Thursday, October 4, 2018

Choosing the Untraditional

This morning as I was making coffee, I contemplated my blue coffee mug. Blue, like cobalt glass, and almost see-through. I’ve had this mug for many years. I thought about how blue was my favorite color for most of my life, and how part of the reason I chose blue was because blue was not considered a girl’s color.

My striving to be different started at an early age. Maybe it was because I saw my brother treated better than me. Maybe it was because I was still in an era where girls and boys had specific roles, and I saw that boys had more opportunities (got more stuff, were allowed to do more things … seemed free). Maybe I just realized from an early age I didn’t want to fit into a mold of what others dictated I was supposed to be.

I didn’t like girly stuff. I seldom played with dolls (although I liked paper dolls and making clothes for them – because that was artsy – not that I understood being an artist at the time.) I didn’t like being in the house or helping with house stuff that wives and mothers took care of. I didn’t like wearing dresses or having to act like a girl when the boys got to be wild and be outside.

My mother wasn’t a girly-girl, either, and although she didn’t totally act like those perfect “Leave It to Beaver” housewife models, she was still part of that timeframe of life for women. She didn’t do the normal woman-thing too much either. She was always on the fringe.

She taught us hide ‘n’ seek, kick the can, and took us out in the woods on walks. So, perhaps it was from her I that made me determined to not be like other girls. She didn’t have many friends. She didn’t play the “follow the leader” games or become part of a clique.

Instead of dolls, I wanted to be outside playing with my brother’s trucks. I wanted to climb trees, explore the woods and fields, and ride my bike faster than the boys. I decided to have blue as my favorite color because it was a boy color. Girls were supposed to like red.

I never did totally conform to the traditional role of woman. Yes, I married and had children. Yes, I totally love my children with all my heart, but even the role of mother and grandmother has me apart from most. Maybe my roles can never be the same as the majority. Maybe … I don’t know …

And in trying to live whole-heartedly, I have to accept who I am without feeling guilty for not following the more traditional role of womanhood. I have to celebrate my uniqueness and understand, too, I am not the only one. We can’t all be the same. It’s the differences in people that make life interesting. The important thing is seeing that we are all good no matter what roles we choose to play (or be).

These days I’m more known for my love of purple. Part of that, too, is a desire to be different. If I could find a coffee mug, just like my blue one, but in purple, that would be the cherry on top of my morning.

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