Be Me

April 10th, 2010

“Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.” William Blake

When I was in the doctor’s waiting room for an hour (yeah, I know they gotta make a buck by overscheduling), I made sure I had something to read to pass the time, and this quote lit up like a neon sign in the beige and taupe surroundings. It gave my spine a tingle. The passage it was quoted in was from a book I’d never heard of called Redefining the Corporate Soul, and the authors write, “Don’t straighten out your curves; they’re what make you stand out from the crowd. Find a way to exploit them, not eliminate them!”. Use what makes you different is one of my rules…live into your quirks and quandaries. For me, that means stop trying to deny my past, but instead, try to use what makes me unique, no matter how unpalatable it might seem at first glance or how embarrassing or how gauche or how white-trashy parts of my background might be. Be me. How easy and simple it sounds, but it’s one of the hardest things I ask myself to do in life.

8 Responses to “Be Me”

  1. ‘Use what makes you different’.

    I LOVE that! It’s the answer to a question I’ve been asking myself. I’m pinning it on the wall…

    Thanks, Nikki!

  2. beth says:

    I love this – thanks for sharing. And thanks for the recommendation re Claire Basler. Loving her work (especially her gorgeous drawings)
    PS I have a friend named India although she is 6 years old 🙂

  3. nikki says:

    Tell her she has a very hip name!

  4. connie says:

    . . . like my age, in a job search?

  5. ginny says:

    Nikki, I love what you said about yourself -“white -trashy parts of my background”. I’ve got this faith thing that is the center of my universe. I believe plenty for other people of all kinds of less than backgrounds. I am not embarrassed when I read a great memoir for another person’s “gaucheness” – in fact, I am generous with rich understanding for…other’s otherness…but not my own. After many years of self-loathing, I’m weary of it. It is hard and…reading this and making this connection with another someone about it, somehow makes it doable. I have a belief and growing awareness that my limitations are my possibilities – meaning, cringing over something about myself, cannot be used an excuse to bow out of opportunity or keep me from stepping up to the plate. Yes I can – all parts of me – this is where life gets interesting and really good.

  6. nikki says:

    One of the things that helped me with this was my trip to NYC. Every day when I went out into the crowds of strangers there were no expectations, no people I felt I had to put a face on for, no pressures to perform. I found I was more me than I’d been in a long time. Just me being with me and rediscovering the good parts that are usually overshadowed by my tendency to laser in on my faults.

  7. Ginny says:

    Yes, to your November 4 response. I have recently become a part of a second community about an hour and a half fom my primary place of residence. In this “second home” , I don’t wear make-up and I tend to wear about 5 articles of clothing. And…I don’t think too much about why I don’t. I have picked up a camera instead and focused on something different – the world around me is coming into beautiful focus. The change I wanted to see in myself, has come about by your last sentence – “Just me being with me and rediscovering the good parts that are usually overshadowed by my tendency to laser in on my faults.”. Brilliant

  8. nikki says:

    Interesting how much of our behavior is based on what we think the expectations of others are. Thanks for sharing this.

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