#reverb10 day 8: beautifully different

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

Beautiful AND Different.  Two words I have never put together in a sentence when thinking about myself.

I can say a lot about feeling different. I’ve always felt different. Just not in a good way. I certainly never thought that the things which made me different made me beautiful.

I could go into detail but I am tired of hearing and telling all the blah blah stories of my life –so I won’t. Just pretend that I did.

[Insert blah blah stories of my angst filled past here].

Instead I did the only thing a self-avoidant girl could do… I took a mini survey. I called my boyfriend, and then I called my mother in Zimbabwe (who at 6:11am had already been up for ages, doing her daily prayers, which I know for a fact include a heavy duty section of requests for the health and happiness of yours truly.)

Survey Says

The Boyfriend, aka Super Hero says that what makes me different is how genuine I am, and also that I have a huge heart and want the best for the people that I love.

My Mother says what makes me different, is how independent and courageous I am and have been since I was little. This is intriguing. The independence doesn’t surprise me, but courageous? Not a word I would use to describe myself. In recent years I feel severely lacking in courage.

Mama also says that my special gift is my “approachability”. She says I LOVE people and have a particular affinity for children. She’s on to something. I never met a person I couldn’t have a conversation with.  Ok – maybe one or two, but it’s very rare. I definitely never met a kid I didn’t instantly adore.

I would have liked to survey a few other folks like my Big Sister, and my bestie. Maybe I’ll ask them to weigh in via comment.  Mayhaps one of my other friends (all 2 of you that actually read this blog) will weigh in.

In the spirit of reflection, or as close as I was able to come to it today, here are some random factoids about me which I think make me different. At the very least they are mildly interesting.

  • I read a LOT and I read really fast. I read every single day. I read last thing at night. First thing in the morning. I wake up in the middle of the night and turn over and read the book (or Kindle) which is probably in the bed with me because I fell asleep reading it. I get a little panicky if I don’t have a book to read. When I was a teenager my mother would watch me read and shake her head in disbelief as I turned pages. She was sure that I wasn’t reading everything on the page. I was. I think she believes me now.
  • When I was in primary school I got hit in the mouth with a hockey stick. It hurt. I lost my front tooth completely and had to get a cap. The rest of my teeth were cracked and broken and took ages to heal. I was mortified. (This traumatic incident is a significant chapter in the blah blah stories of my life).
  • I used to love Garfield the cat. When I first came to the US to go to college I had a big gorgeous stuffed Garfield that was given to me by my Big Brother. I left him in the overhead compartment of the plane when I landed in Newark. Even though I realized that I’d left him behind right after I got off the plane, I didn’t go back to get him. I could have, but I felt really stupid and self-conscious. And scared. So I left him. I never told anyone about this. I’m sad and I miss my Garfield.
  • When my mother went into labor with me, she walked two hours to the hospital to deliver me. When her best friend realized where she was headed, she followed her, but my mother had too much of a head start. After 3 days in the hospital she walked back home. Her best friend carried me all the way.
  • One of my nicknames growing up was after my paternal grandfather’s sister. She died before I was born but apparently I reminded my grandfather of her in some way. He used to call me “udadewethu kaBaba”. It means “my sister,  born of my father”, or something along those lines. I always felt like I had a special connection with my grandfather.

I am out of factoids. It’s midnight, which means the Day 9 prompt may be up already.

I feel like I didn’t explore this prompt as deeply as I might and that’s OK. Yes, I took a slightly avoidant and tangential approach, but honestly it was far too difficult for me to dig deep on this one.

Maybe tomorrow.

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