I’ve always been a little bit outside “the norm.”  Not average. Challenging. Bold. Big in body, mind, and presence. Strong-willed, determined, and overly verbal about it. A storyteller by nature. I’m a dreamer who likes to make lists. A “YES” who likes to map it.

I rarely choose to do things the easy way. I like puzzles, and problem solving. I crave adventure. I need variety like I need air. I don’t like the word or the state of “normal.” I don’t like to hold still. Conventions make me nauseated. I like to learn the rules so I can bend and twist and break them when it’s time.   

I rarely play it safe. I’m uncomfortable playing small. There are never enough ideas or things for me to learn.  If you say we can go ten miles I want to go one hundred. My quench for growth is insatiable.

I love the way change calls me out of my comfort zone and into a terrifyingly fresh new space.

This, makes me . . . well. Me. It makes me, me. And I’m not sorry for that, anymore. It’s who I am. I’m good with it. Great, actually.

And, that can create friction. I can see that very clearly now, because basically, one of three things generally happens when you run around with my kind of energy:

1. I attract more of it, find my tribe, and our collective energy makes something amazing. My tribe grows. My energy grows. The amazing things we do grow. This is how my husband and I found each other.

2. Somebody shuts down. It might be me, because I am not being my authentic self or standing in my true north because I want to get it right, for you. It might be you, because I am not whatever it is you think you want me to be, or you are not whatever it is I think I want you to be.  One of us is swallowed up, whole and complete though we are. I have been here, so many times.

Or, what can often happen when fire meets fire;

3. We have an energetic collision. It creates a spark, and instead of igniting a flame it sends a negative charge to both of our centers. We cannot remain in the same space as we are without creating more resistance. The rub. It hurts to stay. Going releases the pressure. I know this place.

I’ve experienced it at home. I’ve experienced it at work. I’ve experienced it in the world. And here’s what I’m finding out — I’m okay with that.

That rub? That’s where the magic happens.

It’s how I figured out what kind of work I was made to do, and what kind I wasn’t. It’s how I learned what it means to be a powerful woman in a room full of other powerful women. It’s how I learned who I was even when that person wasn’t who was expected of me.

It’s how I earned my mom badge, and how I decided to hold it. It’s both how I learned to say yes and how I learned to say no. It’s how I learned the difference between compromise and settling. It’s how I am learning to not take everything personally. The rub is how I learned that the acceptance of me begins with me.

It’s how I’ve been able to see the other side of the struggle, and love them.

These experiences have all been experiments on and of myself. Each a lesson. Each a step closer to my core. Each a chance to step back, to zoom out, and to calm the fuck down. I get to choose to stay true to me and decide— stay, or go, yes or no, for me or not, what is there to change, and why?

Here’s where I’m at — I’m going to keep being me, each new version of myself, ever outside the norm. You keep being you, each new version of yourself, as in or out of the norm as you want to be.

I’ll keep being a little bit different, because that is who I am, and I like it.

“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”  ~Frederick Douglass


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