|via pretty stuff|
I was brought up with a similar guide; my Mum went to great lengths to instill in me the idea that I didn't have to conform and in that, gave me such an important gift. I learnt to have my own opinion early on and those of my friends who have got to know me very well (as it takes a long time to get to know me for proper) will often comment I have little quirks and individualities that are different.
In an evening email exchange with my friend Emma last night, we were discussing the the impression that we made on others and how disconcerting it can be when meeting new people. Even now, as a grown up woman with my own family, profession, small business, a full repertoire of nutritious recipes, a charity-giving, tax-paying adult; I can still be floored with self-doubt.
This self doubt is often spurred by the recognition that I am not the same as everyone else. I think differently, I feel differently, I even dress differently.
In the corporate world there are a gazillion methods to categorise and characterise your personality type in an effort to glean efficiencies (such a corporate word!) in how you deal with others; clients, colleagues, bosses and so on. I know from that this I have a professional personality that is actually at odds with my real personality. But I have learnt to adapt and I have taken on traits that are not natural to me, but which I can use when they are needed. Over the years I did wonder whether I became so adept at taking on these traits that I lost sight...of me.
Part of the journey has been to get back to what I am all about, and do it now unapologetically. But I do hang on to the fact that it's OK to be different...isn't it? :-)