Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Different & Special

"You're still on that?!" she asked all incredulous. "If you don't stop wondering what makes you so special, other people are going to start to wonder what makes you so special."

And from that conversation, you've got the following blog post.

I have never thought I was the sh*t consistently. There are days when my hair is just right, and the jeans are wicked tight and I look super bad, no lie. Never though have I woke up every morning thinking I was someone inherently special, even though given my life and small talents I've been told so repeatedly. At thirteen I was the youngest poet at a weekly poetry meet in another Podunk, Texas city (and not the 'roses are red, violets are blue' type poet but a..."my hands seek to outline your frame so I can mimic God when he created you" type poet"). I was in advanced classes, as previously blogged, throughout most of my secondary education. I kick ass at Mortal Kombat and word games. I rock.

The "however" in that is that I rarely, if ever think any of the things I do are extraordinary even with these myriad of people telling me they are. It's what I'm supposed to do. For example, at my job there is Bingo day where, if people make sales, numbers go on the board and the first person with Bingo wins a prize. I never play. When asked by my supervisor why, I simply told her I come to work to work, not play games; my paycheck is prize enough. The managers love me, my stats are incredible and when we do musical chairs/team switches, they cross their fingers that they get me. But I look at my stats, well below the average (which is a good thing) and feel deep inside that I could do better.

And that is where my insecurities, fears and hang-ups come from: the idea that I could always do and be better than I currently am. The past two years of my life have been spent combating this deep-seated doubt in myself, nestled tight behind my heart and hidden by my analytical mind under the cloak of being "real." It's good to have a healthy dose of humility, and for that I'm grateful, but more than that I'm still learning to accept and love myself as I am in this moment.

The times where I remember distinctly loving myself and where I was in my life are the days I went on walks with my iPod in flimsy flip flops along a Texas highway, days where it rains and I get to watch as the world refreshes itself, days where I lay in pools of sunlight and just feel good. I love myself the most when I'm alone to appreciate my own depth, my own simplicity, and those small, natural things that bring me joy. Finding joy outside of myself? A lot harder.

I tend to be quietly outspoken, simple, in complex ways and shy away from being too 'in your face.' That and I find it hard to trust people when I first meet them, leading to my type cast role as the "shy girl." I'm not shy, but I am watching, waiting for a person to show me who they really are, and what they are about before I come into and share myself with them. For a lot of people, that's not how it's done; people seem to be more open with their true selves right off the bat, whereas I think I value that part of me too highly to just give to everyone. Glimpses of that part of me are seen all the time, but quickly masked by smart-assy comments, jokes or silence.

It's a conundrum; I value myself highly, but don't think highly of my talents and gifts or much of my personality. What I've learned, or rather am learning, is that it's the combination of all those things that make me someone special. Everyone is made up of the same things, just in unequal measures and some with little known or little used spices thrown in. I happen to be one of those people with that extra "umph" I think, something exotic to the average palette; I don't get much praise or even much critique as so few people have actually tried me to know and be able to judge, and those who have, have had small tastes, never the full course meal.

As of late, I haven't had to convince myself I'm special; lately I've just been feeling it. I think the realization had been planted deep, like a seed for a tall, strong tree, and it's just been waiting on water. I think I just needed someone to actually treat me like I was special before I could come to accept that known fact for myself. And I'm glad I know, because now? I'm never going back to being that bland burger, the sun in denial of it's glow and power. I'm not going back to the place where "different" and "special" were just words. Instead I'm travelling to that place where those words will no longer need to be said, they will just be facts.

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