Friday, October 22, 2010

That Girl With Pink Hair...

Bear with me, this post has been a long time in the writing. And as those of you who read this little old blog know, sometimes I have to write for therapy...and this here seems to be one of those times. After a good chat with a new friend this morning and a sweaty run followed by some emotion releasing Yoga this afternoon, I think I'm ready to sit down and try to organize my thoughts into sentences that hopefully somewhat convey some of what I've been needing to express over the past few months regarding our relocation. At least that is the plan.

It's always easier after the fact to look back and see how an event in your life connects to the universe's bigger picture...or bigger purpose. A little over 11 years ago we landed in Grinnell quite by mistake. Those first few months, even first few years, were not always easy as we tired to find our niche in the community. But find those niches we eventually did. In many ways our time in Grinnell was about growth. We grew as a family. Scott and I were challenged in the continued growth of our relationship. And I think it's fair to say that we each grew as individuals. I know I did. I'm pretty sure the universe knew what it was doing when it led us to Grinnell.

It's kinda hard to explain, but I feel like Grinnell the community, the time we lived there, and the people we met (people who will be life long friends not matter where life takes us physically), really allowed me to find out who I am at the core of my authentic self. The openness and diversity of the community, that still holds so many of the small town values with which I grew up, allowed me to explore opinions and beliefs and figure out just where I feel most at home along the continuum of view points. It's a place that showed me I CAN live from the heart, trusting the wisdom of my inner guide, as I move though life. And that it's OK if life doesn't always fit a preconceived notion of the many labels society tries to tag us with...Mom, Wife, Woman, Liberal, Conservative, Gay, Straight, Local, Outsider...Girl with Pink Hair Who Teaches Yoga.

I would be lying if I denied the fact that one of the hardest parts about leaving Grinnell for me was the fear I have had about finding my niche in a new community. Grinnell is not your typical small Iowa town. It was really easy being ME there. It was really easy to surround myself with others who shared similar views on life. Similar values. Similar interests and activities. But it took time find those people and that level of comfort with my place in the community and the thought of starting the process all over again scared me to DEATH.

But again, I trust the universe knows what it's doing. In this case I truly believe that for the health of our little family unit, we needed to make this move. The stress that Scott's daily commute added to our life was much greater than we really realized. Stress that over time I believe would have simply eaten away at us like a slow growing bacteria. And, in all it's glorious wisdom, the universe knew that even with my hesitation about change, I have the strength to face it head on without losing my sense of self.

The thing is I was worried that moving into this smaller, more traditional, more conservative community would smother ME. That my family would bloom and I would slowly wilt. That I would simply become known as "You know, that neo-hippie liberal with the pink hair who doesn't go to church and teaches yoga." I had already started to label myself for people without even giving them a chance to form their own opinions. And even if that is the label some people choose to give me, I'm realizing I'm OK with that. Because chances are there are at least a few people around who have been waiting for the support to step out of the box they have been living in to spread their own wings a bit. And maybe, just maybe, by being comfortable and open about who I am, and building my life and business in our new community based on the simple principals of compassion and tolerance, will allow others to be more comfortable expressing their true authentic selves.

I know, it's a concept that seems a little out there at first. But with all that's been going on in recent weeks in regards to the untimely deaths of teens who felt they couldn't fit in or find loving support as they worked to figure out just who they are, I'm thinking we as a greater society have to open up to the reality that we are not all cast from the same mold, AND THAT IS OK. And that those of us who celebrate the unique nature of every member of the human race need to do everything we can to lend support to those who are in need of compassion and acceptance.

So there you have it.

What's been brewing all spewed out in a semi-organized fashion.

Thanks for reading.



Donna said...

Oh did a beautiful job of organizing your thoughts and putting them out there. I live that 'girl with the pink hair' existence, believe me, and I too have been so deeply affected by the tragic, untimely deaths we have been hearing about. It's hard to know what to do with it all, isn't it? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You don't know how comforting it was for me tonight to read those words. Be well my soul sister. You are doing what you were meant to do.

krista said...

It took us a really long time to find really good friends and to feel at home in our town. Hang in there. It always seems to take everyone time to give each other a chance.....and.find what a lovely surprise and blessing it is to appreciate new friends, especially ones we think are so different from ourselves.

Jane said...

Well said. I think it's important to help our children be confident in themselves. It's hard - not sure of the perfect answers...I just hope I can help my kids in this endeavor. Our little suburban school has been in the news lately for the 4 teen suicides there the past few years. Very sad.

Laurie said...

Beautiful post, Jenn. I believe that a lot of the anger and hatred that the media has been bombarding us with the past couple years is a reaction to the fact that the world, the REAL world, is becoming more open and more accepting...and sadly some people have to kick and scream about it because they can't accept it. But they can't stop it.

Peace and blessings to you as you make your new town a better place - and I know you will!