Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner!



I am immersing myself in romance and love these days as inspiration for my novel which is full of both, and for my speech for my brother's wedding which I am the Master of Ceremonies for.  Can you think of anything more fun?

As part of my research, I just watched, for the 23,345, 765, 234th time, Dirty Dancing.  What a hard life I lead.  I live and die for that ever so quick glimpse of Patrick Swayze's bum! (RIP, I can finally watch it without crying..wait, maybe not...sigh..can't believe how many of our younger celebrities we have lost lately.)

OK, back to happy, upbeat post.   I had a fascinating conversation with a friend of mine about character flaws.  We all have them but as a writer, they're integral to the development of a character into a truly believable person in the story.  My new male character is blessed with a passive-aggressive personality disorder(google that) and his love interested is just a really kind hearted girl in a vulnerable place whose flaws have yet to show themselves.

So after tossing out our own flaws and hashing them over...mine include a tendency to procrastinate, absentmindedness, forgetfulness etc...and hers were being chronically late we figured we should balance it a bit with our greatest fears.

Now turns out I'm not afraid of much.  Once the fear of dying is out of the way there isn't too much that can be tossed at you.  I love speaking in public, love tossing my work out for the world to see so obviously I don't fear rejection, I don't fear the word no as she does and so on.

But nobody is completely fearless and after a few stumbles I found out what my greatest fear is and it's an odd one(are you surprised?)

I am very fearful of being ordinary.  While most people are trying to be like others, fit in (somewhere), be part of something, that's not my thing.  I am incredibly social, but I don't care if I fit in society.  Does that make sense?  As such I can flit between this group and that being entirely free of any of the restraints.  It's kind of fun.  I belong everywhere, and nowhere all at once. 

This doesn't mean I need to be the star of the show, I'm quite happy in the chorus.  I just want to be my own true self and an original, un-ordinary person in the chorus.  Which is odd in and of itself as everybody in the chorus, likely wants to be the star right?

It's just as I go about my day, I deliberately look  for opportunities to express myself, to create something, to be different, to distinguish myself and be free from conformity and constraints.  It's not that I go around causing arguments all the time, in fact that's exactly what one would expect, but no, I go around trying to create peace.  I love to make people smile, and I live to make people laugh, even if it's at my own expense.

While everybody else is sharing memes on Face book, or copying this status or that status, I make sure mine are mine only.  I don't want to be famous, that's not extraordinary.  Lots of people have celebrity for very odd reasons.  That's not it at all.  I just want to be totally and utterly myself.

And the fact is, I live a very ordinary life.   I am a soccer mom, a grandmother, a business owner, a writer.  I have no tattoos, no strange piercings, I'm average looking and I am middle class.  I can't sing, I'm not rich and I'm not special really,  if you think about it.  But a person is not their life right?  A person is who they are.  You are the wonderful person to whom your life happens.  That's right, you get to be who you are in your life and in an effort not to be ordinary, I choose to be all I am all of the time.

Perhaps it's an artist thing, to embrace your oddness and quirkiness.  Maybe I've just grown to accept that I don't think like most people(or most people hide who they really are so they're not connecting with me).

The kicker is though.  That I find every body around me to be incredible no matter how ordinary they perceive themselves to be.  So many people have so many gifts that I admire.  I see no ordinary people.  I do see people not being all they can be in their lives.

I recently wrote the line in my novel,  "Before when I was just smart, I thought it was the world that needed changing, now that I've wised up I realise, I'm the one who has to change."

See, when I look at my life, over time it hasn't changed all that much.  I've always had kids, family, work, writing.  What has changed is me.  I could have gotten sucked into a rut and instead I changed myself.  And I am not nor will I ever be, ordinary.  I reach out and claim my happiness and just that alone makes a person extraordinary in this world of whiners and complainers I think.

What has this to do with Dirty Dancing?   Why everything!  And while this post seems to be about me(and why shouldn't it be? It's my blog), really it's about you.

In the words of Frances Houseman to Johnny Castle, "You..you're everything!"

Ordinary is as ordinary thinks.  Think differently, express all that you are, be all that you are!  You are amazing and extraordinary in your life, always remember that!

Here is my favourite scene from the movie.  Now that is sexy. That is romantic.  THAT is extraordinary!

 


Be extraordinary no matter how ordinary your circumstances!  Carolyn R Parsons






 

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