I can often find so many ways to feel separate, different and isolated. For example, I am an “older mom” of a 15 year old son. My peers who have children are no longer actively parenting. Their children are independent adults with children of their own. The parents of my son’s friends and classmates are significantly younger, often with young children to parent for years to come.
I am in the dreaded category of “special needs mom” as my son has ASD, a.k.a. autism. My son isn’t playing sports, or excelling academically or getting ready to drive.
Last year I did a crazy thing and took yoga teacher training, making a dramatic career change. Guess who was the oldest student in the training? Guess who didn’t have a dance, gymnastic or athletic background?
Okay, so I have never been “the girl next door”. I wasn’t popular, didn’t date much, made my own clothes and had a weird sense of humor. Many of these qualities still hold true today.
But I have learned that when I reach outside myself, my self-fashioned isolation, I find amazing connection. Talking with another parent about our son’s struggles with adolescence dissolves all our superficial differences. Sharing my thoughts with a young yoga teacher about creating a welcoming & fun space to practice yoga unites us in a common, passionate vision. And when I let it out (instead of taking things so seriously) people sometimes even appreciate my sense of humor.