Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crazy is as Crazy Does

Have you ever not fit the mold? I haven’t fit in 50 plus years and you know what? I am fine with that. Living outside the box does come with complications and obstacles.

In my youth, I was seen as a problem child, too rebellious, to talkative, unable to follow directions... well you get the idea. I had friends so I couldn’t have been that odd. As I got older I tried things that interested me. I swam, played field hockey, played softball, love old movies, Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Shakespeare, Boons Farm Wild Mountain wine
, good herb and Salem cigarettes. The mid 70’s was an odd coming of age era. Living outside the box at that point in one’s life did not affect in any major way.

It wasn’t until the ending of my 2nd marriage that the complications and obstacles became truly apparent. In my mid 30’s, divorced for the 2nd time and actually felt good about the situation I found myself in. I had absolutely no marketable skills what so ever. I had little to no money. So I set out on my own for the first time in my life. I opened my wings and took off, the way I wanted to.
I was living in Atlanta GA, and packed up my meager belongings and moved to Southern Virginia. Still with no marketable skills, I decided to get my insurance license and give that a go. Selling insurance came easy to me and I was good at it. I soon tired of selling insurance. I was now living in Northern Virginia on the Potomac and decided to become a waitress. I really like serving others and again, I was very good at it.

After almost 2 years of living in Virginia, it was time to move on. Pennsylvania was my next stop. That is where I grew up. I was about to become a grandmother and wanted to be closer to my daughter. To earn my keep in PA, I found a job selling computer programs for construction companies via the telephone. Guess what? I was good at it.

Fast forward ahead, here I am living in Illinois, just across the river from St. Louis. I am now in my mid 40’s working in corporate cubicle life. I like what I do, yet I still live outside the box. And yes, it still gets me in trouble. I just returned to my cubicle life 2 weeks ago after a 5 months absence. I came back to my yearly review (it was to be given to me prior to my leave of absence). The review was the most abysmal review I have ever had in my life. I should have been fired. But I wasn’t. A Manager said they wanted me and my skills in their department. My skills? My skills? I have skills? The skill this manager was speaking about was my ability to see outside the box, to find creative solutions to problems, the ability to speak with anyone whilst making them comfortable.
So here I am, still marching to my own beat, unable to completely conform to the “norms” of society, stronger than ever and happier than most everyone I come into contact with at work.

Give me unconventional anytime.

I guess the point of this rambling is to let people know that it is okay to be different. Being different, eccentric, odd and the crazy old lady on the block makes you far more interesting that the clones you pass everyday, with the vacant look in their eyes and a smile lacking from their face.

Embrace yourself for being you, Unique, Interesting, Daring.. knowing you have earned the wrinkles of life.
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