Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 237 – Me

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The things that make me different are the things that make me.

Winnie The Pooh

Gotta love a bit of Pooh Tao, thanks Spidey!

Go on, hands up. Who is guilty of thinking they need to be ‘like’ others to be accepted?

Thinking a certain way, wearing particular clothes, listening to the ‘in’ music, watching the films everyone is raving about… that kind of thing?

Why do we always want to be keeping up with the Joneses? Why can’t we just be ourselves, and why do you think the world won’t accept you as you are?

As a child I was always different from my school peers. There weren’t many Indian girls in my school. I was never singled out because of it, but where they were horseriding and having piano lessons at the weekends, I was going to family weddings and attempting to learn how to read and write my home language, Punjabi (I failed… can speak and understanding fluently, but the reading/writing? Nope!)

We grew up together and as the others were worrying about prospective boyfriends and dates for the ball we had at 15, then discussing the late night bars they began to frequent, and clubs, I was still there, enjoying the music they listened to, and joining in with their chats about crushes on teeny bopper pop idols, and our own real life crushes, but I was also still busy every weekend with my family (it’s huge, there are neverending lists of events and functions to attend, even now!)

It didn’t single me out in a negative way, my friends just knew I wouldn’t be turning up at the non uniform day in a miniskirt and cropped top, despite it being the fashion. I’d be wearing whatever sensible clothes my mum thought were best.

Because that was me. Ratty. Yes, that was my nickname at school. Not because I was bad tempered or anything, but because my full first name is Ratinder, and we watched The Wind In The Willows one day and the character Ratty came up… and so I was christened. One of my oldest school friends still calls me Ratty, over thirty years later!

As I hit university, I admit, I went through the whole fitting in thing. I wore the clothes everyone else did, went to all the clubs, drank all the drinks, and skipped the lectures… but it took me a while to realise that that wasn’t really me.

In all honesty, it took me a good twenty more years to find ‘me’.

Yes I was always, and will always be Ritu the Daughter, Ritu the Sister, Ritu the Wife, Ritu the Daughter-in-Law, Ritu the Mother, Ritu the Colleague, Ritu the Uni friend, Ratty the school mate.

But I no longer conform to what others may expect. I will wear what I want and feel comfortable in. I will eat what I fancy. I will go where I feel a pull to attend, not be forced to go to events that are a drain on my soul. I will laugh. I will cry. I will write. I will read. I will do everything that I enjoy. That makes me, me.

I won’t be a stereotype.

I will be me.

So… tell me, when did you realise it is okay to be YOU?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rae Reads
    Sep 18, 2019 @ 00:51:02

    What a liberating philosophy!
    Because I was more concerned with pleasing God and my parents, I often didn’t “fit in,” but I never felt sad because of it, and eventually my friends came around to MY way of thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Rebecca Moon Ruark
    Sep 17, 2019 @ 03:13:17

    I LOVE this, Ritu! I went to college with a girl who became a very close friend (who was Punjabi, like you) and from her I met her circle of Indian friends–and they were my “in” to so many festivals and family gatherings and weddings I wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise. They, and my Filipino friend–also with a huge family–were like my extended family, since my own was 12 hours away. It was a joy to fit in and discover myself in relation to such different families. These days, I don’t have to try so hard to “fit in.” My boys always think I’m a dork, so there’s no one to impress. Getting older is lovely that way! Thank you for giving me such fun memories to think about this evening!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Masha
    Sep 16, 2019 @ 21:35:33

    It took me a lot of years but I have finally arrived, most of the time LOL those old habits of caring what others will think like to slide back in every so often. Great post thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. thereluctantpoet
    Sep 16, 2019 @ 01:15:10

    Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. willowdot21
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 20:57:28

    I still need a little convincing Sis 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. johnrieber
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 17:15:14

    It’s a fascinating question…there have been books, movies and TV shows that focus on nothing more than what it’s like to “fit in” with what is considered mainstream and normal…I think in many ways I’ve always “danced to the beat of a different drum” for good and bad…you have to be yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. syl65
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 17:06:51

    Trying to be like others or fit in only robs us of our identity.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. OIKOS™-Publishing
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 13:27:47

    Ratty the school mate? LoL Come on, tell more about your past.life. 😉 Sorry!
    Oh, every time i am looking into the mirror i understand this is the truth, i have to deal with it. LoL
    Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Darlene
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 13:14:38

    I found it easier to be me in Canada. I live amongst an older British expat community in Spain now and feel I have to mind my peas and ques. I think the Britsh community is so much more strict about how you should and shouldn’t behave and that you should conform. We are more relaxed about those things in Canada.I’m glad you are comfortable being you. Love the Winnie the Pooh quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Mary Smith
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 11:58:27

    A lovely post, Ritu. I’m not sure I’ve entirely succeeded yet in never worrying about fitting – but I’m getting better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Erika Kind
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 10:43:46

    Exactly! The differences are what makes us unique and uniqueness is what tells us that we need everybody to be whole!
    When did I realize it? The moment before I decided to write “I’m Free” 😉
    Happy Sunday, sis!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Rachael Stray | https://rachaelstray.com/
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 10:26:31

    I was often the odd one out. I was fiercely independent when I was younger. An example being when Newcastle united were in some cup final and we were allowed a black and white non uniform day. I’m not a Newcastle fan so I came to school in head to toe green literally the only kid in the entire school not in black and white. I tried to fit in more at secondary school and I think now I’m much more comfortable in my skin.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. tidalscribe
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 09:45:52

    Sounds like you made the best of what your lives had to offer. Plenty of people don’t actually want to follow the crowd, but being a teenager is not knowing yet who you really are!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Sep 15, 2019 @ 09:49:49

      This is just it, when peer pressure takes over your own thoughts as they aren’t quite mature enough to scream louder in your head than the thoughts of the masses!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  14. The Avid Reader
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 08:24:58

    A really thought provoking post. I’m only just starting the process of not caring so much about what people and I’m in my thirties.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Sep 15, 2019 @ 09:51:14

      It really does take time, and I applaud those who realise and are able to impelment this much sooner in life. I was in m y 40’s before I really cottoned on to the fact that I could be me, and not care about what everyone else did, if it didn’t suit me or my thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  15. robbiesinspiration
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 07:42:33

    itI went through a short period of about 2 years in high school when I tried to conform and be like others. It never really worked. I am a loner, I read classic books, I listen to Broadway music, I attend theatre and ballet. During my first year out of school, I reverted back to type and I have remained that way. I love blogging, I meet lots of like minded people here.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  16. joylennick
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 07:26:33

    Great that you are really YOU, Ritu. Sometimes the ‘mores’ of the time and place you were born can inflict unrealistic pressures and expectations..My clever Godmother tried to mould me to her high standards which I couldn’t aspire to and I spent years trying to please everyone and do what was expected of me. Time and experience taught me to be myself and sometimes think ‘outside of the box.’ The world is overloaded with sheep…Hugs x

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Sep 15, 2019 @ 09:53:30

      Oh you are so right there Joy… sheep everywhere! I try very hard to instill the importance of individuality into my own children, but they will have to learn the process themselves… it’s not something I can make them do. There will be periods of wanting to fit in, before they find the shoe that fits them!

      Like

      Reply

  17. pranabaxom
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 06:08:58

    Ratinder, Ritu, Ratty. I like Ritu. Ratinder is too Punjabi. Be yourself, that’s what matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. meenawalia
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 05:59:13

    Beautiful post.thought provoking..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. CHINA ALEXANDRIA LIVING THE DREAM
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 05:49:53

    Reblogged this on LIVING THE DREAM.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. CHINA ALEXANDRIA LIVING THE DREAM
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 05:49:31

    JUST BE YOURSELF, AND LET PEIPLE TAKE YOU AS YOU ARE, CHINA

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. IreneDesign2011
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 05:42:42

    I’m happy to read, that found out, it is okay just to be yourself Ritu 🙂
    While we are young, it is a little more delicate to act, like we feel for, as friendships in this time more or less demand equal minding.
    I have tried my best to just be myself mostly of my life and some hate it and others are acting respectful to this. I don’t mind any longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. Shivangi
    Sep 15, 2019 @ 05:14:16

    Such a sensible post Ritu👍😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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