Apologies to the author, but yesterday’s #reverb10 prompt made me gag just a little. Anyone who knows me will know that asking me to write about “what you do that lights people up” will produce a gag effect. Seriously? I do not light people up unless it’s because their faces are red from anger (or as my husband said recently: “it takes a certain kind of person to like you.” He meant that in a good way).
But I digress, as usual. I spent a good chunk of yesterday pondering how to respond to this prompt. My initial thoughts were:
- Write about why I hated it. But then I read Dr. Crazy’s and Carwin Young’s responses and realized that was covered well already. Go read them if you haven’t.
- Ignore it. But damn it, I committed to this project and will respond to every post if it kills me (yes, I know I’m stubborn — I get it from my grandmother).
- Write about how what makes me “different” does not make me light people up or beautiful.
In the end, I thought I’d go with number 3, but then my friend Kristen and I had an exchange on Facebook, which went like this:
Brenda: BTW, how much did you HATE today’s #reverb10 prompt? I’m thinking of just linking to other posts that talk about how much they hate it, rather than putting the effort into it. But I haven’t decided yet.
Kristen: I was thinking of writing how different I was and how that made me not-so-beautiful. Does that count? As in, I always speak my mind – and that makes me a pain.
Brenda: OMG. It’s truly terrifying how alike we are. Because that is EXACTLY what I was thinking of writing if I did write something. So maybe we should right about how we’re not different apparently.
And then Kristen published her post and it once again proved that we may indeed share a brain. The person who can be counted to that which needs to be said but no one else wants to say? Check. Keeping one’s name after marriage? Check. Refusing traditional gender roles in said marriage? Check. Bookworm? Check.
I cannot, however, touch my tongue to my nose, so if you want that trick at your party, you’ll need to include Kristen on your invitation list 🙂 At the end of the day, what I learned from this thinking through this prompt is that, as Dr. Crazy put it, “while difference is important and significant, so, too, are those things that we have in common.” The commonalities that Kristen and I share end up not just providing endless amusement for our colleagues, but I like to think that is also benefits UMKC by allowing us to feel confident in speaking up as we know there’s at least one other person in the room who agrees and has got our back.
Note: This is my eighth post for #reverb10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “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.”