I march to the beat of my own drum…except it’s not a drum. And I don’t march.
This is what I said to my husband several nights ago when he was poking fun at me for talking nonsensically (which is a common occurrence). It is also my defense when my clothes don’t match, or when I make up words in the middle of conversations, or when I’m just being a little weird (eccentric, quirky, whathaveyou).
I like being weird. Or maybe I should say, I am comfortable in my own personality (Because everyone is a little weird, in my opinion). I am comfortable in my non-conformity of certain things.
When I was young, I was labeled as Quiet. It followed me through school. “Amy is so quiet.” It sounded so negative when people said it. Feeling shy (there’s a difference between quiet and shy) certainly inhibited me in several ways. Feeling shy was a hurdle I continually had to try to jump over to enjoy certain social situations. Feeling shy is something that has faded a bit as I became older and more comfortable in myself. Being quiet is something that stayed with me.
But being quiet is not a negative quality. I don’t think I fully grasped that until I was out of high school. Being quiet in a society of talkers has its benefits. Being quiet means opportunity to listen, to hear, to think. Being quiet lets me observe, lets me understand, lets me savor the moment. But if I become too quiet, or let my quietness turn to shyness, I can block people out. I can bottle up what needs to be poured out. It is a balancing act.
Although I am generally a quiet person, I am also a loud person. Boisterous even, sometimes. The more you know me, the less quiet I seem. It depends on the situation. It depends on who I am with.
All that to say, I hate labels. I hate giving people labels. Because no one is one thing. They might only be one thing to us (or maybe we’re only focused on that one thing), but not to their mother or their sister or friend. Not to themselves.
I want my daughter to know she isn’t any ONE thing, but has many, many qualities. She can be shy and she can be social. She can be talkative, and she can be pensive. She can be opinionated and indecisive (Welcome to the toddler years).
She can march (or dance or hop) to the rhythm of her own drum…or saxaphone.