I hope I am an original, this was something I struggled with for many years. I really did not know who I was until I hit my mid-forties. Holy Cow, that took a long time. People would say “just be yourself”. I would pretend to get it, but I didn’t, what the heck did that mean? For me, it was always, what do others want me to be. How can I fit in, how can I be invisible so I won’t be noticed. Well, that is another story for another day.
For those of you lucky to have great self-esteem, you will think this is odd, but I know many of you out there understand? Am I right?
As a woman who was born in the late 50’s, being yourself, original, unique to the world, was not something that was embraced. Being different is still challenging, teenagers struggle with this all the time. If you are not like everyone else, it can be a hard road. Standing out takes courage.
One of my daughters friend’s was tall and an unbelievable dancer, with a very unique personality. I loved her sense of humor, her ability to just be…but guess what ? Not only did she get put down by many of the teenagers at the dance studio they practiced at, but the mother’s were just as bad, if not worse. It seemed to bother them that she was an original, they misinterpreted her confidence for being stuck up or full of herself and were constantly saying rude things about her.
Needless to say, I understood early in that game that those were the mom’s I was not interested in being friends with. Yes, these mom’s were the mean girls in high school, that instead of lifting their girlfriends up, they did everything they could to make them feel inferior. So sad…
We had all paid out an abundance of money to have our daughters in dancing to do what? Increase their self -image, self discipline, to keep them focused on something positive and something would challenge them not only physically but mentally as well. So why would they criticize the ones that were getting that for their parents money…jealousy I would guess.
This past weekend I had the privilege of being in a room with 100 women who embrace the growth of other women. Every woman in the room were champions for the others, such a sense of support and I am thankful for finding my tribe.
In my Fabulous@50 meetup
group I feel strongly that even though we all come from all walks of life, some of us single, married, divorced, widowed, working, retired…grandmas…that we are all women first. Women whose bodies are changing, and our lives are transforming.
Be An Original
- Wear hats
- Buy a pair of really funky glasses
- Take up dancing or a new hobby you have always wanted to do
- Start a blog or write a book
- Design your own jewellery and wear it
- Change your hair color
- Buy a red bra and wear it everyday
I know there are times that other people say things that we do not understand or can’t identify with. But as my grandmother would so often say to me "if we were all the same, it would be a very funny world”. That statement always make me think twice. I sure miss my wise grandma. She taught me the simple lessons, be kind, be patient and be loyal.
Break Free From the Mold
So the big lesson of the day, let’s give ourselves and others the permission to break free from the mold. Stop the judgement and when you feel judged, just let it go and trust that at some point they will get it. Matching the negative energy never makes a situation better, I say kill them with kindness.
The great thing about this time of our lives is that we get to redefine, refocus and be an original. If not now, when?
Fabulously yours, Dianna
Dianna Bowes is the founder of Fabulous@50 and the editor of Be Fabulous! magazine. Dianna was the winner of the 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Turning Point Category.