Why?

As I was talking politics tonight, someone said to me, “Well, your friend Rand Paul…” and continued with their theory of why Rand is no good. I stopped them and said that he’s no a friend of mine. I’ve never even met the man.

I am not here to defend Rand Paul. He has a lot more to prove to me before I stand behind him or anyone else for that matter. I have not put my support behind anyone for the 2016 election so I don’t really understand why suddenly Rand Paul becomes “my friend” simply because he’s running for president.

Yes, I worked on his father’s campaign in 2012. Yes, I find him interesting. Yes, he is the closest to being a Libertarian out of those who appear to be running for the next president from the two major parties but he is by no means a Libertarian, which happens to be the party I most closely identify with, so… how exactly is this man my friend?

Oh, wait. That’s right. Others like to place me in a category, for a reason which I have yet to fully understand but my goodness, do they try.

Is it because I am part of what I like to call the “political super-minority”?  I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I identify closest to Libertarian yes, but in truth, I adhere to no parties’ principles except for my own and I take full responsibility for such behavior. I get that I am not the norm and I don’t often have agreeing opinions with others, especially in terms of politics, but what’s so wrong with disagreeing? Why do others around me consistently try to place me within the confines of some person or party? Often times, if I state my opinion, suddenly I’m a lover of Obama or I want McCain in the oval office. Does it make them feel better? Does it help them in some way to categorize me?

My parents raised me to not care about what others think. I thank them for that. It’s made me okay with others disagreeing with me. It’s made me understand why I do what I do. It’s made me learn that it’s up to each one of us to figure out what is right and wrong and act accordingly, not confine ourselves to some label or group thinking. And now, it’s helping me understand why others try to place me in a group. Allow me to give an example…

I was raised a Catholic. I was taught by nuns in elementary school. I went to church. I took the Eucharist. I’m Sicilian and this religion is important to my ancestors, near and past. Very important.

So I was placed in this religion but as I grew up, I started questioning why I was doing what I was doing. When it came time for Confirmation, I really started to question things. What does this mean to me? Do I want to be here? Do I feel as they want me too? Is this something I’m drawn to on an honest level?

My mother and I were brought before the woman in charge of the Confirmation classes I was taking. I believe it was because of my “behavior”. It was at this meeting that my rebellion against organized religion was sparked and it became the start of others getting upset when I didn’t feel the same way they did. I became wrong for not believing in the God others around me did. I wasn’t acting as part of their group, so therefore I had a behavior problem.

But why?

What’s so wrong with thinking differently? Who is the arbiter of right and wrong? And if someone does think differently than you, do they have to be boxed into a category? Is it so they can be attacked?

I’ve been watching the Star Wars original series and can’t help but heed the message that we can live among all types of different people because deep down, it’s the force of goodness inside us that will prevail.

Differences

I will be moving in with my boyfriend next week. This will be my first time living with someone who isn’t family or a roommate. I’m very excited but also a bit nervous. I love change but it’s not the easiest thing for me to do.

As we make preparations for our new abode, I’ve noticed that moving in with someone really magnifies the differences between you both. Fortunately, my boyfriend and I agree on the big things, the deal breaker stuff, you know things like “you don’t smoke crack, right?” and “alone time is important!” But we are most certainly different and this whole moving-in process has had an interesting way of illuminating these differences…

I think moving in with someone can go one of two ways. Yes, I’m basing this on what I’ve seen from others who have moved in with each other and I’m generalizing, but I think it all boils down to two roads: either you allow your differences to conquer your relationship and you two become opposing sides rather than a partnership OR you allow your differences to compliment each other and provide each of you opportunities to demonstrate love, patience, understanding and compromise.

I believe in washing towels after every other use, my boyfriend does not.
He likes the sheets tucked in when making the bed, I leave them hanging out.
My boyfriend likes the sink counter to be dry while I don’t notice it either way and therefore, often leave it wet.
I need a fan on while I sleep, even in the cold. He hates it.
I like to snack. He likes full meals.

We are different. Compromise is needed.

I love to vacuum and sweep, he’s great at dusting.
He cooks healthy protein-based meals, I cook Sicilian-style.
I buy the first thing I see, he researches and asks questions.
He’d rather not deal with it, I face it head-on.
I’m obsessive about organizing, he’s obsessive about detail.

We are different. Sometimes it works to our advantage.

But allow me to get to the point. This whole moving-in-with-my-boyfriend process has been quite enlightening for me. I’m glad I waited to live with someone until I thought it was really right, especially because I don’t think I would have lasted longer than a month. Differences often have a negative connotation with them. And personally, I’ve been from the camp of liking things the way I like things. Sure, I thought I had great reasons for such but now, only after I found someone who was able to reach inside me in ways no one else ever has, I’ve come to realize differences aren’t so bad and in fact, are often great.

Perhaps it’s a good barometer for a relationship – the more the relationship is right for you, the more the differences are right for you too?