Coming To Terms With Not Being The Person Your Parents Intended You To Be…

…and realizing that that’s okay.

I come from a very conservative Southern family. You know, the typical for Georgia. There’s nothing wrong with being in conservative family in the South. It does get a touch awkward when you, and eventually your family, realizes you’re…uh…not so conservative. I know, I know, the horror! But really, I stand for most things my family stands against. I’m a Feminist, I’m Pro-Choice, I’m not a Christian (not a big deal to my mom and step-dad, but a travesty for the rest of my family), I align, politically, mostly with democrats, and so on. In short I am the antithesis of my family.

The realization that I was the family black sheep used to cause me quite a bit of distress. I rarely spoke out about my views. I mean would you say something at a family get together while a relative was saying that people that believed as you did were the reason America was in such an awful state? My guess is no, probably not. I just try to avoid their mockery all around…even though I’m often the subject of it, because of something stupid I’ve done or said. My brain, body, and mouth aren’t always in sync with each other so stupidity, hilarity, and weirdness is bound to happen on a daily basis with me.

Last night the Man-Friend and I went to dinner with my parents. While sitting in the restaurant Mama and my Step-Dad finally got see just how different I am compared to them. I think it was an eye-opening–I think that’s a safe word to use–experience for them. For me, it was a bit more liberating. I mean I’ve spent 23 years placing myself into the background of family events, and I refused to discuss things that actually interest me because I was worried that I’d be ridiculed by my family. Well, I’ve discovered that, at least with my parents, they may not agree with my views, but they accept me. And that means the world to me.

I will continue to chip away at my insecurities of stating my views around my family, or just accept that the things that I believe will rub some family members the wrong way and deal with their outbursts accordingly. I’m becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin, and it’s a great feeling. Even though I am the family black sheep I’ve realized I’m still a valued and loved member of my family.

Remember: We don’t have to agree on everything, or have the same belief systems to love and accept the people in our lives.

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