Look, I am uptight, studious, introverted, goofy, sarcastic, almost brooding, always thinking, easily distracted and squirrel.
I am not bold, brave, proud, mischievous or fast. Definitely not fast.
Or am I?
About three weeks ago I agreed to dress up as one of the My Little Pony ponies for our kids school Halloween festival with a couple of other mom’s. I usually agree to stuff like this before I know what I am getting myself into because…squirrel. See? Easily distracted. Also, I just don’t take myself too seriously and just figure it will be fun. But then the e-mail threads began and the girls who are good at planning things like this (I am busy chasing squirrels, thank you very much) start assigning ponies to each of us. Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Twighlight Sparkle, Rarity and Rainbow Dash. Everyone gets a pony. Everyone gets a costume. Whatever.
I’m perusing the e-mails and scanning for relevant informaion. I scroll down to the part where I see my name in Times New Roman next to my pony’s name: Rainbow Dash. My face grimaces and I let out a quizzical “huh?” Is that the book worm one? The one that is a farmer? Which pony is the introvert who chases squirrels? Gosh, I don’t know. I know my niece has an extensive collection of ponies, but I’m drawing a blank.
I browse the catalog in my brain that carries all the information about My Little Pony and realize that I have no card to match Rainbow Dash. It’s blank. I head to the internet to fill in the gap. Here’s what I find on the Hub Network main site:
“Rainbow Dash lives for adventure! Whenever there’s a problem that involves danger, distant lands, and mysterious beasts, she’s the first to help. She’s bold. She’s brave. She’s also a bit proud and mischievous — but wouldn’t you be too if you were the fastest Pegasus around?”
Here is what I find on Wikipedia:
“Rainbow Dash is a sky-blue pegasus pony with a rainbow-colored mane and tail. Her cutie mark is a cloud with a primary coloured striped lightning bolt. She represents the Element of Loyalty and is brave, bold and tomboyish, but has several hidden fears. Though she often appears arrogant, she still has a kind heart and is there for her friends when they need her.”
Is this what people think of me? Am I okay with them thinking this about me? I won’t let others define me! I know thyself! In fact, I am “know thyself!!”
But over the course of a couple of weeks, I mulled over a few things in my head. We are not necessarily defined by other people, but sometimes other people see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves whether those things are good things or things we’d rather not talk about (cause unless you are a sociopath, there are few really “bad” things, most of the time we are just trying to hide things that are totally normal – like pride or boldness).
Maybe being brave and bold and proud scares me so I’d rather just play up the introvert in me. Maybe without knowing it, I do live for adventure and get myself into mischief – I married an raging extrovert for goodness sake.
One of my favorite quotes about who we are is from Abraham Lincoln. He says “whatever you are, be a good one.” If we choose to define ourselves by using our internal compass as a guide and also choose to acknowledge what others see in us as a possibility then maybe we set ourselves up for something wonderful – and I think I like that. I think I like that very much.
I will not be defined by anyone, but I cannot always ignore what others may perceive in me either. There is a balance. After all, mirrors don’t talk back – they reflect (unless as my sister pointed out, they are mirrors from fairy tales and in that case they do indeed talk back, but most mirrors only reflect). If we need an opinion or a word, we need not be afraid to seek it.
(And now I am officially rabbit holing into Abraham Lincoln quotes and fairy tales with mirrors because…squirrel).
Categories: Life Lessons Through Sports