I’ve long been an advocate for being yourself. I’ve always wanted to be shameless about what I like doing and having, but life always made that difficult. It is true that to some extent this was encouraged. My choice of books and music were never scrutinised, for instance.
Now that I’m adult and living on my own, there is much more freedom of personality to be had. And I know I am a non-conformist. Unfortunately, those around me and in particular those who have grown up with me tend to object to my choices.
But sometimes you get validation for the smaller quirks of your own path.
Amongst other things, I have a medieval-style cloak that I wear in Winter instead of a more conventional overcoat. It usually gets some funny looks, but rarely criticism. I tend to get a positive comment about once a fortnight. And because I live in one of the more conservative suburbs in Sydney, I tend to get the most sensitive to comments about it in the evening when I’m coming home.
Last night, however, I got two positive comments on the way home within five minutes! And even more impressively, one of those was from someone raised as Pagan from birth who she readily volunteered that they make their own cloaks. Mine is just functional, not anything like ceremonial in the least. And its not even cosplay-ish (I get comments about Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings,too). It was a piece of validation.
Likewise, I have a mild interest in Scottish kilts, too, and have a few inexpensive ones. Now, my mother particularly does not approve (which is somewhat ironic given she is of Scottish descent), and so my father is a bit ambivalent, too. Yet I got a phone call from him the other day asking if he could borrow a kilt for an event he is going to in a few weeks time! Validation? Quite possibly!
There were other examples, too. It was all a little strange, to be honest, but overall the validation that people are accepting me taking my own path was good.