Once in a while you come across an article that interrupts your morning routine and disrupts the rest of your day. It makes you wonder "What am I doing? What difference am I making? What do I want to leave behind and what is stopping me from going forward?" In other words, what is the meaning of life?
Hiding behind the screen, you feel safe. No one can touch you. Nobody can hurt you. But wait, they can. Words oftentimes can hurt more than any fist to the face - especially when a lot of tequila is involved in the latter case. Why is it always women who think they have something to prove? Sometimes I think I'd rather get punched in the face by a bunch of jealous and clueless college girls than have nasty words slung at me by a group of bored housewives. The ones hiding behind the screen of their computers trying to justify their mundane existence and desperately trying to spice up their meaningless routines with drama.
I wasn't the popular girl in high school. Honestly, I didn't want to be "that person". I was my own person with my own thoughts and didn't want anyone else telling me what and how to think their way. I was "different", "weird", "shy", "a rebel"- words that others used to describe me. "Quiet" and "shy" were the ones most often heard. Writing was my creative outlet. For a brief moment after high school, I attended a weekend drawing class at LA's Otis Parsons School of Design. I wanted to be a fashion designer. I once met Oscar de la Renta during one of his fashion shows in Beverly Hills. I was in charge of dressing Jennifer Flavin (before she became Sylvester Stallone's wife). Did you know that models wear two sets of stockings for a fashion show? That was after I wanted to be an interior designer in high school and grade school. But I had to be honest with myself and soon realised that I wasn't as good as the others in class. Therein lies the mistake - comparing yourself to others.
I was the girl who wore black and anything that looked different from what the others wore. Tall black boots in summer with my favorite red long-sleeved A-line dress. Black zipper pants - the more zippers the better. Of course that didn't work so well having to walk through airport security and asking if I should simply take off my pants to walk through the scanner. Other times it was a mishmash of fashion: a "skirt" I made from strips of fabric I attempted to tie-dye - the pieces sewn in zigzag stitch halfway down the fabric pieces - part mini skirt, part flowy. A white t-shirt embellished with lyrics from Depeche Mode songs with a black Sharpie. Hats, scarves, and medium-long wavy brown hair. That was young me. I'm seeing signs of that "me" in my middle daughter - Cinnamon. She has that "weird" and "different" sense of style and even looks like I did at her age.
I was the one walking to school and back with a Sony walkman listening to Depeche Mode cassettes over and over again until I knew every word and beat that came next. I was the one who wrote the chorus of Depeche Mode's New Dress on the front of an American government test paper and got a positive reply back from my teacher.
But that was youth - a distant memory of who we once were. A time when we believe we're invincible and unforgettable. Along comes adulthood and parenthood and the myriad of responsibilities bestowed upon us. How do we stand out in this new world where technology dominates our lives? Where we're all fighting for recognition and attention on social media trying to one-up each other with the latest announcement.
What's the goal? What are we doing? Where are we going? How will we get there?
The first step is letting go of the fear and accepting that you are an older and better version of the younger you. The one with more knowledge at your fingertips available than ever before.
Stop comparing yourself to others and just be YOU. Don't let fear get in your own way.
Dare to be different.
Everyone has a story. Make yours unforgettable.