Thirteen Things that Make Me Different [#11]

Main Entry:mav·er·ick
Pronunciation: \ˈmav-rik, ˈma-və-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Samuel A. Maverick died 1870 American pioneer who did not brand his calves
Date: 1867
1: an unbranded range animal especially a motherless calf 2: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

My therapist used the word “maverick” when talking about me during this week’s session and that surprised me a little, but of course, she knows me quite well now that I’ve been seeing her for over seven years. Seems it all started from the very beginning for me, and she was saying that we should always keep in mind when thinking of life options for me that I need to blaze my own path. Here are 13 signs that I’m a maverick through and through:

1. It started right at conception: my parent’s honeymoon “trip” sent them flying alright, but not on a regular plane; they were tripping out on acid instead and both remember the exact moment of my conception. Trippy alright.

2. I must have figured out that I had it good where I was, because I refused to come out of the womb on my due date. As a matter of fact, I was three weeks late and they had to get me out of there with forceps! Poor mom.

3. I have a gap in my two front teeth, which made me miserable as a child. Now it’s just part of me. But I still don’t ever give that toothy smile for the camera.

4. I’m a lefty, and glad they didn’t try to beat it out of me in school the way they used to in my mom and dad’s time.

5. I was fluent in three languages by age 8 and had lived on two continents.

6. I decided I wasn’t going to let my parents outdo me as far as experiencing life… and ran away from home when I was 14. It was just three weeks, but any longer than that, and I very well might not have been around to be writing this now.

7. I went to a maximum security youth detention center after that little stint. The judge told me I was a danger to myself and he was right. They released me after 8 months of good behavior instead of the year or two I had gotten in my sentence.

8. Even though I had skipped a whole year of high school by then, I was allowed to continue school in my own grade and ended up graduating at the top of my class.

9. I went to live on my own before my 18th birthday. In fact, my mother had to co-sign my first lease.

10. I didn’t go to university, but I was so motivated in my graphic design studies that I got a job before the program had finished.

11. What was meant to be a two-week trip around the Greek islands to mend a broken heart ended up with me living on Crete for five months, renting my own apartment and getting my PADI diver certification. It was awesome.

12. When our train got stopped at customs on our way from NYC to Montreal this year, we ended up being detained there for close to three hours with no access to food or water. I decided to do a yoga routine in the aisle to pass the time and unwittingly almost got the passengers involved in a protest. I wrote all about it here.

13. I’d never done bodybuilding or gymnastics in my life, but I decided at age 32 to train for and compete in a fitness competition — something I had never heard of before — and won. I had been assigned the number… 13.

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