I’ve struggled with the word deviate. It’s gotten under my skin. It’s made me twitch and squirm. It’s made me a little envious of those deviating with gusto. It’s caused me to sit up and take notice. It’s left me wanting more…
As we’ve talked about the word deviate this month, one thing has become clear to me: I haven’t deviated enough. I’ve spent the majority of my life being a good girl. A very good girl, in fact. A pleaser from an early age, I’ve always stayed within the lines, careful not to disappoint those around me. No silliness for me, no sir. Music lessons? No. Camping? No. Dance class ? No.
I was dutiful about maintaining someone else’s image of me. And then about four years ago, I found myself scrambling to hold it all together. I felt panicked and suffocated. My eyes brimmed with tears throughout the day. My truth was fighting to be heard….I’d been living my life for everyone else and I couldn’t take it any longer. And in the midst of that chaos, I made a very simple and rebellious (in my mind at the time) decision….I bought a pair of pink Chuck Taylor’s.
I wore them everywhere. Each time I felt sad or lost, I simply looked down and felt liberated. I felt happiness. My small and innocent act of deviation there at my feet. The sheer thrill of it! I spent my twenties being serious and organzied. For that matter, I missed my teenage years. And something about these Chucks felt so right. Around the same time, I also gathered the courage to enroll in a photography class at the local art center in our city. It felt forbidden. It felt disobedient. It was perfect…. Every Thursday evening, I lost myself in discussions about aperture and ISO. Slowly, I found myself.
As we’ve discussed deviation this month, I’ve begun to realize how significant it is and how I have to make a conscious effort to do it. I’ve decided I need to become my own enabler of sorts. Otherwise, I’ll fall into the “that’s silly/crazy!” or “I couldn’t possibly” trap and wind up feeling regret later on. This past week I’ve been practicing this phrase, “it’s absolutely crazy and you should go for it!”. For me, I think deviating has become a sign of personal growth. It’s waving your own freak flag….be that as it may. One person’s pink Chuck Taylor’s are another person’s tongue ring or art show or ???. I think it means something different to each person and that’s the beauty of it. Last week I bought aqua colored nail polish on a whim because I liked the color.
I’ve never painted my nails anything but pink or red….until tonight. I’ve never colored my hair. I’ve never camped in the backyard. I’ve never had a PBR (a shocking discovery among the o+u ladies, among other things). I’ve never been to Canada. Or Mexico. I’ve never picked wild strawberries from a field. My summer is filled with possibilities to deviate and I feel absolutely giddy about that. How about you? Let me be your enabler!! How are you planning to deviate?