Welcome to December! A glorious month of celebrations to witness the beauty of our changing seasons. This holiday season may not be the same normal, although it may promise a new normal. If we are open we can and should embrace it for being different.
This leads me to the discovering beauty in being different.
Don't impress others with what you have. Impress them with who you are. - Robert Tew
We call people who are different outliers.
Are we not all different? And if we are not we should strive to be.
"Dare to be different” is a favourite expression of mine.
I have always considered being different or an outlier a compliment.
What if we approached our lives as if there was no standard of beauty? What if we could redefine our image of beauty? We have examples all around us, if we just open our minds and eyes.
As a young girl of 10 when I was admittedly a bit on the chubby side, my early observations
delivered a very narrow vision of what was beauty. The only teen magazines available showed girls who were tall and thin with straight blond hair and blue eyes.
It shouted out loud that if you were not that, something was wrong and you just didn't add up. The images were everywhere and I didn't fit in. And then I began to see alternatives.
I now realize what a gift it was to have my childhood girlfriend, Joycelyn.
As children together we never saw colour between us. In grade three, Jocelyn gave me unconditional love and friendship. I was blessed to be exposed to her family and Indian culture. I was introduced to a culture of spice, colour and celebration. I witnessed the ceremony of dressing in a silk Sari and the meticulous application of henna as they adorned themselves for a wedding. I was exposed to music I had never heard and tried foods that would never have crossed my palate. Jocelyn showed me how to celebrate life and see beauty in a very different backdrop than mine.
I feel a quiet storm brewing. I can hear a movement whispering in my ear that change is on its way and its BIG. - Vita
Later in life, I developed a friendship with Bunch who was a bald beautiful black woman. She introduced me to a culture that embraced curves - not skinny; eating spicy, - not plain; engaging in conversations that were loud and passionate - not quiet and polite. Everything other than boring. Bunch proved to me that it was a choice to pursue a life that was not dull. She was an extraordinary ordinary woman.
You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don't have to do anything to earn it. – Ram Dass
Now, as I am maturing I continue my search for a broader vision of what is beautiful.
Can we redefine the cookie-cutter limiting view of what we are told is beauty?
We spend much of our life attempting to live up to these unrealistic expectations and I believe freeing ourselves from these is why I am doing this. To help redefine our vision of beauty. To widen the narrow lens through which we view life.
We do not have just a small envelope of time in which we are beautiful. We have our entire lives. Can we learn to accept that beauty comes in different stages and different ways? That is why it is so important to have an eclectic vision of beauty that exists outside of the mainstream.
Let us think outside the box or perhaps remove the box completely.
It starts with extraordinary ordinary people.
Love and gratitude