be different

‘Mom, I’m gay.’ I was crying so loudly. ‘So what? You’re my son. Nothing is going to change.’: Man loses mother to heart attack, wishes he ‘thanked her for her words’

“It was Christmas time. I’d just finished getting my tree and laid down when my brother called. ‘Mom passed.’ Time stopped. Silence. I instantly threw up. The next day, I drove home. The first thing I saw was her pile of presents. She’d wrapped them and when she finished, she sat down and never got up again. I wish I could’ve thanked her, told her how much her words meant to me. I thought I had more time but, out of nowhere, time ran out.”

‘The bride who refused to cover her birthmark.’ People wonder why I’m not ashamed.’: Woman with nevus birthmark celebrates her ‘distinctive look,’ reminds us to ‘love ourselves’

“At church, I made eye contact with a lady. She gestured for me to remove my birthmark from my face. I ignored her, but every time I gazed her direction, she’d make the same gesture. At the end of the service, the pastor asked if anyone had final remarks. She stood up. ‘I want the young lady to remove what’s was on her face.’ I was 9 years old.”

‘You guys go to the coolest places!’ The comment stopped me in my tracks. I rarely leave the house; I put makeup on once a week, and with 2 toddlers, outings are usually cut short.’: Mom reminds us that ‘no one is living the life they post on social media’

“My kids were having a bad day. I threw in the towel and left the party, secretly crying. I sobbed, snapped a photo. I could barely pull myself together. No one is living the life they post on social media. Stop comparing yourself.”

‘Here’s to being 30 and married!’ Everyone lifted their glasses in unison. I drove home in tears, 33 and single.’: Woman faces ‘stigma’ for being ‘unmarried and childless’

“My breakup was fresh. I had 2 weeks to shove all my belongings into trash bags. I noticed some whispering, glances my way. They finished off with a hurried cheers. ‘Lisa! Do you have any funny dating stories?!’ The exchange was, frankly, humiliating. I felt like I was deficient in hitting life’s expected mile markers: Marriage. Children. More children. As innocent as conversation can be, it hurts.”

‘You need your husband’s permission.’ I begged. I didn’t feel maternal. I was told I’d ‘change my mind.’: Woman refused sterilization procedure multiple times, ‘they made me feel dirty’

“Every year during my annual exam, I asked to have my ‘tubes tied.’ My doctor always quickly refused. As I aged, I still didn’t want kids and neither did my partner. This time around, I was about to lose my health insurance. I was told the procedure was ‘reserved for women in their 30s or 40s who had at least 2 children.’ As an adult woman, I needed my husband’s blessing to make decisions about MY body. I was stunned.”

‘I’m too loud, too quiet. A hot mess, too organized. I’ll always be too much for some, and not enough for others.’: Woman finally accepts she is ‘not everyone’s cup of tea’

“We over-analyze texts. We wonder why we didn’t get the invite. We see glances, whispers and assume they’re directed at us. We waste so much of our time worrying about other people’s opinions only to leave ourselves feeling empty. But, why? For what? This is YOUR journey. Stop doubting your own decisions. Stop looking over your shoulder. Stop trying to please everyone else.”

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