Friday, September 2, 2011

What I'm Not

sparks of fire

When I was in the fifth grade I was convinced I was a tom-boy.  There was nothing I wanted to do more than be like my surfer, older brother and ride the waves and wear only t-shirts and not care what my hair looks like.  I wanted to be athletic.  I wanted to like soccer and softball and get sweaty and be "one of the guys."

I, however, was a ballerina.  The thought of running after a ball for an extended period of time was not appealing to me.  I did care what my hair looked like.  The few times I wore one of my brother's old t-shirts I was sure to have a ribbon perfectly tied, bouncing along with my bright blond pony tail.  I was the furthest thing from a tom-boy, but I didn't want to admit it.  I tried to make myself like things I, in fact, did not like.

As soon as I admitted to myself I wasn't athletic and I'd rather be a princess floating around in fluffy tutus, it was liberating.  I didn't have to hide myself from myself anymore.  Since my acceptance of my girly desires, there have been other things I've been reluctant to accept that are true about myself.  But, I'm realizing more and more that it's pretty ridiculous to go around acting like this.

So, I came up with a list to help myself admit to things that I would pretend were otherwise.

I'm not a person that hates the color pink.
For the longest time I walked around and lived a life of open pink-hatred.  I would talk about how I disliked the frou-frou color and boasted I would never be caught dead wearing it.  Then, one day, I suddenly realized I lived in a room full of pink.  I had pink curtains, a pink blanket, and pink accents on my beloved floral comforter; my favorite dress is even a soft rose color.  I guess I don't hate pink as much as I thought I did.

I'm not a person that will swim in freezing cold water.
I love the water. I do. When I was little, I wished every night that I would somehow develop the ability to breathe underwater so I could be like Ariel.  Unfortunately, that never happened.  Because of my love of water I felt like I had to enjoy swimming even when the water was too cold for my taste.  One weekend, I visited my older brother at the Outerbanks and, for some reason, the water is always freezing there!  As everyone made their way to take a swim, I dipped my toe in the rolling waves and it sent a chill up my spine.  For two seconds I contemplated forcing myself into the frigid water, but then shrugged my shoulders and walked away.  It was great to soak up rays instead of chattering my teeth in the sea.

I'm not a person that likes to be active 24/7.
Sometimes I see rock climbers or girls that run marathons and I think, "Wow, I wish I was like her."  But then I curl up on my bed and continue to read my Henry James novel.  I used to feel guilty about not desiring to go outside and be "adventurous."  But haven't you heard?  Apparently, reading is sexy.

I'm not a person with the personality of an extrovert.
I think this has been the hardest thing to accept about myself.  My big brother is one of the biggest extroverts you will ever meet.  Everybody knows him and loves him.  He can make a room full of strangers laugh until their sides hurt.  I was always self-conscious of my shy ways and I used to think I was "less-than" because I was an introvert.  However, as I've grown older I've come to embrace my quiet ways.  There is nothing wrong with preferring a quite one on one conversation and a warm cup of coffee over a rock concert.

Love, Alli

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