On being different…


I cycle my daughter to school. I always have. Itโ€™s much easier than dealing with the line-up of cars in the morning, plus itโ€™s fun. Throughout kindergarden, she didnโ€™t even think about it. But things are different now, ย she started big girl schoolโ€ฆ

On the first day, I realised that I was the only parent on a bicycle โ€“ and being the only one certainly makes you feel different. Iโ€™ll be honest, something about being at a big school โ€“ I started to reconnect with those old feelings of ย just wanting to fit in. Which is funny, because now Iโ€™m so drawn to people who are doing things differently. And then my daughter said this to me:

โ€œMom, I think I feel weird for being on the bicycleโ€

I felt a lot at that moment. Proud of her for being able to vocalize her feelings. Sad for her that sheโ€™s already started this so young. Frustrated that I was the cause of her weirdness. Mostly I understood that this is only the beginning. Being different is not always easy. But living a life of frustration for not being true to yourself โ€“ is much harder.

I think itโ€™s incredibly cool to make the choice to create a life you love โ€“ rather than just let life happen to you. If that means growing tomatoes instead of roses, cycling to work or standing outside your condo for an hour, photographing yourself holding a glass of water (true story) โ€“ then, do it! Donโ€™t let anyone stop you from experiencing your version of life. Even if you do get a few odd looks here and thereโ€ฆ

I hope that she figures this out sooner than I did, I was certainly a late bloomer.

Are any of you dealing with this too? ย Iโ€™d love to know how you handle it!

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Comments (6)

  • Amelia โ€” Reply

    It’s is certainly one thing I feel sad about living in Singapore, that people in general just don’t feel comfortable being different. In the UK it is very much celebrated!
    Hope your daughter will overcome her anxiety and learn to accept and celebrate that being different also means she is interesting and special, and that’s what makes the world so beautiful.

    militza โ€” Reply

    Hi Amelia! I always say to her, how terribly boring our world would be if we all were the same… luckily I think she’s enjoying our bike rides together and feeling less “weird” Hopefully all these experiences help to lay down a strong foundation for her to stand on, for the next inevitable time she feels… different.
    Thanks for sending your positive thoughts! :)

  • Stephanie โ€” Reply

    Hi! I’ve always been a silent reader of your blog since I took up yoga and decided to adopt a slightly more green lifestyle. However, I knew that I’ve to comment when I read this entry as it resonates a lot with me. A lot of times, I feel compelled to conform to the norm and societal pressures of doing what the masses do. After all, it’s easier to stick to the well trodden path. Having said that, when im not true to myself. ..thats when I really feel miserable and just empty. It inspires me whenever I read abt others living a life that truly calls out to them. Thank you for sharing (:

    militza โ€” Reply

    Hi Stephanie! Thanks so much for reaching out – it’s so amazing for me to connect with this community – you are inspiring me too! Keep doing what you’re doing and create a life you love to live! :))

  • Alla โ€” Reply

    Here in Holland, everyone cycles, it’s a regular thing to see a parent with one child in the front and one in the back being dropped of to their respective schools. :) Here the minority gets dropped off in a car. But I guess kids just want to be like all the others, so if you figure out the answer on how to make them feel good about being different let me know…! :-/
    (hi! found you via fellow fellow)

    militza โ€” Reply

    Hi Alla,

    It’s so interesting to know how different our perspective is, depending on what we see around us. That’s why it’s important to broaden our scope! Thanks for sharing that with us :)

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