I think one of the major differences I have noticed about myself since I entered my thirties that I am becoming increasingly comfortable with being me. When I was younger, I tried so hard to fit in. In elementary school, I remember being tall and gangly–basically a stick. I was so self-conscious–I wanted so badly to fit in with some of my shorter, more curvier classmates. I vividly remember the guys ranking the girls in the school and I got a “6–average”. I was so crushed. I wanted the boys to think I was cute. Instead they couldn’t see past the gangly nerd that I was.
This memory and others like that flashed through my mind on Sunday while I was listening to my pastor’s sermon, ” set apart to be different”. My pastor, Bishop Thomas preached about how sometimes we try so hard to be something that we are not, that we don’t become the person that God has called us to be. He told the church that some times people are set apart to do God’s work.
It took the majority of my 20’s to realize that it is ok to be different. My quirks and ideas of fun may not be the same as someone else’s and that’s ok. I am tall and have big feet and that is ok too. I have learned that I can’t please everyone and that no one can make me feel guilty but myself. Not to say that I perfectly have this all down. Sometimes, I find myself backsliding and have to remind myself that it is ok. That I am not going to please everyone.
Bishop Thomas’ sermon also made me think about some of the comments I get as a single woman: “You need to work on your “MRS” degree or “you need to have children before your eggs dry up.” Or better yet, “you aren’t really a woman until you have kids”. Although I am a heterosexual, I definitely find myself tempted to tell those same people that I am a lesbian and on top of that *gasp* I don’t want to have kids.
I am sure that would get a nice facial expression…lol In all seriousness, I do want to be married and I do want to have children, but I do not want to just have those things to say I have those things. Nor do I want to be out of the will of God. I have seen enough marriages end in divorce including my own parent’s to not want to rush the process. I am old enough to realize that for myself it will take more than a handsome man and attraction to make a marriage work. I can flirt all the day long with a cute guy, but what about his character? Is he trustworthy? Is he responsible? More importantly, is he a man of God?
All of these crazy statistics out there try to discourage me and other black women by telling us that there are no men out there. All of the men are locked up, or gay or just don’t want to marry us. Honestly, while that is a problem, like pastor said, I only need one man. And that should be that the man who God has picked for me.
But what if that man never appears? What if I am single for the rest of my life? I think for some single women that is a hard thing to come to grips with. I know I would be disappointed but I wouldn’t let that ruin my life. I would live my to the fullest and do all of the things I have dreamed of doing. Travel the world, eat my way through cities. Have fabulous dinner parties. Be highly successful in my career. Love. Regardless I plan to love.
But I am digressing. The point I am trying to make is that it is ok with going against what our society defines as norm. Or more close to home: what well-intentioned friends , family and acquaintances may tell us we should do or be doing. Being ok with being you even if you don’t fit in with your circle around you. As Bishop Thomas said, ” It might be time to get yourself a new circle.”
In sum, “I am Happy!” with being different and I hope you are too. I think Pharrell Williams’ song from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack captures that feeling for me:) If you haven’t listened to the song yet, check it out below and let me know what you think 🙂