Leadership

What Embracing My Uniqueness Means To Me

Clare Anderson
30th July 2021
 < 1 min read

Lester, QA Lead

Blog 103 - Lester2As you can see in my photo here, I was born with six fingers on my left hand - luckily I am right-handed! I can honestly say, with my hand on my heart, that this has NEVER been a problem for me. Really. Never. I’ve never found anything particularly difficult to do - it all depends on what you’re used to, right? And I’ve never known anything else. Holding things, typing - all a breeze. In fact I’ve sometimes thought I’m quite lucky to have my sixth finger to press the spacebar when typing - rather than having to use my thumb!

Listen, don’t get me wrong. I can’t say my uniqueness (as I like to see it) has never been noticed. The kids in elementary school called me names. Their favourite was to sing a nursery rhyme about having ten fingers - but changing it to eleven fingers for my benefit. I never took it to heart though (I don’t even recall crying about it when I was very young) - kids bully each other - it happens. Kids will always find something different about other kids to pick on. Even though I was seen as not quite ‘normal’ I always thought the characteristic I was born with was special. My parents and family were always there for me and I remember my elementary school days fondly. 

By the time I got to high school and then college, people generally ignored my sixth finger. Occasionally I would be asked why I never considered an operation to remove my extra digit - my answer was always that then I wouldn’t be unique anymore! Mostly, people were amazed or curious when they noticed my unusual left hand. I’ve never felt any less of a person or insecure about it in any way - especially when I’m at work. In my adulthood I’ve always been treated the same as everyone else - and in fact have felt a sense of respect from people.

Embracing my uniqueness is part of seeing the positives and working towards creating and living a full life, doing the things that are most important. For me, this is making time to be with the people I care about - most of all my family. And also making sure I maintain a healthy work-life balance. The pandemic WFH scenario has therefore been a blessing in that it’s allowed me to return home to my family’s rural rice farm. After work I get to help out my Dad who is not very good at asking for help and doesn’t employ the farm assistance he should. When I was based in the big city I could only return home to help during the cropping season or at weekends. I appreciate this quality bonding time we get to share more than I can say. Nurturing relationships with people you love and care about is what makes life worth living. We all need a purpose and a reason to get up every day. Something to enrich our lives and give us strength. Mine is my family - and being close to them and able to help them every day nourishes my soul. 

The point of my story? Nothing has to be a problem unless you make it so - right? We all have opportunities and choices to take or make - or not. I don’t have any regrets in life. My choices and decisions have led me to where I am now - and I’m proud of myself. If there was something I could tell my younger self now? “Great job! And thank you for all the experiences.”

 

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