I am in a group that is reading a book, "Calling In The One". It is quite amazing - the author says in 7 weeks you will be able to attract the love of your life ... your one. For 49 days you read passages and complete activities that enable you to become more aware of how you have behaved in love and those hidden, subconscious things that are stopping love from entering into your life. It is not a religious book but it does contain tons of spiritual quotes and tasks. I'm really enjoying it.
One of the group members is a friend from college. We've been friends and sorority sisters for about 11 years and we lived together briefly when I first graduated from college. She's a great friend and we've also come to the conclusion that we're on a bigger journey than just random people that met at college. Alicia and I are great sounding boards for each other in all areas of our spiritual and growth as people. After one of the activities, she called and left me a message that really touched me ... especially as I prepare to return to my alma matter for homecoming to celebrate having graduated from college 10 years ago.
She simply said "D, we don't want regular things because we aren't regular people."
This was a huge statement. I've always felt "different" than everyone else. I always dressed differently, always spoke differently, and always looked differently than anyone else. I even always had a different thought perspective than most people. For the longest time, I just wanted to be regular. There can be comfort in regularity - it allows you to act as the group and do things as the group would do. You become like everyone else and that seems comforting for me. As a kid growing up in a small town, being different was hard. I just wanted to fit. Fitting wasn't necessarily on the platter for me though.
I didn't have typical goals after high school - I literally just wanted to move to L.A. and bartend at night and "get discovered" during the day (I was never quite sure what I wanted to get discovered as). But my family had different plans - I was quite smart so I had to go to college. I went to Southern University but unlike my peers I lived on campus (my hometown was 20 minutes away from campus so most people commuted). Living on campus allowed me to have a true college experience - and I got into a little of everything! After school, I fulfilled a lifelong ambition and taught school. I was different than all the other teachers and was REALLY good at it. I only left because I didn't like the administrative side (a reason I think a lot of young teachers end up burning out on the education system). In a random twist, I ended up in Lafayette, Indiana working at Purdue in the athletic department. I had some of the most AMAZING times there. Not only did I meet friends for life, I was able to become fully integrated into my work. I worked A LOT - pretty much 80-90 hrs a week from August to around May. And I loved it! I really thrived there but something deep inside wanted more.
I went to law school in Houston in an attempt to actualize my dream of moving to L.A. I felt a law degree would help get me in the door here. No one quite understood why I needed to invest $60,000 before coming here, but it made perfect sense to me. And now I live in the City of Angels. The last three years have been very "not regular". I've had amazing experiences and the opportunity to work with the industry's cream de la creme. Right now I feel like I'm in transition but I'm sure it will work out ... it always does. In a way that supports and reconfirms my different-ness.
I am now in a place to embrace my different. It is just a part of who I am. Those differences have allowed me to create a rich and full life that has been filled with colorful and unique opportunities. My story continues to grow and expand beyond my wildest expectations. I have no idea what the future holds, but I'm positive (and optimistic) that it will continue to be "different".