always worth getting to know someone. Everyone has value.

When it comes to having someone in our life, for me, the most important thing is that we like each other and are good to each other.   I say embrace the differences, learn from them, perhaps even grow with them. Let’s certainly not shut them out.

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