BY: LANISHA PORTER
I had always felt like the outcast in my social groups, which didn't necessarily make me uncomfortable because my differences were always rewarded. Being the smart girl allowed me to continuously secure a spot on the honor roll; talking proper allowed me unique opportunities to speak at places I otherwise wouldn't have spoken at; and being comfortable around adults always allowed my friend's parents to trust their children around me. In large, my differences worked to my advantages because they set me apart from the crowd. However, there came a day when my differences felt like they set me apart for the worse. The soft isolation I had once known was no longer used as my "protection", but instead began to feel like a place where I was sent to be ostracized. Let me explain.
Friends I would once kick it with stopped inviting me places. Guys I was interested in dating wouldn't pursue me fully. And the life I chose to live, often called for me to pick up and leave. In all of that...how could I not at some point come to resent the parts of myself that made me different? That made me feel alone? That made me want to be anything else but me on rare occassion?
If I weren't so mindful wouldn't I be okay with allowing chaotic but fun people into my space? If I weren't so adventurous wouldn't I be okay with staying home for school? If I could stay in one spot long enough perhaps wouldn't that give me enough stability to actually be in a romantic relationship? If I weren't so much to deal with, wouldn't I have much more? More friends. More options. More fun.
There are days when I hate my life because of how I feel in my isolation. It's no fun when you realize that the assignment on your life has your self-principles organized in such a way that doesn't allow you to do what everyone else is doing. It's no fun when your differences aren't used to celebrate you, but yet to isolate you in confinement. Confined to studying. Confined to singleness. Confined to abstinence. Confined to "knowing better." Confined to "not allowed to get it wrong." Confined to being misunderstood. Confined to being alone. Some days my differences don't bother me at all. But on the days they do, I self-pity. But here's the thing. I put a cap on those negative feelings. I allow myself 30 minutes if needed (maybe an hour on a harder day) to be a mess, and then I let it go. I accept that I am who I am...with all the good and bad. And I figure that maybe I'm not being punished, but maybe I'm being prepared for a future which only God can see. And I think, what a disservice it must be to God to prematurely judge a story that is still being written. What a disservice it is to myself to dislike the girl who will grow into one day being the woman I'm sure I will love. So for the days you don't like yourself know this....the same process you pity that puts you in isolation, is yet the same process being used to produce who you are going to be. Are you going to spend all of that process not liking yourself?
Welcome to my views from this horizon!