In December I'm doing an on-line initiative, called Reverb 10, designed to help participants reflect on 2010 and manifest what's next in 2011. Each day participants are given prompts or thought starters to blog, tweet or journal.
The Reverb 10 organizers gave us a couple days break with relatively easy prompts on days 6 & 7. And then hit us with this one:
December 8 – 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. (Author: Karen Walrond)
My Tweet: Oh my after 2 easy days #reverb10 has me stumped. Different, how am I different? Is addition of word beautifully giving me pause?
Different, I can think of a million things that make me different. Or maybe make me feel different.
Which made me think about hiding aspects of self. We probably all have them. Traits we think we need to hide from the world. For many years, in many ways the trait I choose to hide, because it made me different was my intellect. Even now, writing that feels odd. Like I shouldn't be bragging.
I have a high IQ. Not Einstein or anything, but high enough to have been pulled out of a regular classroom and placed in a gifted program by 3rd grade. High enough that I am a member of Mensa - a society for those who score at or above the 98th percentile on a standard test of intelligence. By high school, I realized this could intimidate people, esp. boys. By my teens, this gift turned into something for which I was ashamed. Which lead to a rough few years, hell, decade or two if I'm honest.
But eventually I discovered this wasn't something to hide. Maybe it took some growing into myself. Maybe it took being around the right people, having the right challenges. Now I know I'm happiest when using my intellect. Happiest when being challenged. When having opportunities to learn, to grow. When surrounded by other smart people.
At times still find myself struggling with being smart versus being a know it all, but at least I'm not afraid to let this part of me shine.
Sure there's still other sides of me that I keep tucked away. Other bits and pieces that may or may not make me beautifully different. But this is one I hope others see.