Note: This is the eighth in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.
Further note: this is actually a day late, but I wrote it in my paper journal yesterday. Just sayin.
December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
This was a difficult one for me to write. In short bursts, I have no problem coming up with a list of reasons why I rock (because I do!). But to turn that moment of pep talk into an extended blog post for the world to see – well, that’s a bit different. It feels smarmy and wrong, but part of me knows that’s just the “good girls don’t compliment themselves” training kicking in.
To be honest, I usually prefer to let other people tell me what’s good about me. It’s fair to say that I’m one of a kind, but the whys and hows of that uniqueness are so ingrained in me that often, I fail to notice exactly what they are. They evolved from where I came from, and how I grew up.
From my mom, I got my creativity, and my ability to make it through anything that life throws at me.
Mom was, like me, a singer and an artist starting in high school, who transitioned to a career as an admin assistant – working in HR for over 20 years. Our paths diverged back in 2000, when I decided to stop treating design as something I did after work and make it my full-time career.
I also got a large chunk of my looks from my mother (you should see pictures of her from the 70s), and my tendency to worry far more than I need to. I also may have inherited some of my business savvy from her: my grandmother, I just discovered, taught business for decades before retiring.
My dad was a mechanic and computer hobbyist for most of my childhood – but I never knew him not to have a side business going. For a while, he built custom computer systems. When I was in middle school, I went with him every weekend to the Rocky Point Flea Market to help him sell shareware computer programs that he painstakingly copied onto 5-1/4 floppies every evening. From him, I got my entrepreneurial spirit, a relative comfort with failure, and affinity for computers (yes, I was a DOS baby). I also got, I must say, a boatload of charm. *ahem.*
Among these things – creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a boatload of charm – I’ve also gained over the years an enormous ability to push through the fear that comes along with going after what you want. Years of theatre training and canvassing for an environmental group helped with that. In both, you go out there, day after day, and try to convince strangers that they should support you.
Many won’t, but the people who get it, will – and your job is to move on from the people who won’t so you can find the people who do get it. Of all the things that make me unique, I’d say this is the biggest. It’s not fearlessness per se; it’s the ability to kick fear’s ass so you can get what you want. It’s a willingness to take risks, because you know you’ll always land safely somewhere – even if it’s not where you expected.