A little over a week ago I got a tattoo. I’d been wanting one for a while and had been thinking for almost three years of the word I wanted to be the crux of the work. The word I landed on was divergent and I told myself it was a dynamic word I could both be and become. Not only that, it seemed to accurately describe my experience within systems and groups. I fit in, but then again I also always stood out.
Are you a pauper or a superstar?
So you act, so you feel, so you are.
–India.Aire “there’s hope”
I couldn’t help but wonder if the open yet healing wound on my body marked me in a way that would suggest my endless enigmatic existence? Was I actually all that different or was I striving to be, willing myself to be and as a result of my questioning becoming what I naturally was not. The beginning of that inquirous thread was lost so instead I laid down in the pool of fabric and gazed upward wondering if any of it mattered anyhow.
I’d been reading Rising Strong for the past few days. And by reading I mean listening to, although I sorely regret not buying a physical copy of the text because I find myself stopping the recording too frequently to take notes and write things down. One of the quotes that I’ve listened to four times now is:
People who don’t stay down after they fall or are tripped are often troublemakers. Hard to control. Which is the best kind of dangerous possible. They are the artists. The innovators and the change makers.
–Brené Brown “Rising Strong”
Me? Dangerous? The idea was funny. But wasn’t that the entire premise of the Divergent book and movie series? Those that would not choose a course and do as they were told were dangerous. They couldn’t be controlled and their innovation, curiosity, and fortitude made them an absolute threat to an otherwise stable system. I laughed at the idea of me being in anyway akin to the characters in this dystopian fantasy land…and then I breathed deeply into the knowing that it was true.
Among one of the only thing I can remember about about myself as a kid was endless curiosity and a wild imagination. I made up stories about everything in my head. What if my name isn’t really Jessica and I’m really a fugitive in a witness protection program? I remember telling a kindergarten classmate this and convincing her that my real name was Michelle. Where did I get this shit from?Now I find myself making up stories but more about the how’s and whys of who we are as indivuals and a collective. Still, in some capacity, asking others to consider how they know WHAT they know about me (or anyone) is true?
I’ve begun choose to believe the most impossible and improbable things about myself. Alice said seven impossible things before breakfast…I have seven
- I will one day soon be paid (well) for my passions
- I will earn a living good enough to pay for my sisters’ college education
- I will travel the world and learn the stories of other women
- I will have a social medium to be able to share those stories in a meaningful way that creates an active community
- I will significantly impact the way women view themselves and their capacity to lead, globally
- I will not do any of this alone, but I am the one with the vision–though it was incepted in me long ago at a level beyond my current comprehension
- This is my last year with a semblance of anonymity.
I told Latrisha just today that sometimes you have to begin before you’re ready…