Monday, July 2, 2012
I love people! I love them so much it may come off as stalkerish at times. I could people watch all day in an attempt to guess what has happened in their lives to make them who they are.
Observing others this way doesn't always lead to good results. There are soooo many wonderful, strong individuals out there who, if they don't know who they are, sure act like they do. Especially in the writing world! With so much talent everywhere I look, I begin to wonder what gives me the right to think I'm good enough to work/write alongside them. I don't have a college degree. I'm not on-the-spot-hilarious like so many of my twitter friends (you know who you are:). I don't have unending knowledge about the classics. And I sure can't name drop or flash around my credentials. I have to be honest, comparing myself over the past couple of weeks to some of these people has left me feeling a bit inadequate.
Fast forward to today. My eight-year-old daughter has a cousin sleeping over and they got into a disagreement about something. My daughter is the kind of girl who wears her emotions on her sleeve, so when one thing bothers her, her whole world if off kilter. Well, this argument of theirs led her into telling me how she tries so hard to please people and no one ever likes her ideas so she just goes along with what others want.
Of course being the mom who loves my daughter for who she is (drama and all), I tell her that not everyone is going to like her ideas or want to do what she wants or believe what she believes, but it doesn't mean she has to conform. She has to be who she is and be proud of it. The rest will fall into place.
Umm...big lightbulb! Here I am telling my daughter the exact thing I need to do for myself.
This got me thinking. What is so wrong with being inadequate? Why can't my signature mark be that I am an underdog who refuses to lay down? I may not have a college degree, but I have a degree in living. I know what it feels like to be on the other end of addiction and make it out alive. I can say I've actually lived in a hotel room and caught the school bus from a three man tent in a campground. I've been made fun of for being the chubby girl in school and know what its like to be sent into the supermarket by an embarrassed father with a bag full of pennies just so my family can eat dinner. Being on the downside of life has taught me that sometimes it isn't your experiences that define you, but how you choose to process those experiences.
I may not be schooled in all the classics, or even pop culture for that matter, but I can still appreciate the beauty in the knowledge that I do have. I am just as capable as a fully educated person to read the words in a book and have them bring me to tears from the mere beauty of how they were placed on the paper. And yeah, I may not be able to name drop, but I sure have met amazing people who aren't "somebody" in today's society, but whose stories have made an impression on my life forever.
I didn't mean for this post to be all about me, but I guess I needed to keep it real. For myself. Maybe sometimes we need to reassess who we are and where we come from in order to make the next best step to where we're going.
If I can bring anything to this world and to others, I want it to be encouragement to the underdogs, that the sky is the limit. Just because you may not seem accepted in this crazy world we live in, your place is just as significant as the next persons. Your story matters! You matter!
For those of you that don't know Lisa Chickos, you should get to know her. She is one of those people that my mouth falls open for. She lives her life to the fullest in every way possible and it shows. She actually, also just landed an agent and you talk about going through ups and downs to get there. I love her story of determination. You should totally read it if you haven't.
Anyway, when Lisa was beginning her new wip she blogged about picking three words to describe the person you want to be. And that even if you aren't that person yet, you will strive to be more like those words if you can only identify them. Needless to say, with all of these thoughts of who am I floating around in my head, I began to wonder, what are my three words?
Here is what I came up with:
Lover - not just a Marvin Gaye kind of lover, but a lover of people and what makes them unique. A lover of opinions, change, diversity, of LIFE!
Willing - The day I allow myself to set my heels in the dirt and stay the same is the day I'll be ready to die.
Optimistic - My dad used to tell me when I was little (and still does) that things have a way of working themselves out. And you know what? As pissed off as that makes me sometimes, it's the truth. No matter how sucky life can be, it's always changing and as long I can stay optimistic I will continue to believe everything that happens in my life will be for my good.
What about you? Do you believe your story matters? What are the three words you want to live your life by?