When I start to question my lack of ordinary-ness, I always think of my favourite Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment". It's the mantra I calmly repeat to remind myself that even to this madness, there is a method. Trust. Me.
Ordinary is not the object of my attraction. It never has been. I remember being 10 years old and using a plastic Space Jam crayon box as my lunch bag, because I found better use for it as snack storage. As a teenager, I watched Bridges of Madison County and pondered on the complex relationship between the characters of Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, instead of finding age appropriate solace in classics like Bring it On and Spy Kids. As a young adult, I fell in love before falling into someone's bed. And as a woman in my soon to be late 20's, I live in an attic, chase my biggest dreams, and refuse to flex my standards just to be more appealing to the society I live in.
I live a real life. Not one that was meticulously laid out for me, or one that emulates the desires others had for me; I refuse to fall in line with bullshit like that, because it serves no purpose to me. Some can call it the "middle child" syndrome acting out, but the reality is that I just can't stand the thought of spending my limited time masking who I am, what I want, and where I'm going. It's so easy to be what others want you to be. I know this is a bold and sweeping generalization to make, but when people know the expectations demanded of them, they know exactly what they have to work towards. Whether that expectation is met is circumstantial, but knowing it is there gives individuals a bench mark. Think of how exhausting it is to pave the road to success (whatever you choose to measure success in …education, money, world exposure, human equity, etc) when there is no actual road to walk your swaggy Air Jordan's over.
Robert Frost laid the imagery to entrepreneurial success out best in his poem "The Road Not Taken", when he wrote the following:
"Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference."
Difference. It's just so much more damn appealing to be different: to own and value your sense of self, rather than hiding or apologizing for it. I will never be the girl next door, with blonde hair and a trust fund to fall back on. My degree won't be the definition of my character, neither will my job. I will always let my heart measure the value of other people, and I will likely have the most difficult last name to pronounce at social gatherings. But if these things keep others from wanting to uncover me, then that is a mere projection of THOSE people, not me.
So, if as readers of this blog, you take anything away from this piece, I hope it is the following:
That doubt you fill your head with is only polluting that beautifully unique creature inside of you.
Those feelings of unimportance hinder you from being at peace and free.
Those comparisons you make are worthless. No two people are the same (as an identical twin, I stamp my approval on this statement extra hard)
And that grass you seem to find greener on the other side is just dried up wheat. Focus on watering the grass in front of you.
I wrote the following piece at a moment when I felt like I wasn't being true to the person I am. I felt like I was so caught up in playing a part, that I felt my ambitions slip through my fingers like water in the hot desert. I wrote it as caution. So when you read this, please remind yourself that real life is now, and real life is what YOU make it out to be.
750 square feet of confusion and despair.
Feelings of inadequacy linger about
Because sadly, sometimes what we want,
Just isn’t there.
That dream you had when you were three
Still haunts you at night.
Tired eyes refuse to sleep,
Because a fragile voice screams, “what about me?”
Because this is real life;
When your eyes pour countless tears,
As defeated optimism fades
What remains is the sum of all your fears.
You’ve heard them tell you
“Reality is never as sweet as a dream”
And you hold on to those words,
Even when all you want is to scream…
“But my truth reflects the picture in my mind.
I’ve broken myself to create it.
And I’ve got so much left to find.”
60 seconds of contemplation pass you by.
For a moment you open your mouth
For something to say
But you can’t, even though you try.
Because this is real life.
When things we feel go unsaid,
The mind may be full
But the soul remains unfed
So proud of this woman. <3 Written by my best friend Elma who continues to surprise and inspire me everytime we speak. #realtalk
Check out her blog spot called the Candid Series @ thecandidseries.blogspot.ca
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