I started following my own path when I was little…out of necessity. Things for me weren’t the same as they were for my friends. My parents divorced and at that time I spent most of my years during school as one of only two kids in my class with divorced parents. No one else understood Wednesday night dinners with Dad and every other weekend at a different house. My life looked different from the others from the get-go.
But then I started to want the cool clothes, the latest in lipstick colors and the whitest Capezios money could buy. I saw these things get handed to lots of people, but I had to save my money for all of them. My mom was a teacher working hard to support our day-to-day life while my dad lived a life that ranged from odd extravagances and random luxuries to completely minimalist. Yes, saving my money did make the Silver City Pink or Frosted Brownie lipstick all the more special but it also made me continue carving my own path. I wanted to be like everyone else but knew in some ways I couldn’t be. And plus, I didn’t want to compete knowing it was a competition in my own head that I could never win. So I looked for my own ways to be me that kept me from being compared with anyone else. I was obsessed with fashion and the latest styles so I would devour Seventeen and Elle magazine putting together outfits I saw on the pages with things I had in my closet. I cut my hair short and kept it that way. Little things set me apart, at least in my mind. To top it all off, I was a smart girl wanting to be part of the cool girls. That left me traversing circles and sometimes feeling left out but often the lack of truly belonging saved me from the true heartache of not being included.
As I’ve aged, the reasons for being on a path that curves differently have changed and I find my soul and my heart craving and charging toward the trail leading the other way. And it leaves me wondering if what I had been feeling all those years ago, the ache that I couldn’t be the same because I was different, was really my soul telling me it wanted to be on its own and all the reasons for being different were merely excuses.