The Ugly Duckling (I've found my species...)

29 January 2013

Do you know the story of The Ugly Duckling?

It has been decades since I heard the actual story, and can't even tell you most of it, but the main idea is this - there's this one duckling that doesn't look like or act like any of the other little ducklings in his family.  They tease him and taunt him, and he's very sad because he doesn't understand why except that he is just different.  At the end of the story it's realized that he's not a duck at all; he's a swan, and he finds his own species and they all live happily ever after.  Or something like that.

Why am I thinking about this?

I've made a realization in the last few days as to why I love this place and these people so much, and why I know this is where I'm meant to be for a long time.  I've found my species.

For much of my adult life, and more and more so as I get older, I've just always known there's something 'different' about me.  Nothing bad, mind you. This isn't a self-bashing exercise, nor am I trying  to drum up some encouragement.  So please don't read into what I am saying. 

I'm inching towards my mid-thirties... I'm single and okay with that.  I'm not pining away for a man, nor do I dream of an eventual wedding.  Now, I'm not opposed to that, don't get me wrong. If the right person swept me off my feet, of course I'd be thrilled. But I'm not longing for that, or planning my life around that. I don't have a deep desire to have children.  I'm adventurous and independent, I know who I am.  I know what I want out of life and I know why I'm here on this earth. I'm not interested in settling down, achieving the American dream.  And reality is, I don't know alot of other people who can say the same thing.  Do you? 

Most of my closest friends have spouses, families, have settled down, or are much younger than me and still longing for and planning for that day... and that is awesome. I'm not bashing that AT ALL so again, don't put words into my mouth or assume insinuations I'm not making.  But really, objectively, back home, I'm different.  (Are you getting the reference to the Ugly Duckling now?)  My family and friends back home were and are and will continue to be critical to my survival and growth and livelihood, and I wouldn't be here without them.  But...
Here, at this time, on the Africa Mercy - I've found my species. I've found people whose hearts beat at the same frequency as mine.  People who know who they are, why they were created, with a heart to serve and experience adventure and encourage others in the journey.  Strong, independent, faith-filled and servant hearted sisters and brothers who "get" me in a way I've seldom experienced.  I'm so grateful for this community.  I'm so grateful for mentors whom I can look up to and learn from.  I'm so excited about this season I get to be here, onboard... with my species.


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