Saturday, March 24, 2012
Becoming a Disturbing Element
I was recently chatting with a friend over lunch about my transition to living in the bubble of Baxter. I spent the first 1-3 year after moving to Baxter trying to "fit it". Never before have I tried to fit - not in high school, not in college or even in my professional world prior to mommyhood. I scoffed at the gals in high school that were all trying to be like each and one up each other. In college I was sorority girl that didn't quite fit the mold. In my professional job at AT&T, I was a Corporate recruiter for Legal, Marketing & Finance & Accounting. If my professional dress displayed my uniqueness and refusal to conform. I remember wearing orange flip-flops to work. This was my statement to the world that I was not going to conform. That I am me and that is good enough. I always embraced my unique energy and never thought becoming normal would be a worthy pursuit. Than bam I move to Baxter and the pressure to be like everyone else was intense and without being aware I started to conform. Within two years, I realized it and was very unhappy with this transition away from my authentic self. It has been a struggle to regain myself the way I use to see myself. I offered wonder why I let these people opinion of me drive my behaviors. I have never done it before even with the social pressures of more intense worlds.
It has taken me to withdraw from social circles that were trying to make me conform and put limits on me. I remember once running and a good intention neighbor drove by and made a comment that "do I ever take a break? and they would much prefer a drink on a Friday night to chill than do what I was doing?"..I received these type of comments all the time over the past 4 years. I received the comments on why I do not attend the social goings on of book clubs, LCRs, girls nights, the Friday evening beer drinking & social events of the street/cul-de-sac. For a while, I tried to seem like everyone else but quickly become unhappy. I realized these are not my value systems and I went to work on recreating boundaries, honoring my needs and my family needs, regain my unique energy and sense of self. I like running, yoga and relaxing not beer drinking and hangovers.
One of my sweet neighbors will often say "You Crazy". Ah! This makes me feel like I have finally found myself again. I am now very content at being considered the crazy one for whatever that means.
Becoming normal is not a worthy pursuit. There is no normal - yes, there is ordinary or common but there is no normal. By striving for "Baxter" normalcy, I was boxing in my spirit not being fully me.
So now Baxter just has to deal with the Disturbing Element on their block that dreams big dreams, wear different colors & clothes, dances with her children, does yoga on the porch, runs ridiculous amounts of miles not impress them but to please myself, plays her music too loud, does not and will not join in judging other neighbors, believes in the impossible and cherishes every moment.
Others people opinion of me is none of my business :-)