anonymous shared a great comment on my infermentality post, about her feeling of otherness as she knows her family building days are coming to an end... and it really supported a feeling I've been having, an ongoing revelation maybe, that most of us, at the core, feel "other".
We may not feel it all the time, or every day, but there are always times when we feel like we are outsiders from an individual or group that we feel *should* be familiar somehow.
I know I have always felt this way with women. like there was a handbook that I did not get, and finally, so much time had passed, it was embarrassing to ask for one so I didn't. I've felt other in the arty school, other in the techie school, other in friendships sometimes when I felt less evolved, or just so different.
I think that is why community matters so much, and our support groups however virtual or distributed.
No one community, just like no one individual, can sustain all of our needs. We are complex creatures, and the person I talk tech to may not be the person I talk with about shamanic journeying, or reiki. The group that sings is not the same as the group that writes.
I realize, getting older, there are infinite layers of otherness just waiting to be explored. I am no longer the target market for anything except estrogen replacement therapies, rosacea cream, and antidepressants. Oh, and chocolate and face creams. So yeah, I take that back. I am a very targeted target market, because I have moved into a niche from the mainstream.
Which brings me, briefly to the idea of a normal curve, the idea of an average anything.
I recently came to a magical revelation that I want to share that I think has broad ramifications in the radical self acceptance movement:
no one has ever been you, living your life, making your choices, having your experiences.
you are the only expert on what it means to be you.
I know we all know this, but isn't it sort of awesome?
As a parent, I felt sort of freed up when I realized that no one has ever been me, parenting my child, with my partner in the context of my life, my work.... so to not find me reflected in a book or expert is actually more expected in this framework than surprising.
but when I look more deeply, not at just the role of parent, but at the whole of kateness.... well,
I am rocking the kateness like no one else can, because no one else is me.
of course, somedays rocking it is quite literal in the rock and hum sort of way.
rock and hum and eat chocolate and pray for bedtime.
So, thank you anonymous! I so appreciate the comment and also appreciate the nudge to really expand my conversation about otherness. there is a pantload of suckitude in feeling other, but then there is this little bit of magic that I hope to cultivate. Gives envy a harder job.