Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed my workplace web filter is suddenly blocking reverb10.com because “The Websense category “Sex” is filtered” which is bizarre beyond belief. I’m not sure if I should complain to IT because I know they don’t put the website addresses in, it’s done by the company running the filter software. Irksome, but not the end of the world. Hopefully it gets ironed out soon.
In any case, I get the prompts by email so I’m not at a loss for what today’s writing is about – the prompt being: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
Good question – eh? I mean, we all know I’m a bit “different” but what exactly is it that makes me so? And are any of us really so different from one another? What is the standard by which we are considered “different”? In opposition to what? Entirely subjective, I suppose. Just like what is beautiful.
But if I were to enumerate that which I think sets me apart?
- I’m in love with the world a little bit all the time. Not entirely and unreservedly, but I always try to find the parts of it I can love – the forests, literature, gardens, rainstorms and music that set my heart free from the difficulties the world also presents.
- I value hands-on arts and skills in myself and others which has lead to a home full of art made by people I know (paintings, photos, carvings), with my own approach to additions and arrangement.
- I am willing to try myself against new projects or ideas, even if at first I can’t wrap my head around how to think about or act on them. This requires a self-confidence I never had in my early twenties, and is something I’m quite proud of now.
- I have wide-ranging interests – literature, art, politics, writing, gardening, sewing, evolutionary biology, government policy, insects, cooking, philosophy, fisheries, theology, music, psychology, healing, community-building – which gives me the opportunity to talk to pretty much anyone I come across and to connect with all different sorts.
- I am an extrovert who is just as happy staying at home alone. I have learned the skill of aloneness and I cherish it more than any other attribute.
- I am not afraid to do the work of living.
Do these things make me beautiful? What I do know is they are the things I am most proud of, and they are the things that set me apart from other people I know. At root I want to expand all aspects of myself to encompass all the good the world has to offer even if some bad gets inside with that. When I encounter beauty in others, it’s always related to that – openness to the world and all the ideas and permutations of it. That doesn’t mean agreeing with everything, or accepting that the worst of it has to exist… but it does mean shedding cynicism which is something I’ve spent the last ten years working on. And I think that does make me a more beautiful person, and increasingly different in a society marked by discouragement and distrust.