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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?

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  1. allison mcd #
    May 21, 2012

    your words totally resonate with me.
    so much that i’m crying in my coffee. thank you for this.
    and thanks for reminding me it’s not too late to start straying from the path.

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      it’s never too late…
      and i’m so touched by your tenderness

  2. Goda Ona #
    May 21, 2012

    Yay for the discovery and for conscious shaking off of the boundaries! And for the pink chucks , and aqua polish! And for the the explorations to come! Deviate on Laura!
    I can relate.. obedient, a pleaser.. To deviate would have meant to cause ripples of fear.. Fear of risking the wellbeing, not only for yourself, but the rest of the family too.. Some of it likely legit, but the fear got instilled too deep.. Time to shake it off!
    Inspired by the week of whimsy at Now You I went rollerblading and brought bubbles along.. As I went fast, the wind blew the bubbles.. Kids screamed excitedly, a couple of adults let a grin slip out, others stared blankly, caught off guard, finding themselves having to make a decision to stay in the rigid normal or go along with the whimsy of it.. To deviate can be scary at times, but so rewarding and liberating and worth it in the end! Please keep on enabling!!! Yourself and me, and others around!

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      omg Goda!! I loooooove the idea of you rollerblading with bubbles!! Fantastic!!

  3. lifeineden #
    May 21, 2012

    Yup. Totally identify with this. Totally felt like I had to be “the good girl.” I think that is part of what led me out of photography and journalism and back into the sciences — that expectation to excel and achieve and be good. When I was in my 20s and living alone in another state … I got a belly ring. That was my big deviate moment. Of course, I was allergic to the metal and it oozed off an on for 3 years, and I eventually took it out — but I DID IT! I’ve gotten more tame again, but hoping to join you in deviating more often. Maybe some day we will join the other O&U ladies and get some ink together! 😉

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      YES!! It’s the sensation of having done it and having the story to tell and the experience of having lived!! Although I’m sorry there was oozing…
      Can’t wait to me you someday!!

  4. joelynnej #
    May 21, 2012

    I paint my son’s nails with that colour, lol! 😉 You can do it Schmoopie, be BAD. 😉 xx

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      oh so bad!! ; )
      I love to paint my son’s nails too. Although he’s sort of growing out of it : (

  5. May 22, 2012

    I’m slowly getting to the place in my life where I can wear crazy things because I love them even if I know how ridiculous I look. It’s a process… I’m not 100% there… but I’m a hell of a lot closer than I used to be.

    And I maintain that not drinking PBR doesn’t make you weird, it just means you have good taste in beer. And by “good taste” I mean “any taste at all”.

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      it is a process…an important one. Cheers to you!

  6. Becky #
    May 22, 2012

    Love this. I’m never going to look at pink chucks the same way again

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      although a little more worn after, they still make me smile : )

  7. May 22, 2012

    hell yes to all of this! can i come on your summer deviant tour too? i just colored a huge stripe of my hair pink for thsi VERY SAME REASON! always the pleaser. the good girl. don’t make waves. don’t rock the boat. BORIIING! i want to shake things up a bit. you go girl!!!!

  8. May 24, 2012

    I love this! It’s so true, everyone has their own totem of rebellion. After going to my tie-and-slacks workplace I have to come home and immediately put in my 14g earrings. Those are the items that still tell me I am who I am and not what I am supposed to be according to others.

    • Laura Yurs #
      June 5, 2012

      love the idea of coming home to yourself….

  9. May 31, 2012

    i feel like a deviant most of the time:
    brightly coloured cotton dresses with fleece-over and leggings-under.
    boots or oxfords with my dresses.
    lots of jewelry.
    naturally sterling hair when other women colour theirs.
    bright orange jeep.

    i’m me and proud of it. deviatedly so.

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  1. Relishing Deviation by Laura Yurs | Overexposed + Underdeveloped

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