“You’re not special”
I know. It sounds harsh, unsupportive and mean-spirited. That’s not my intention. It’s my way of saying, “Yep, we’re all feeling it, living it, surviving it, and striving for it.” It’s pretty much my stock answer whenever one of the parents of my students shows up looking defeated after a 45 minute negotiation with their 4 year old. It’s usually something as mundane as ill-fitted elastic in their child’s underwear, but it can bring a parent to their knees. I get it. I don’t call my daughters’ bed-room the “situation room” for nothing. I’ve put in more tactical operations hours with my children than a retired FBI agent.
Even beyond motherhood, when my sisters or girlfriends are venting to me about their husbands, careers, life, or aging. I understand it.
We are very much connected, and most of the time, share similar desires, frustrations and stories. Maybe with just a slightly different flavor. I’m not trivializing these feelings or undermining the hardships in our unique lives; rather, I’m trying to establish a connection to one another. In fact, I feel whole-heartedly that life and living are shared experiences.
It occurred to me while I was grocery shopping. Alone, I was able to peruse the isles slowly and quietly. I observed the women around me. Women who were beautiful and fit, women who were beautiful and unfit, women pushing elderly loved-ones in wheel chairs, new moms, old moms, tired moms and perky moms. I began studying their faces and their body language, catching snippets of their conversations. (Yea, Yea, I realize it’s super creepy).
If I had an opportunity to speak with these women, would they say that they shared some common thread, wanting the same things out of life? I’m betting they would. I assume that we all strive for happiness, balance, strong connections to our family and friends, to be surrounded by love and a hot masseuse who gives massages on demand. (Maybe that’s just mine.) I do think that we want to raise well-adjusted contributing citizens of the world who are also, happy, balanced and connected. We want to take care of those we love while addressing the maintenance required button that is constantly flashing in our own brains. We want all this with a tight bottom and less wrinkles. We’re all chicks trying to love fully while living the dream. We’re NOT that special.
I’ve been pulling this idea out whenever I feel disconnected from someone or not quite jiving with their personality. It creates this surge of compassion within me and helps me to feel empathetic and, quite frankly, connected. It’s kind of like that old trick when you feel nervous in a room filled with strangers, you’re supposed to visualize everyone naked. Same principle. We all have the same bits and pieces. Well, in a nut shell, we all want the same end goal of love and happiness…and to feel cute. Right?
It’s all good. You’re not that special.