December 8 – Beautifully Different.
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
I'm not even going to lie; when I first read this prompt, anxiety took over. It felt as if this were a "test" to see how far I'd come from when I'd started my Lent Project, and my immediate thought was "not very far."
That is a lie, I know, but I also know I have been postponing the really hard parts of the Lent Project, which is full ownership instead of renting it out for various occasions or even being willing to sign a long-term lease so to speak. So, I slept on it (literally, I just went to bed); and then this morning, I peeped some other responses and then started to answer the question myself. I found myself shedding a few tears, having to take a moment, because I was frustratingly stuck. I was having trouble trying to figure out what was different about me that made me beautiful, and how that difference lit up people's lives. Part of the frustration was my continued discomfort in me saying something nice about myself...declaring something positive about the essential me. Even though writing is a personal endeavor that I've made public, it's not necessarily the "essential me", so I can declare I am a good writer (although, confession, it took me a long time to even get to that point). Even though I graduated Ivy League and am proud of that accomplishment, I'm not as hesitant to declare that because it's not necessarily the "essential me". And furthermore, I cannot really claim those as traits that make me "different" because there are many people who are writers and who are Ivy-League graduates, and that certainly doesn't guarantee anyone's beauty one way or the other. So, that long-winded explanation leads to this--the prompt frustrated and discomfited me because I couldn't fall back on the two things that I'd felt secure in declaring.
But I finally figured out something that I am going to own--The way I think is beautiful. Not what I think, but the way I think. It's as if I take information and then automatically flip it over to some (admittedly sometimes unnecessary) next level and play with it there before responding to a dynamic. I know I can fluster people sometimes because I'm dealing with something on Level D and the person with whom I'm talking really had just wanted to stay on Level A and maybe flirt to Level B. I make some of the most random connections sometimes; but I know my friends also count on that too. My sister is especially good at saying something random and I immediately know from whence the thought came, and she appreciates it so much. So, all that to say, when I don't get something, folks around me do a record scratch. In fact, one of my cousins called me out on it once when I was around 16/17 years old; I was NOT on my game with our hourly "Dozens" match and he was actually concerned for me! *pats him* Or my sister still teases me about being slow on the joke in White Christmas about the Doctor and the Well (let's just say, I didn't go Level D or even B with that one; my feet were glued and stapled to Level A! I was young, darn it! And yeah, sis is younger than I am but that's neither here nor there, okay? Not everyone can graduate magna cum laude!!! :P ).
So, I can make people laugh with the way I think when I say something clever; or give them a different perspective to help them solve a particular puzzle they have to them. Or people like the stories I write, which is a direct result of how I think. How I think it's linear; it leaps and bounds and skates and skitters. It meanders often, to the point I think of various scenarios just for fun. And then I amaze myself when those mental wanderings get me to an awesome destination that usually finds itself in a story I tell--whether to my friends or in a book that I write.