Celebrating Differences

Growing up, my main passion was playing netball. I loved it and still do. I played weekly, trained, learned umpiring, coached a junior team and ended up playing with a representative team for a few seasons. Netball was the place I felt like I belonged. I was part of a team, I had friends in my team, and I had fun when I played. But when netball was taken out of the picture, I felt like I struggled to find my place.

I did stick with playing netball and saxophone (through school) for quite some time, but I wonder if I did these things because my older sister did them first and I wanted to be like her, or if I started them because I wanted to. 

Through primary and high school, I struggled to find hobbies or interests and friends that would stick for longer than a few months.
I suppose I was a bit of a follower and was scared of being that kid by themselves that had no friends. So I tried to make myself like the things my ‘friends’ liked. Bands, sports, football teams, boys. Everything my friends liked I figured I should like because we were friends, but it never felt right. Because of this, my group of friends changed a number of times and no matter which group I spent time with, I never quite felt like I fitted in properly.

One moment that sticks in my head was during high school (around year 9) when my 3 friends at the time ran away from me and hid from me during lunch time. I was so confused as to why they didn’t want to hang out with me but I didn’t want anyone to see that it hurt me. So I simply walked into the canteen area and joined in with another group that I was friendly with and started hanging out with them instead. I did have a few lonely days at school after this and I even remember spending one lunch in the music room reading and eating my lunch by myself.
Now I am glad I was ditched, because it has helped shape who I am today and it helped me realise you can’t be friends with everyone and you won’t like everything that your friends like.

Now, as a 30 year old mother, part time waitress and craftaholic, I don’t waste my time pretending to like something just because my friends do.
Crafting and crochet in particular is my passion. I have 2 friends who can crochet and do enjoy it but I don’t think their passion for it runs quite as deep or as close to an obsession as it does for me and in no way does that bother me. I love doing it and I don’t mind if my friends or family think I’m a nana because of my passion.
While it is nice to have friends who share your interests who you can learn from and I would love for more of my friends to enjoy crocheting like I do, this just leaves the door open for me to make new friends who do share my passions, and it takes nothing away from the friendships I have now.

Everyone has something they love doing and just because your passion isn’t the same as your friends, doesn’t mean you can’t have a great friendship.

In fact my best friend and I have very different tastes and interests. We have a wonderful strong friendship based on amongst other things, appreciating each others differences. It’s what gives us things to talk, debate or argue about and it’s how we learn so much from each other.

Differences should be celebrated and that is something I will be teaching my kids.

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