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Am I Kool? That’s Okay. I’m Over It.


On my way to work each day I pass the casino billboards that advertise concerts and shows, and currently one of the bands playing is Kool and the Gang. I know right? Emergency! Emergency!

I’ll admit proudly that the first concert I ever attended was Kool and the Gang. It was the summer before my freshman year in high school, and they were playing the local fair. I went to the show with the daughter of my mom’s co-worker, a girl I had never actually met until the day of the concert. I remember that day clearly, not because of the concert, but because of the girl. My mom and I arrived at her house early, so my mom and her co-worker could visit and I could get to know the girl a bit. We did not hang out, me and the girl whose name I don’t remember, because she took two hours to get ready for the concert, leaving me ample time to sit on the couch and ponder why I was not the type of girl who took two hours to get ready.

This was not the first time I have compared myself to others and come up feeling short, and it would not be the last. My life at times has felt like a constant quest for what is right, as decided by other people.  I chose journalism because people told me there were no jobs for English majors, I put off writing because people told me there was no money in it, I even didn’t pursue playing soccer in college because people told me being a superstar at a small school didn’t count for much.

As a child I was told I weighed too much for my height. “You should be a size __ like your friend ____. When you stand with your feet together you thighs should not touch (who knew?). You should wear makeup. You should like turtle necks and leg warmers and dance class.” Ugh. How come I could never just be who I was? And then I internalized that voice.  It become my own voice. And now I feel like I am finally shutting that voice up. Or at least fighting the good fight everyday to not listen.

I go to campus and I hear the younger students lamenting the tragedies of their lives. “Oh my God, that’s so embarrassing, I accidentally sent that text before I was even done writing it, that’s so embarrassing, she’s gonna think I’m dumb…. Oh my God, she texted back, she probably said, ‘you’re dumb’.” I want to turn around in the long book line where I am listening to this horrible tragedy and say “Chill out sister, I promise you, there will be bigger tragedies in your life. Let it go.” But I don’t want to be that person. The one who diminishes people. And how many times have I freaked out over stuff that really doesn’t matter? I only know, at this point in my life, I am all done diminishing myself by comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. And I am done playing small to make other people feel good. I am just going to enjoy this day, chill, and be who I am. Wahoo! Celebrate! I am not going to see Kool and the Gang though. In Reno, right now, it’s all about the RIBS.

I’m also trying to eat real food on all the days that don’t start with S.  Cool website for your perusal:

Current book:  The Help. Have you read it? I loved it. I borrowed the copy from my best friend, and then had to buy my own because I’ll need to read it every year. It makes you appreciate your friends and your life. A lot.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/02/2011 2:21 am

    Yes! Reading the Help right now, and neglecting my chores and homework to spend more time with it!

  2. 09/03/2011 3:33 pm

    Glad to be notified of your OFFICIAL independence!!!!! Go girl!!!

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