Tuesday 8 May 2007

Same? Different? Same difference.

I was the different girl who believed that God and everything was connected. Different for believing there are no real differences! Kind of funny really.

I wrote that at Kombai about one of my childhood memories of being DIFFERENT

Back then I was just a kid who wanted to fit in to a new school and new country. To be accepted. Back then I wanted teachers to stop nagging me and getting annoyed by the fact I was different. I wanted friends. I wanted to be "same" - not "different". I tried, but it never really worked. By the end of my high school years I became the girl who refused to be "same". In my twenties I think I fought to be "different", then in my thirties I accepted I was "just me".

When I immigrated to Scotland I reverted back to being nine again. I was back feeling lost and DIFFERENT. I reverted right back to wanting to fit in. This time it has taken me four years to reach the "just me" stage. It took me two decades the first time around so at least I can say I am learning things faster now!

There are people who fight their whole lives to be "same" or "different". So many of us never learn how to be happy being "just me". As an astrologer I know for a fact there are about 298 5984 different possible "me" combinations so why on earth we expect to all be "same" is beyond me! It's not even fun being "same". Everyone being the same would be so boring.

Yet we all fear "different" in one form or another.

DIFFERENT is that person from another country who has moved into your neighbourhood. Not the SAME religion. Not the SAME race. Not the SAME language or culture.

DIFFERENT is the man down the street with that disease, the woman with the mental health problem, the girl who is physically disabled, or the boy who stammers.

The Christian standing in a church, then standing in a Mosque - first "same", then "different". Every day we all flow through various, often subtle, permutations of being same and different.

DIFFERENT is what makes life interesting. Understanding how we are SAME in spite of being DIFFERENT is the biggest, most exciting, miracle of being human.

DIFFERENT is you.. depending on where you stand at any moment. Just as every single fact I tell you on this blog about myself will make you see me as SAME and DIFFERENT depending on a million different ways you choose to define those two words. By my culture, my age, my gender, how much money I make, how thin I am.. or not!



Same difference.


  1. Hi Michelle, thank you so much for the response. I don't think we disagree at all - it is just hard to express nunace in such a short piece. I would like to clarify my point.

    If an area is lacking in fundamental sociopolitical stability, then stabilization must be the first priority. Education means nothing if the area is war torn and/or AIDS ravaged and there are no jobs or economy.

    But once there is a stable sociopolitical environment, even if only in the context of a subsitence level economy, then I believe that money is better spent on education than on healthcare.

    I posted this reply on my blog but then realized you might not see it so I'm dual posting here. http://old-things.blogspot.com

  2. Hi Adam

    I found it and have replied on your blog. :-)

  3. For me, the hardest thing to accept (since I've only been in Finland for around 2 months) is my own stupidity. It does feel like being a little kid again when you move halfway across the world...and it's not easy when you feel like you often do the wrong things (in my case it has more to do with learning to cook and other daily stuff). It's hard for me to learn to stop beating myself up whenever I feel I've done something "stupid", but I think I'm getting better at forgiving myself and being gentler to myself he he he...

    I think God allows us to feel bad emotions so that we can empathize better other people who're going through similar experiences, so I welcome all those "nasty" experiences as well...since I believe we'll only know ourselves much deeper when we're outside of our own little safe box called "familiarity". :-))))

    Yikes...now I'm rambling he he he...better stop now. THX for your comment on my blog. :-)))

  4. Hi Amel

    Hey, don't worry about rambling, I enjoyed reading that. :-)

    I was lucky in that I was born in a British colony (Rhodesia-Zimbabwe) so many things in the UK were familiar from my childhood, but it's still a shock moving countries.

    Little things got me. Things like the fact here they say "cheers" to mean thank you. In South Africa they say "cheers" to say goodbye.

    The first time I heard my husband say "cheers" in a shop.. I walked out. I wondered why he was still in there and now looking at me like I was mad. You do feel stupid!


  5. That's RIGHT! It IS the little thing that really bugs me at times.

    THX again for your comment. :-)))



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