Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb 10, the one about different beautiful

Well, dang, Jane, I guess I didn't quit Reverb 10 after all.

(I have no idea who Jane is. Sometimes I do talk to her, though, when I need to sort through "issues.")

December 8 – Beautifully Different.

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

(Author - Karen Walrond)


This prompt nearly gave me an anxiety attack. Why? Oh, it is so not in my nature to dwell on my own positive attributes and contributions unless I'm rewriting my resume. It just feels weird to me. I don't mind focusing on my blessings, on the gifts that make up this quiet, but amazing, life of mine: my child, my flexible lifestyle, the gift of writing, my child's father, my amazing friends, my brilliant siblings and their brilliant spouses and children, even snow delays...

Me? I'm just ... I don't really know.

I had a kind of a dream last night that I don't remember at all. It woke me up at 3 a.m. I was panic-stricken and reached for my phone until I realized I was awake in my quiet, little house, anticipating rising in three hours to do the morning pre-school routine. I was certain as my head popped up off my pillow that someone I love had died.

Crazy Lizzie is connecting with as many people as possible today. This is one of the (few) benefits of Facebook. My family members, though, may require phone calls. I dislike the phone, but I want to make sure they're all OK, so, the phone it is.

I don't know how I went off on this tangent of fear of losing a loved one in connection to this "different" "beautiful" prompt. Maybe it's that I'm crazy enough or "different" enough to request that people I love and like "check in" with me so that I know they're alive. My siblings all think I'm completely nuts, anyway, but that's one of the reasons they adore me.

So, look. I am not beautiful. I'm just not. Not outside (though I used to be when I was younger and unaware), not inside. I'm funny enough and kind enough and warm enough. But that's just ordinary, normal stuff.

I suppose this is so hard for me because I like cultivating my self-deprecating sense of humor. It serves me and suits me, brings me comfort and doesn't keep me from striving or accomplishing. I find it exhausting to "check" myself when I make fun of myself. I know my strengths as well as I know my weaknesses.

I need to stop going on and on. Will never gain a readership this way. Oh, but what does that matter? I suppose it only matters because, like anyone, I have a need to be heard (just like I have a need to be needed).

It kind of rocks to be doing these prompts out of order, by the way. Maybe that's one of my "differences."

Here is a mini-story that's as close as I'm going to be able to get today or yesterday or next Thursday or the decade I die to discussing how I might light people up with my differences:

My daughter's friend K. walked with my daughter toward my car yesterday after school. I knew she wanted to see the pink streak my daughter had painted into my hair the night before. She peered in at me through the open car door as my girl dumped her book bag and purse on the back seat.


“It’s already faded!” I said, and pulled away the top layer of hair covering the thin streak of light purple..


“Oh, man! That’s too bad,” K. said. “The next Girls’ Night Out, we’re going to try it again! And we'll add FACE PAINT!”


This makes me laugh. K. wants to dress me up as a 52-year-old version of Ke$ha for Halloween next year (well, I’ll be 53 by then), though she will be in Florida or maybe North Carolina just starting her Army career by next October.


On the way home from the short errands my Girl and I needed to run, we talked, as we usually do.


“I think K. gets a kick out of the fact that I'm crazy enough to let you do stuff like color a strand of my hair pink and let you guys have spontaneous sleepovers at my house,” I said.


“She does! She likes talking to you a lot, too,” my Girl said. “She said you’re her favorite mom of all the moms. And everyone else agreed.”


So. Wow.


Maybe my love for teenagers is completely conditional. Maybe I love them because they love me.


ps - Even though I was in the middle of editing this stunning and fascinating blog post, when my cat fell over on his side, tilted his head back toward me and chirped once, I had to stop what I was doing to pet him. He bewitched me!

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