I started life as a fairly bright and happy kid. I remember at age thirteen, my mum took me aside because one of her good friends had seen me skipping on my way to the junior high. Not that there was anything wrong with that, per se, but, you know. My skipping days were supposed to be behind me.

And gradually, life battered me down. I got picked on. A lot. For my clothes. My glasses. My hair. For not being athletic. For being too excited about learning stuff. For being enthusiastic about things that my peers were too "cool" to be enthusiastic about. So when I'd been knocked to the ground during gym class for about the twenty-seventh time, I withdrew into myself and carved out a safe space within my own thoughts, where I could be me in ways that apparently weren't socially acceptable.

I started getting attention for this. People asked me, "Hey, what's wrong?" And they asked me often. I liked the attention that looking miserable earned me, and decided that cheerful = annoying, and miserable = interesting. It was a logical assumption to make, and worryingly, sort of accurate.

It took marrying a guy who was cheerfulness personified for me to begin putting aside that crazy notion. And while I slide back into my old patterns of quietude whenever I feel pressured and stressed, in general I'm laid back, cheerful, exuberant, and overall, OPEN. I've realized I'm at my most happy when I'm not hiding and pretending. That the people who find cheerfulness annoying are probably lovely people in their own way, but maybe not MY kind of people, you know?

And I've found validation for these changes I've made in my approach to life. I've met people who laugh at my corniness (see previous post), and say, "Ah Kim, you are SO awesome!" I've met people who let me tell them when I think THEY are awesome. Who don't look at me like I'm a freak when I tell them something nice about themselves. I've discovered that I can validate and be validated.

I feel like a lost puzzle piece who has finally found a home. I think that's what this blog is really about. It's not just about me cracking jokes and overusing the word awesome to a ridiculous degree. It's a celebration of this realization I came to, that I have the potential to be amazingly, wondrously happy. That all I have to do is choose it, embrace it, live it, and learn to ignore the consequences (like people avoiding making eye contact with me in case, gasp!, I decide to be cheerful at them! The horror!).

The video clip I've shared below is about validation. And smiling. And being genuine. And finding your happy. And I ADORE it in all its cheesy glory. Because in a way it parallels my own life's journey, and because of that, oh yes, it makes me cry the big ugly snotty cry of a little girl who's finally starting to find her way.

VanderVision Tip of the Day: If you don't point out the awesomeness of others, you might not be as awesome as you think you are.

1 comment:

  1. That is an AWESOME video. Thanks for sharing made me SMILE!