Something different - my Northern Blog Awards nomination
1. not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality.
novel and unusual.
"try something deliciously different"
I have always pushed-back against the idea of fitting in. There were times, growing up, when opportunity to behave of a particularly sheep-ish variety (that is, of a ‘follow the crowd’, aka the popular kids, mentality) and I always (sometimes eventually, rather than straight away, thanks to my tendency to be swept up in the wanting to ‘belong’) refused, the niggle at the back of my mind that suggested to do so would make for an easier life ever-quietened by my want to be true to self in any and all situations.
I realised early on in my writing journey that the same came to be about the way I storytell. As far back as when I started sharing as Tori’s Tales in February 2013, I remember that the words I (dug around to find to - man, did I ‘extra, extra! Read all about it’ back then) read about how to be successful (let’s leave that there for the time being because, oh! The black holes into which we could fall if we were to start trying to define ‘success’!) online, or to be successful as someone who wrote for an online sphere, came down to being able to ‘niche’ oneself, which always sat super, the-reigns-are-too-tight uncomfortably with me. Everything I wrote fought against the necessity to be labelled, unfolding as a ‘will not be pidgeonholed’ variety, ebbing and flowing in constant companion to the way in which I lead my life (or, life lead me, at times).
It is with ebbs, however, that dark clouds like-a-strong-cuppa brew, and I’ve admittedly found myself battling with sharing-self-doubt for the past 6+ months, lost in the shift of a how-to-do-it-mindset that clung to self-suggestions of the ‘I’m just not good/interesting/valuable/talented enough’ (delete where appropriate not necessary, because hand-in-hand they came) variety. I’ve been scared to post, tentative about continuing to do so in a way I felt happy about because of being more concerned with the reaction, coupled with constant questioning about whether or not I’d be accepted over listening to my (from the) gut instinct...telling myself that my decision to share (again) in a more personal, just-about-me style wasn’t the way to go, because doing such would be (wait for it) unpopular (algorithm anxiety, if you please). Grasping at late-night-thought straws, I reduced self to threadbare sharing, sounding out ideas (only) into the recesses of dark-corners of my mind, and searching for a ‘something, anything’ sign that would afford me the courage needed to clamber back aboard the flow...
...which came in the form of a (most unexpected, take-me-aback) ‘Something different’ Northern Blog Awards nomination that offered reassurance for my just being me, lighting a fire in my belly that has had me toe-brushing the ground with steps that feel air-light, and plugging self back into my mains with an appreciation for my ‘not the same as another’ way of tongue-tripping tales off quick-flight fingertips.
The moral of the story? Be yourself. It is only with self that we spend our entire lives, and to contort to the wishes of others means allowing ourselves to become distant, unfamiliar...a stranger.
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” - Nietzsche
Own your different. I fully intend (and am very much planning) to do so.
All votes are cherished, my dears, and the 13 year old me who stuck to her braces-on-teeth guns and stood up for herself from-the-bottom-of-her-heart thanks you just as much as the 32 year old me who is finally learning what it is to be comfortable in her own, this-is-the-youngest-I'll-ever-be skin!