comments 13

Approval

Yesterday I listened to The Middle by Jimmy Eat World, a song I used to listen to when I was an outcast in high school; a song that, in my adult life, I always skip. But this time there was a huge train delay and I felt like I needed to hear it. So I played the song as I went through the tunnel. As I walked down the  subway tunnel that takes you from the red and yellow line to the blue line at 42nd street times square, a line I no longer take but needed to due to delays, I heard a woman with a guitar sing in a low reassuring voice.  She sang, “ It just takes some time, little girl. You’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything, everything will be alright.”

In wanting approval from the people who should have loved me, I have taken little risks. I still don’t have the life that I want. And they still don’t love me unconditionally.  So this is me resigning. I am ripping apart the contract that held my dreams hostage for years. I am no longer adhering to their conditions.

It’s always been easy for me to do the right thing. I have always been the perfect student. The valedictorian. Career-driven and selfless. The perfect child, always home on time, never disobeyed. I went through a life crisis in the 7th grade when I got my first non-A grade. Those grades defined me. So who was I now that I had gotten my first B?

I’d been curbing behaviors in order to fit in. I thought I was growing as a person by shrinking down the weird in me. And now that I am able to pass as normal I regret not being a freak this entire time. Being normal is not for me. It’s hard. Every day is a battle. I respect those who others put down more than those who do the put downs. I want to be part of the first group. I will never fully fit into the second.

At the age of 12 I realized that I wanted to join a circus. I never felt like I belonged. And now that I pass as someone who does belong, I realize that I never will. At least not here. I am changing my life. By this time next year I hope to be the person that I truly am, all of the time, the way the world made me. No more fighting it. “Self growth” should not come at the expense of your dreams.

I went home that day and listened to The Middle by Jimmy Eat World. The song that came after was Hear You Hear Me, the song I was listening to when I found out that Mr. Gallagher, my 40-year-old musical theater teacher, had died of a heart attack the night before.

After 3 years of him being my primary teacher in high school, just a week before I got the news, I looked him in the eyes and thanked him. Not out loud, but in my mind. For some reason the universe gave me the opportunity to appreciate his presence while he was still alive. That moment of thanking him, although it was in my head, meant a lot to me. It was the first time I felt grateful to be alive; grateful to have known someone. He was the second person to ever make me feel like I had to fight for my life rather than submit to my depression. The first was my 6th grade dance teacher.

Thank you Patrick Gallagher for showing me that life is wonderful as long as you are doing what you love. You left us too early. I still add in “look at my buuutt” when I sing the lead song from Chicago the musical. Being part of your cabaret is something that I relive constantly. It’s something that I work towards living forever.

On that day, on the subway, things that never happen on their own happened together and they happened around me. The universe may not be on my side, but it is letting me know that it is there. To be honest, I don’t think the universe is on anyone’s side. It is just harmonizing energy that whispers as we live, like how plants  grow when we talk to them and give out a scent when we cut them too soon. It is non-bias. It exists with you, not for you. But on that day and other days like this, it spoke to me and I listened.

P.s. I am currently focusing on my career in UX and Digital Marketing. Thus, the sporadic posts. If you have any leads for NYC feel free to contact me. I appreciate being part of this community and will pay it forward. Thank you! 

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13 Comments

  1. “And now that I pass as someone who does belong, I realize that I never will. At least not here. I am changing my life. By this time next year I hope to be the person that I truly am, all of the time, the way the world made me. No more fighting it. “Self growth” should not come at the expense of your dreams.”

    All of this. Words I needed to hear. Good luck on your journey.

  2. I recall pondering who I was and who I wanted to become. I ran organizations, sat on nonprofit boards, ran for office twice, a wife and mother of three sons and my life was in flux. I was tired of living others expectations of me. I seemed to be a shadow of the person others saw.

    I went into prayer and escaped this world for a while, visiting the heavenly atmosphere. Prayer and meditation are wonderful vehicles for travel. I begin to see myself not as a shadow but as a child of God who had a purpose. That purpose was revealed through visions of the things I had accomplished, and unknowingly I was in the midst of doing God’s work.
    You see, at the time I was running two organizations focusing on diversity and racism and the other a mini Chamber of Commerce focusing on downtown business, which allowed me to marry the two and improve society.

    Yet and still, I really did not know who I was and needed to know more of me. I wrote a poem that was my introduction of me to me. Those not in my space felt I was covertly writing about someone else, but perhaps those in this space will understand.

    Moments In Time by Lisa Blair

    My love for you exists on gossamer threads.
    It’s fairy and rather gnome like.

    It’s magical and transcends the realities of this world,
    Jettisoning me to distant times of when we last met.
    It’s two old friends reacquainting after long traveled journeys.

    My love for you is always present, awaiting the welcomed hands of our next encounter.

    ****

    You see, now that I’m older, I recognize that we once knew who we were to become. God fashioned our destiny before we were born. We have glimpses throughout our lives as we experience parts of our travels; through faith we see the pieces come together.
    Also through faith, we can see bits of ourselves in each experience. The key is to take the various aspects and ask God to show you how the fabric of you will play out for His benefit, not your parents, family, teachers, friends or associates.

    We are all unique individuals. We have God-given strengths, virtues, and qualities. Let God lead you as you traverse the gossamer threads. Enter the world of God’s Will and live in His peace.

    • Thank you for sharing your story Lisa! It’s beautiful. I meditate a lot and I think it’s been a great help in taking me to the next step in life.

      • I agree. When I meditate and pray I reside in the quiet and love of the Holy Spirit. The calm emanates all around me and through me. It calms the atmosphere throughput my home or when I worked, the entire K-5 elementary school, play yard and all. I worked in a very violent community and early morning arrival and prayer kept our community around the school peaceful. People would always commit how the neighborhood changed when the school opened.🙂 God is so good. He provides our safe space for peace and growth.

  3. I have daughters your age and you reminded me of the oldest who seemed defined by her academic experiences. Your struggle is beautiful ad the way you’ve learned to apply yourself will explode into a wonderful journey.
    Good luck!

  4. I literally felt this resonate with my soul. I would say that this was utterly amazing but I believe that would be an understatement to describe how this whole piece made me feel and what I took from it. You are a freak. You are delusional. People like you change the world. Its never too late to be as amazing as you can possibly be, and maybe everything happened exactly the way it did so you can touch someone that can relate to your story. I instantly fell in love with your soul as I read through this. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for being vulnerable.

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