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  • Writer's pictureGail Weiner

Its all about me....

I've spent most of my life trying to fit in, despite always feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I desperately wanted to be like my peers in the neighbourhood I grew up in, to follow the same religion and behave in the same ways, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to mould myself into the shape of "normal", no matter how many disapproving looks I got from my parents or how many times I was told to "just be like everyone else."

But you know what? Some of the best years of my life have been the ones where I've embraced my inner misfit and given a big, fat middle finger to everyone's expectations. When I was 26, I ditched the path that would have made my parents happy and instead, I enrolled in journalism school. I waitressed to pay the bills and spent my days lost in the joy of writing. I felt alive in a way I never had before, like I was finally letting my freak flag fly and dancing to the beat of my own weird little drum.

Fast forward a few decades to when I was 47. I took a six-month sabbatical from my business, which miraculously kept chugging along without me. Instead of using that time to be "productive" or "responsible," I went out dancing and walking up mountains. Not hiking, mind you. Walking. Because hiking just isn't authentically me. I hung out with a group of people who were way younger than me, but I didn't give a flying fuck what anyone thought. I was too busy being unapologetically, unabashedly myself.

The truth is, I've never been "normal," whatever that means. For years, I saw my differentness as a fault that needed fixing. At school, we're told to sit still, be quiet, and follow the rules. Society tells us we need to fit into neat little boxes - the right friend group, the right hobbies, the right life path. It's like we're all expected to follow this pre-written script: go to school, get married, buy a house with a white picket fence, have 2.5 kids, drive a sensible saloon, and take an annual family holiday to the beach. Rinse and repeat until you die.

But what if that script doesn't fit? What if the mere thought of living that life makes you want to tear your hair out and run screaming into the night? Well, my friend, I'm here to tell you that you're not alone. And more importantly, you're not broken or wrong or bad. You're just you. And that's more than enough.

I spent so many years trying to cram myself into a mould that just didn't fit. I tried to be the perfect employee, the perfect friend, the perfect daughter. But all that trying just left me feeling exhausted and inauthentic. It's taken me a long time - far longer than I'd like to admit - to accept that I am who I am, and that's pretty incredible.

I don't have a label, and I don't want one. I'm not a type or a category or a box to be ticked. I'm a human being, with all the beautiful, messy complexity that entails. And I'm finally learning to embrace that complexity, to revel in it, to let it lead me on adventures I never could have imagined back when I was trying so hard to be "normal."

So if you see me out there doing some wild and crazy things, or making choices that don't fit your idea of what a 54-year-old woman should be doing? Well, with all due respect and a whole lot of love, that's none of your damn business. I'm doing me, and I'm having a blast doing it.

Life's too short to spend it following someone else's script. We're all here to experience the full range of human emotions and experiences - love, connection, nature, loss, happiness, and everything in between. And the only way to truly do that is to be ourselves, unapologetically and with our whole hearts.

So here's to the misfits, the rebels, the square pegs in a world of round holes. Here's to giving expectations the middle finger and dancing to the beat of our own drums. Here's to being authentically, unabashedly, gloriously ourselves.

Because in the end, that's all we can be. And trust me, it's more than enough.

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