This and That

Right Where I Need To Be

Most of my childhood I struggled with the need to blend in, I desperately wanted to be one of crowd. It didn’t help that my mother was one of the biggest abusers to my ego stating plainly that I should be just like so and so. Sometime in my teenage years it dawned on me that I would never be like the beautiful girls she wanted me to emulate; my hair was too red, too curly, I was too pale, and top it all off I was tall, uncoordinated and didn’t fit into my own body. I was the total package.

Thanks to amazing friends, who also were complete misfits, an amazing father who loved his weird daughter for all her strangeness, and many other puzzle pieces that thankfully fit together I made it out of those awful years mostly unscathed.

 

My adult years I’ve spent no more comfortable in my own skin, but I have spent time trying to shed the old coats of comparison. I have discovered the more time I spend comparing my life to those of others I feel that old sense of shame. Where I cannot live up to the sense of perfection that I somehow have deluded myself into believing I needed to feel whole.

With age brings wisdom. I do understand this more each passing year.

I’m understanding that I will never be perfect and only in my imperfections am I truly unique. A rose among the thorns.

I recall around ten years ago someone saying that very statement to me. She was referring to my bright orange hair standing out in a crowd of people. I still recall the embarrassment I felt at her statement as eyes in the crowd turned to me. What I don’t recall is if I thanked her for her compliment because my mind was playing all the things that people were probably thinking about me. Things I have no way of knowing even exist except my own insecurities, but in my head their looks were saying, “How dare she be a rose,” “She’s not a rose, SHE’s the thorn,” “More like a weed to be to tossed away.”

I have discovered children will humble you like no one else in the world. You see, as I struggled to find my own uniqueness, my children lovingly and unconditionally pointed out how awesome it is was to have a mom with beautiful red hair. For you see neither of them have it. They loved it when strangers told their mother how beautiful her hair was. Their unconditional admiration has helped me overcome one of my biggest comparison shame coats.

It has taken me a lifetime to realize that standing out, being a literal beacon in a crowd, just being who I am, is not a horrible stigma. I’ve stopped comparing myself to the expectations of everyone else and know it’s okay to just be me and I’m right where I need to be.

I may never have classic beauty. I may never be a millionaire (okay that has nothing to do with what I’ve been talking about, more of an observation but it still saddens me), I may never have a lot of things, but I do know there will never be another me. This I do know.

I don’t want to be just another voice lost in the crowd. I don’t want to do things exactly the same way as everyone else. I enjoy being me, although I wouldn’t mind being a little closer to a millionaire (okay I’ll let it go, for now.)

Be a rose. Be a tulip. Be a carnation. Let’s fill the world with a beautiful flower garden. Just be you.

~Kay Daniels
Keep reading, keep writing, keep dreaming.

This and That

The Power of Being a Redhead

Sometimes I forget the power of being a Redhead. Growing up I felt singled out. Freakish. A loner.

It’s really not until you become an adult that you truly feel the special importance of being the unique person you are. You are the true minority. For we are less than 2% of the world’s population. We are so unique that they hold festivals just for being a redhead.

Redhead Festival in The Netherlands is one such festival; held in September. Over 5,000 attended just this year.


Being a natural redhead was never something I aspired to be. Was something I hated growing up, but it is something I have grown accustomed to accepting about myself.

Do I enjoy the freckles that come with the pale skin? No.

Do I enjoy slathering on sunscreen every time I go out in to the sun so I do not fry? Not especially.

Do I enjoy the untamable, unmanagable hair? I suppose I’ve learned to hold back the snakes on unruly days.

But I will say this about being a redhead…

You may feel lonely. You may feel singled out. But know that you are a unique, rare, special creature. People try to copy your uniqueness everyday and never quite achieve it.

So go forth and celebrate your unique gift. Celebrate all the greatness that can be had with being a redhead.

Sexy, sultry, goofy, seductress, fiery, shy, and so many more, but I can’t give away all of our secrets now can I?

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This and That

Introvert heading into the lion’s den

With RT right around the corner my excitement and panic level are growing daily. It’s like knowing I’m willingly walking into the lion’s den with all the blind faith of Daniel that the lions won’t eat me, yet I’m still scared out of my mind because let’s face it, these are frickin’ lions.

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I work myself up to the point of sheer inner panic that I would rather spend time meeting my favorite rock star alone, making a total ass of myself; because knowing me I would open my mouth and insert foot, calf, thigh, all the way up to my ass. I would still brave doing that vs. going to the one place where I will no doubt do the very same thing in front of the peer group that I look up to, respect, and hope to one day work among. So yes, I would rather spend time willingly degrading myself in front of my favorite rock star. At least I would get some fantastic ogling time and beautiful eye candy dreams from the experience and I could totally block out the stupidity of myself from the humiliation of it all for the few brief minutes in heaven right?

Gah! It is no wonder I spend more time with fictional characters, real people terrify me 🙂

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As an introvert, living life in general is hard, because guess what-you are constantly surrounded by-PEOPLE! Introverts are highly misunderstood, often times seen as snobby or too good to join in, or those are some of the rumors I hear. When we do make an effort to attend a function, the fear of actually being there is highly overwhelming so staying towards the back of the room seems like the best option. A great place to not get eaten up by the crowd. Although, it once again looks like you are not a participator, perhaps too good to want to join in, or there to judge the rest of the group.
Now, trust me on this. The only thing running through my mind, aside from the sheer panic that someone will ask me to remember their name, because that is my Achilles heel, is that I will be asked to participate in something that will put me center stage. I abhor being in the center of attention, being pointed out, you name it.

Now get this; Karma, fate, whatever you want to call it, obviously hates me because I was made to stand out and I mean that literally. I have red hair and I mean bright orange, not dark red where it could be brown or even blonde with red mixed in, no it is bright orange! I am the female Carrot Top, Shawn White, etc… Can’t tell you how many times I hear, “Found you, just saw your hair.” A mile a way through a sea of a thousand people.
Then to top it off I have an annoying laugh, not a petite feminine laugh, oh no, the good Lord graced me with a loud, obnoxious, boisterous, at times snorting laugh. If you couldn’t find me through the sea of a thousand people by my hair alone, just get me to laugh and you’ll find me soon enough. No GPS needed to find me. I am my own beacon.
Do I have issues? Yeah, you could say I have issues, which is probably why I tend to shy away towards the back of the crowd. Do I try to combat those issues? Yeah, I do try. I’ve tried my entire life to do things that terrify me. Will probably die at an early age from the sheer terror I constantly subject myself to. 🙂
Tombstone: Died from living

I do sympathize with the troll in the Billy Goat Gruff story though. Here was a troll, happily living under his bridge; alone, peaceful, with not a care in the world. Then one day Billy comes along and tramps all over his bridge disturbing his blissful peace. I would get a little steamed and feel like eatin’ me some goat too. I mean really, Billy probably disturbed the troll from reading a really nice romance about two trolls running off into the sunset together or something along those lines. That would piss me off too. Yet once again, in this particular story, Billy’s name gets top credit, the story is all about Billy, Billy, Billy. We don’t even know the troll’s name. The introvert’s never get any credit, we are only seen as evil and wicked, a non-participator. *Sigh.*

The funny thing is if you were to give me a script, something rehearsed, something I know by heart and put me in front of a crowd I would be fine. I worked in HR for years where I not only had to lead meetings in front of hundreds of employees, but I had to know what I was talking about, be prepared for those random questions that someone from the back of the room, its always that person from the back of the room-grrrrr, would ask and try to trip you up. I always went in prepared, researching every angle, looking up every possible answer before someone could even think it. Ok so besides names, my other nemeses is being asked a question I don’t know the answer to when I really should.
Ever taken a test that you’ve studied for and you look at the question and your mind suddenly went *poof*. Yeah, I hate that feeling too. It’s there right on the tip of your brain, you can almost touch it, but it is off hiding with all the names I should remember. They are off having a party and they didn’t invite me-bastards!
If you haven’t noticed I have something of a type A complex. A bit controlling, a tad obsessive when it comes to my own work habits, yet I do accept and admit my own flaws-I curse you flaws!
So mix the type A personality with the huge insecurity of being unable to reach out to others and what do people see-a recluse, snobby, perfectionist.

But those who know me, the real me, know my house is anything but organized-ok drives me nuts, but that has more to do with my kids than me, but I stopped fighting that battle long ago. I decided life was more fun living than cleaning. I’m a very open honest and loving person. Actually its kinda hard to get rid of me, just ask the school friends I grew up with. I’m like a barnacle, just try to scrape me off-whahahahaha. That sounded miniacle didn’t it? Did I happen to mention I’m a tad evil too, or maybe wicked is a better word. You could ask any of my girlfriends about my wicked side, my family knows all about my wicked side too. I think they actually like my sick/twisted side. It makes their mother cool.

Just don’t send me into new territory, into a huge social function without someone to cling to.
What?
Going to RT by myself you say?
Shoving me into a huge social situation with thousands of people you say? *Gulp* By myself?
Ok, I can do this. Where’s my big girl panties made of armor?

So if you see me, be kind to the introvert and know even if you tell me your name I may forget it because names and me do not get along. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s only because I’m probably pushing down the fight or flee impulses running through my system and your name didn’t take precedence over wanting to survive.

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