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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just Me Being Me.

I used to be a blog-hater. Back in the day, before blogs were all the rage and when I was just learning to use the Internet, I thought bloggers were ridiculous exhibitionists just looking for attention. Who in the world would post such intimate details for everyone to look at?! This was also the era when Facebook was just gaining popularity so the idea of posting personal information and photos on the Internet was still fairly new to most of us.

Fast forward to today, and I am now a blogger. Who would have guessed. Certainly not me. And to be completely honest, it kind of happened by accident. You see, I was doing my personal-end-of-year analysis (that would be the accountant in me - always analyzing) and going over what I had accomplished that year and making plans for the new year, and as I clicked through all the photos I'd taken throughout 2012, I was shocked to realize how many adventures I'd had with my dog. I was really proud of how active we'd been and what a great life I was providing her. All of a sudden I wanted to document our adventures in a more organized way (again, the accountant in me) and also have a way of sharing with others.

In the past few years, as I've become increasingly disenchanted with my daily work-life, I've taken solace in reading blogs. I've enjoyed the uplifting stories, found inspiration in the actions of others and camaraderie in knowing that I'm not the only one who feels like this. Some blogs, like Sunny Rising Leather and Enjoying The Small Things, are written by wordsmiths who weave together the most beautiful phrases - sometimes making me jealous of their talent but always grateful for their message. Others, like The Last Wilderness and A Whole Bunch of Ing's, help me escape to beautiful parts of the world that I'd love to see someday. Some are just for fun (1,000 Awesome Things, Bah Humpug) and some are truly thought-provoking (Raptitude, The Art of Non-Conformity).

And then there are the blogs that just plain inspire me and feel like visiting an old friend - Gigi's The Ramble, Sally's Unbrave Girl, Sarah's Yes And Yes, Priya's Obsession (cheese), and many more. Recently, Unbrave Girls' Sally posted a "No Body-Snark Diet" with a full-body photo challenge, which I immediately submitted a picture to. Over the past few years I've become very comfortable with myself and accepting "the real me." I'm no longer trying to live up to someone else's standards or conforming to another's beliefs. I'm just me, being me. My physical attributes were generously provided by my parents - something totally out of my control; I have my mother's face, but my father's eyes; I have my father's skin, but my mother's shape. These are things I've come to accept -- and also to love.

Interestingly, Sally's blog post has stirred up a lot of attention. Apparently I'm not alone in learning to love myself just the way I am. And along the lines of accepting our full-length body, there are a number of other "things" about each of us that we should probably stop snarking about. A year and a half ago, I decided to stop dying my hair. I'd been dying it at home since my mid-20's; a constant struggle to cover up the stubborn gray streak right at the top of my forehead. The placement of this "streak" is situated so that my roots would be visible within 10 days of each dye-job. I finally got fed up with damaging my hair and just quit one day. Now I have this super-awesome silver streak that I get tons of compliments on. Who knew?! All that time spent worrying and covering something that was actually awesome. No more. I accept me, as me. The good, the bad and the ugly - it all makes me who I am and I refuse to make excuses or apologize anymore.

Each blog is as individual and unique as the blogger themselves. There is only one you, and you probably have some unique talent, ability or knowledge to give to the world. Don't be afraid to let it all hang out and just be you, being you.