Or, more aptly put, a FINALLY.
(if you’re reading from a google reader there’s a video above)
I clearly recall watching as my mom wrote the note to my teachers.
Please excuse Carla for being absent yesterday. It was Rosh Hashanah. A Jewish High Holy day.
My heart sank.
I was at the age (hello awkward tween years!) where all I wanted to do was fit in.
I wanted to melt into the Jordache-clad masses.
I wanted to place my bigassredcomb in the back pocket of my designer denim & slink down the hallways at school undetected.
And, at the homogeneous institution of higher learning I attended, that background fade’age did NOT include being Jewish.
It most certainly did not include toting a note from teacher to teacher (remember the days when you had to get these kinds of notes *signed*?) proclaiming the fact I’d neither been sick nor playing hooky the previous day–I’d been praying.
“Uh, maybe you could just say that you knew I was absent yesterday and not put why?”
I knew better than to hope my mom would lie & sayI’d been sick especially given the fact the previous day had been spent repenting for our transgressions.
You can imagine how the rest of the scenario played out.
Note remained the same & I dont know to this day if she heard my rather quiet plea request or not.
Mission not accomplished I tried different approaches to the same end.
I slathered Sun-In in my dark hair each summer in an attempt to turn blond (results? ORANGE).
I begged my parents to let me join my friends at CCD so I’d not miss out on any girl-bonding time (results? Horrified parents).
I didnt exactly lie but pretty clearly implied I celebrated Christmas. I sneaked in & turned OFF our blue & white Hanukkah lights mere *moments* before friends came to pick me up at night during that season (results? Baffled parents).
Not surprisingly, the harder I worked at trying to guess what would make me fit in the more unhappy I grew.
The harder I worked at trying to guess what *other people* wanted from me in order to accept me as one of their own the more frustrated I became.
The turning point for me was Halloween when I was fourteen.
It was the morning of October 31st (devils night was embraced wholly in my neighborhood) and Id gone outside to grab the newspaper when I saw it.
Written in soap on the four windows of our garage were the letters: K I K E.
In that moment my life-view shifted.
Ive no clue to this day who wrote the word or if they grasped the gravity of what it meant—but I certainly did.
It was my personal AH HA! moment of realization that there was no need to try and blend in or guess who the world wanted me to be/would be most accepting of. The answer to who I was and whom I aspired to be was already inside of me.
It was almost another seven years before I grew completely comfortable in my own skin but starting that day, as I scrubbed the soap-letters from our garage, I ceased searching outside myself.
For how to dresstalkbehavelook.
For my self-definition.
My relationships improved (from friendships to dating to parental) and I was more content as a person.
And Ive not looked back.
Life isnt about fitting in. It’s about carving your unique path & creating an existence which allows you to be your best self.
My name is Carla & Im a FINALLY.
Finally Unapologetically Myself.
What kind of FORMERLY or FINALLY are you now or working toward?
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