We all like to be recognised for our individualism, being unique, special, different, or which ever word you like to use that indicates that you are not just another fish in the school, looking the same, doing the same. I always look at the gothic community who go to extremes to be different. But then, all the “goth people” look the same, so how different are they really?
I don’t specifically go out to be different, but I do like to swim upstream and will often rebel against conformity. Example – my parents stayed in Saudi Arabia for a period of my life. I visited over university holidays, and the Moslem culture goes against everything that I see fair in terms of treatment to women. I was stubborn and my mother had all her days to get me to understand what could happen if I didn’t abide by their rules. I don’t have a specific dress style, but I see clothing as an outlet to be creative, and people have commented that I have a unique style. My hair is my biggest creativity tool – I know it grows back and I have no fear of making drastic changes to it. So I do believe I am different and like to think that I stand out from the crowd.
However, I was walking to Sandton and walked past a woman who has the same hairstyle that I have. Those who don’t know me, my hair is boy-short on the right hand side and longer than shoulder length on the left, not a common hairstyle in SA. When I saw her, I smiled and had the happy thought that we have something that is the same. So I’m happy to say I’m different, but I get a happiness boost when I see someone who is the same.
Think about it – sometimes we go to the extremes to be different, but we are also constantly looking for that space where we can share something common and feel safe and accepted. Maybe this is our yin and yang, maybe it is because it drives to never be comfortable where we are and always looking to grow. Maybe the similarities is the common ground that creates our relationship circles, and the uniqueness is what gives us space to grow within that circle and have an impact on other people’s lives.
The same, but different…