I finally came up with a way to better describe how I feel about myself, my appearance, and my dating world.
I live in a town full of ducks. They don’t all look alike, but there are very prominent themes among the ducks who rule the town. They wear skinny jeans. They grow man-buns. They wear yoga pants with flip-flops for formal occasions. The women curl and style their hair for hours only to put it up in ponytail after all the work. They dye their hair popular colors. They starve themselves rather than gain any weight. They run or lift weights even to the point of repeatedly injuring themselves. They obsess over physical appearance.
These ducks don’t accept themselves as they are, and because they don’t accept themselves, they don’t accept others either. Unless one puts on a facade that meets the local cultural standards of beauty, one can’t be a duck.
I’m not a duck. I’m swimming in the same waters as the ducks, but I am not a duck. They may see me as the ugly duckling, but I am a swan. I like who I am. I don’t want to change to make the rest of the ducks happy. I am me, and I’m grateful to be me. I wish others could see me as a swan rather than an ugly duckling, but they just don’t. I can’t change how they see me, either. They don’t want to change. They like their narrow vision of the world.
So how does a swan date in a sea of ducks? The answers is that the swan can’t. The swan can try, but all that happens is that the ducks reject the swan over and over again. They don’t even want to be friends with the swan because the swan doesn’t look like them, talk like them, or act like them.
I look forward to one day living in a world where swans are accepted and seen for their natural beauty. Until then, I will just have to hope that one day a lost swan will wander into town and find me here, alone and being a swan by myself.