I Might Be Different But I’m Okay.

A few days ago I announced I was taking a blogging break. So what am I doing writing a post? Well, I just want to jot down a few thoughts while they’re fresh in my mind.

The other day I received a letter from the education department: If I want to reregister my children as homeschoolers, I need to fill in the appropriate forms. If I don’t, I have to send details of the school my children will be attending.

School? What if my girls went to school? Would they cope? How would life change?

These were idle thoughts. I know I can’t send my girls to school. It wouldn’t be fair to them. They’d soon realise they are different to everyone else. The other kids would realise this too.

Are my children different because they have been unschooled? Or is ‘different’ who they are? Has unschooling just given them the freedom to be themselves?

I went to school. I was different. I didn’t fit in. I ended up feeling like I wasn’t worth knowing. I wasn’t popular. I wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t particularly clever. I ended up being a disppointment, never matching up to other people’s expectations. I didn’t make anything of my life. Or so I was led to believe.

But I’ve just realised I’m not the person I thought I was. I am not a disappointment. I’ve done lots of worthy things. This might not be the right thing to say. Maybe I can think it but it’s wrong to tell other people. I shall say it anyway: I am clever.

Yes, I’m different but that doesn’t mean I’m not okay.

My whole family is different. How are we not like most other people? I’m still trying to work that one out. I know we think differently. Often we are reluctant to share our thoughts. What if people think we’re weird? What if they don’t understand what we’re saying? Will they judge us if they heard our honest opinions? And what about our sense of humour? I could never tell you our ferret/possum story which makes us howl with laughter. It wouldn’t be safe. You might think there’s something wrong with us. I wouldn’t blame you. I used to think that too.

We’re different. School made me feel that different was wrong. I don’t want my children to experience that feeling, so I’ve sent off the necessary forms to the education department. I’m reregistering my children as homeschoolers. (Of course, I didn’t really consider school as an option.)

I’ve jotted down what I want to remember. Now back to my blogging break. I’ve got some more thinking to do…

Have you ever felt different? Do you know who you really are? Or have other people influenced how you see yourself?

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  1. Reply

    Ah difference. Viva la difference!
    Isn’t it fascinating how distinctive senses of humour can be?
    My husband and I fell in love due to our shared sense of humour which was rare for us to find. One of our sons shares it…the other not.
    Even though he and I are most alike in personality.
    I hope you have some revelations and inspirations fly your way!
    xo Jazzy Jack

    1. Reply

      Jazzy Jack,

      A shared sense of humour is a real gift. When we laugh at the same things it’s almost like a secret language because not everyone understands the joke. My family talks and laughs loudly when in public. Their sense of humour spills over into silly actions and facial expressions. I must admit I prefer to keep my sense of humour on a more quiet level but no one listens to me.

      I find your comment very interesting. It seems that personality and sense of humour aren’t always linked.

      Revelations and inspirations are indeed flying my way! It’s a bit inconvenient because I’ve been thinking when I should be sleeping. Funny how we assume we know ourselves and then we are surprised by a sudden thought that changes everything. In a way, it can be exciting!

      It’s so lovely to chat with you. Thank you for stopping by!

    • San
    • March 3, 2017

    You are valuable and what you do and write has enormous worth. Thank you so much for the kangaroo card bouncing it’s way across an ocean :-). Your podcasts keep me company whilst knitting or on my weekly drive to see uncle Bry. I listen to them on loop!! I do agree with you that social media can be insidious and like bindweed in the garden if left unchecked can take a strangle hold. I am going to write to you, sometimes it is nice to hold a letter in ones hand and read and share. We have finished reading Angels of Gum Tree Road and Pip announced today, ” I hope Sue is writing book number three!!” We also bought both your books as a birthday gift for our God daughter aged 11. Much love and big hugs dear friend xx

    1. Reply


      I’m so glad the kangaroo arrived safely. Bouncing its way across the ocean – I like that image! I also like the thought of a real letter. When I was writing the postcard, I felt a bit sad that my handwriting has become so poor. Not much of a gift at all to receive an untidy scrawl. I was going to research handwriting styles and practise. Perhaps I’ll still do that!

      You are so kind listening to my voice and thoughts while travelling. I wonder if I will make it to podcast episode 100. Some days I think that would be an easy task. Other days, recording 11 more episodes sounds like a huge challenge. Probably when inspiration next hits, I won’t be able to stop myself running towards the computer, plugging in the mic and sharing my latest idea!

      It sounds like Pip enjoyed my last Angels book. I’m so glad. San, you always make me feel very loved. Thank you so much for making me feel valuable too. Sending lots of love to you and your family. xxxooo

    • Nancy Saffield
    • March 3, 2017

    I am so glad you are different Sue. You are a wonderful unschooling mom and I hope to one day be as confident as you are.

    1. Reply


      I’ve had lots of time to experiment, make mistakes, experience successes… Confidence does grow when we observe our kids loving and thriving and enjoying life. This doesn’t mean that life is always smooth sailing. But somehow we manage to get over the occasional bump and keep going! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your kind words of encouragement.

    • Nancy Saffield
    • March 3, 2017

    I hope you have gotten my return emails to yours on my yahoo and Gmail accounts?

    1. Reply


      I did receive your emails. Thank you! I enjoyed writing to you earlier today. I hope all is well with you and your family!

  2. Reply

    I’m just writing a post about being different, too, Sue! I like knowing that you wrote this because you felt inspired to break your blogging break. 🙂 I hope to hear your ferret/possum story one day. 😉 You’ve been in my thoughts – especially as we’ve just booked our flights to Australia for next February! xx

    1. Reply


      I can’t wait to read your post! Different is a topic that’s been on my mind a lot. Yes, it was a good feeling wanting to share my thoughts in a post rather than thinking, “I should write a post so what shall I write about?”

      I feel like I’m on a search for something. I’ve been hopping all over the Internet reading posts including yours and then thinking about things. In a way it’s exciting. But it’s also tiring! Maybe I’ll share more when I get my thoughts into order.

      We shall tell you the ferret/possum story when you come to visit us next February (if not before)! I’m sure you will understand our humour and not be too shocked. It’s a story a bit like the one you shared when your cat died. I’m excited at the thought of possibly meeting you next year. I do hope we can get together even if only for a short time. xx

    • Gina
    • March 4, 2017

    Your ministry to unschoolers is so valuable! And I love your confidence! Thank you for all you do!

    1. Reply


      Thank you for stopping by with your kind feedback. It does make a difference. Although I feel very confident as far as unschooling goes, I am not always a confident blogger or author. I look around and see other more successful people doing things so much better than me and often feel like giving up. Anyway, I do appreciate your words. Thank you!

    • Lisa
    • March 5, 2017

    I have a personal fondness for quirky or different people and so have thought about this quite often. Have you ever noticed that some of the most popular characters on TV are the odd or quirky characters yet in real life people don’t have the same patience or fondness for them? I simply don’t understand it. I love aging as I don’t feel the need to fit in as much as I did in my youth and can be as quirky, odd and weird as I like to be.

    1. Reply


      I really love your observation on ageing. Despite repeated attempts to become comfortable with growing older, occasionally I do feel uncomfortable with my older self. I especially yearn to look younger. I don’t want to be lumped in, because of my appearance, with the ‘old ladies’ at church, for example. (I’m sure these old ladies are wonderful people!) I wonder if people relate to me differently as I age. But your comment has given me a new view on the whole matter. Not feeling like I have to ft in, letting myself be as weird and as quirky as I like, these are good reasons for loving the fact I’m ageing. Thank you so much for sharing that thought!

  3. Reply

    Hi Sue, What a lovely post to read. My guys are feeling the sting at being different in their youth group. I sometimes wonder if it is because they ARE different or whether it is in fact that they are more AUTHENTICALLY themselves. I’m not sure what the answer is but I sure am glad my guys don’t have to feel like they are weird everyday at school.
    I love Lisa’s comment above – that is exactly what I told my youngest twin – as she gets older she’ll stop worrying what other people think. I’m the same as Lisa – as I get older I kinda like myself more, accepting the quirks as the things that make me me (if you see what I mean?)
    I really love reading your thoughts, Sue – you’re my unschooling guru!!
    I wish you much rest and relaxation and thinking during your blogging break xx

    1. Reply


      “I sometimes wonder if it is because they ARE different or whether it is in fact that they are more AUTHENTICALLY themselves.” What an interesting thought! Oh, I do love turning over ideas in my mind and now I’m thinking about that one. This unschooling journey is turning out to be so much more complex than I ever imagined. It’s much more than following a few principles. Claire, thank you so much for pondering with me. I love how we can share and learn together, and encourage each other. And share our families’ latest adventures too. I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you for your kind words! xx

  4. Reply

    Ha! Yes, I have always been different. At school it felt like a curse, but it really has been the greatest blessing. Not being accepted early on taught me not to crave social acceptance, and I really became closer to who I was created to be because of that.

    I really enjoy reading your blog, but I also really enjoy reading your conversations in the comments! Many thanks to all your commenters!

    1. Reply


      I didn’t enjoy school at all. I was a fringe dweller and felt unaccepted and not well liked. I must admit that, unlike you, I have craved social acceptance. I’ve needed someone to tell me I’m okay. But now all that doesn’t matter. I’m me and I’m glad I’m different! I guess I’ve reached where you are but it took me much longer to get there.

      I love reading the comments too. It’s good when readers stop by to continue the conversation. Thank you for taking the time to do that!

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