Thursday, May 20, 2010
Becoming The Swan
Growing up I was decidedly unlike the other kids. I didn't have a lot of friends, really I had only one or two in every school I attended. We had a lot of turmoil at home and we moved every few years, so I was the perpetual new kid. No matter where we moved, I did not fit in. I was the kid that the other kids laughed at on a daily basis. I knew I was special, but I also knew that much like the Ugly Duckling, it was going to be a while before I became a beautiful swan.
I was not then, and I am not now, one of the Golden Popular kids. I'm a grown up now, with grown up problems and concerns and a quirky young woman of my own to mentor. I see her navigating the same complexities and social interactions and I worry about her endlessly, but I also trust that she, like her mother, will find her way. She's a smart cookie that kid of mine.
I've come a long way since those awkward childhood years. I am the swan I dreamed of becoming. Yet among my peers, I often feel a strange disconnect and that same feeling of being the proverbial square peg. I get a lot of cold shoulders and weird looks and even though I reach out to connect, there are plenty of people who, for whatever reason, simply refuse to reach back. Maybe barging into the scene making bold and audacious and ironic proclamations about being "Bead Queen of the Universe" made them uncomfortable. Maybe wearing candy colored wigs, tiaras and giant plastic necklaces and not fading into the background politely was disconcerting to some. Maybe some people read between the lines of my blog posts and social networking posts in search of reasons to dislike me. I don't think everyone quite gets my subversive sense of humor or my sincerely deep seated desire to inspire and connect. It gets exhausting trying to figure it out.
I have always been a square peg and that is never going to change. I'd like to be liked, as we all would, but if you're going to be bold, you're going to have to accept that might make other people feel small. If you're going to put yourself out there, you're going to have to accept that some people will twist your words to suit their agendas. Some days I am reminded of how that small feeling makes insecure people celebrate when I can't come to the party or when I trip on a rock and fall. So be it. They can deal with that nasty karma when it comes back around.
I can't control anyone but me. I like me. I like you. I like being liked and I like liking. No matter what we do, everyone is not going to like us. Life is too short to focus on the negative. If you can't be nice, I can't be bothered. Those who don't approve can go 'unlike' me from a distance and I'll keep on spreading my wings and flying.