WHY ARE YOU SO DIFFERENT?

ImageWHY ARE YOU SO DIFFERENT?

R. J. HEIM

 “Why AM I so different?” 

To tell you the truth, I’ve been asked this question since, probably, elementary school.  When we are kids, that’s about the last thing we want to hear, as children always want to ‘fit in.’ I’ve always realized that I have been a little different from others my own age, and that used to make me very uncomfortable.  Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, it was just ‘not cool’ to be different — goodness forbid you don’t look and dress like everyone else!  I had a few strikes against me from several directions, since birth, as my family was a little different.  The differences between myself and other kids caused me a great deal of insecurity back in those days.  These led to bigger, longer lasting symptoms such as low self-esteem, extreme shyness, feeling inadequate, and a lot of somatic symptoms, like headaches and stomachaches.   I can recall it feeling like a sword piercing my heart to have people actually notice any differences, or even to disagree with me!  It felt very personal.

                  Of course, as I had grown older, (or is it just because it’s a different age in time?) I did outgrow those somatic and life altering symptoms.  I learned to be my own person regardless of what others’ thought, or of who would like me.  I became the type of person who couldn’t stand for going along with a crowd or clique, if it meant lying, cheating, dishonesty, or shunning other people.  I became the kid who stepped in and took up for the underdog, once a Chinese friend of mine, another time a Jewish neighbor.  I knew how it felt to be different, and I couldn’t stand to watch it happen to someone else – especially if I had the power to stop it.   Over the past decade or so, I have noticed that many, many cases are reported in the news where school-aged and high school kids are bullied, sometimes even literally to “death!”  In many cases, it’s been reported that accidental death came from mistreatment leading to abuse, and other cases where tortured young souls took their own lives because of the pain of living.  Why on earth does this happen?  Sometimes these kids just grow up to be underachieving grown-ups that just never measure up.   I believe these things happen because people want so badly to “fit in,” or be “like everyone else.”  Some want it so badly, that they’d rather die than go on living.  Why do they really want the approval of these kinds of people? 

                Kids go through stages of maturity that include grouping or pairing off, approval of peers, industry, and so on, and these are normal stages of maturing.  Children should be taught these changes and life stages, preferably before they arrive there.  By warning them ahead of time, we as parents can head off the shock of the hard parts of growing up, and help prevent much of the anxiety of dealing with these growing pains in life.  I’ve always been big on teaching into these teachable moments in my kids’ lives, and trying to cushion some of the disappointments that are inevitable.  We can’t help them with everything, but we can help with some of these things that we all must go through.  There are a lot of things I wish I had known ahead of time, and if I had, I would’ve handled differently.    

                Looking back at the way our kids grew up, I made my share of mistakes, but I am really glad that we sat down together at the dinner table often, and talked about things – and my only regret about that – is that we didn’t do it more.  Looking at our kids now, they are adults who know that they can be their own person, and that they can talk to us any time, about anything, and not feel like they are aliens who are the first to experience whatever they’re going through.  Our kids grew up to be our very best friends … and isn’t that the goal all along?

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LET ME INTRODUCE: ME!

Hello there, my name is Rhonda, for those of my readers who don’t know me in person.  I decided to begin my blogging life at 49 years of age, and for many reasons.  I really wished I’d heard of blogging long before now … in fact, I wish I had been writing all this time.  Many people I have talked with, like myself, are born writers, or at least “in our heads” we are writers.  Almost ALL the time, I visualize events and conversations in my head – IN WORDS.  I’ve heard of musicians often talking about seeing music, or lyrics.  I see creative words to explain details, and I always have.  Well now, I am about to conclude my first half a century of life, or as I once read in MORE Magazine:  “entering the second half of life,” and I’ve wasted so much time, so, let’s get going!

First and foremost, I am a child of God and firm and confident in my walk of Hebraic Christian faith.  I am the wife of a wonderful man, a nurse like myself, only he just feels the need to keep getting education and climbing, but that’s okay, I still like him.  He is a good, Hebraic Christian man also, firmly planted.  As I always say, he was not my first husband – but he is my real husband.  Some of you who’ve been with the wrong one first—will appreciate that!  We have a beautiful relationship, the three of us, God included.  I guess you’d say we are soul mates, as I see marriage at the heavenly level AND at the earthly one.  Our main relationship is with God, and our primary earthly or human relationship is our life partner.  When priorities are in balance, life feels good.

I have four kids, two boys then two girls, and all grown up.  Three of them have children of their own now, the last one is a professional college student and drama queen.  (No, I’m serious.)  I have four granddaughters and one grandson, and these people keep life lovely and interesting.  I absolutely LOVE watching my kids as parents.  It’s better than any Red Box movie or live comedy show!   I’m sure I will be blogging some of that later on.  So, stay tuned!

As I round the corner to 50, I find myself at home a whole lot.  Currently unable to do my job any longer, currently unable to be deemed ‘disabled,’ I am what they call between a rock and a hard place.  I am a licensed nurse, and I loved my job, mostly.  I loved taking care of people, helping others.  I had that addiction to the feeling of living a worthwhile life, and coming home every day feeling like I made a difference in someone’s day – if not, in their lives.

The nurse in me was always so similar to the mother in me, that sometimes the lines did blur a bit, and so I did a lot of both, at work AND at home:  both mothering AND nursing.  Of all the hats I’ve worn and such, I guess some of my favorites would be, besides wife, mother and grandmother, is:  Bible scholar, children’s Bible teacher, cake decorator, hobbyist photographer, writer, and uncredentialed counselor (or just listener).

Also, I’ve been one to enjoy the experiences of new and different things along this path we like to call ‘life.’  I always had a desire to do a list of things before I leave this old world; I’ve come to call it my ‘Bucket List.’  Of course, being a wife and mother were at the top, but I always wanted to be a nurse, join the military, travel to Israel, Germany, and as many other places as possible.  I always wanted to do a lot of writing, publish at least one book, get a college degree, and live my last years as close to God as humanly possible, like Enoch, who walked with God until he was not, for God took him

I hope this little introduction to ME helps you to know me, to understand my blogs a little better, and maybe give you some insight into the things I write, and a glimpse of what I will be writing about in the future.  I hope to even entertain you here and there, along the way.  So please, come by often.  I hope to bless you each time you drop in:  May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you, and  be gracious unto you, may He lift up His countenance upon  you, and give you Peace.