17 Jun Your geek is showing: Expressing who you truly are
Two weekends ago I received a personal invitation to join the Charlotte Geeks. I participated in another sci-fi convention (a much better and less stressful one than previously). Not only did I wear a green dress and bunny ears, I also wore my Monkees t-shirts (yes, I have more than one) and spoke with multiple people at length about my concert experiences, that time I was on stage with them, that trip to Knoxville to get another close-up photo with Peter Tork, and, of course, the album with all 4 autographs.
In another post I’ll talk about my relationship with The Monkees, but for now, I’ll share how refreshing it is to spend a weekend with people who accept and appreciate my geekiness as much as I appreciate theirs.
Because here’s the thing – I spent over 20 years in environments where I had to leave this aspect of my life at the door. Wearing bunny ears to work would have been frowned upon – understandable – but waxing poetic about Dragon Ball Z, why not? But it was all business and meetings and how can we take a year’s worth of work and condense it into 3 months… those sorts of things. I remember those times like they were yesterday…
I did wear a cape to work. Twice. With only one of those times for Halloween.
Shedding outgrown beliefs and habits
So, for the last 4 years I’ve had the opportunity to shed the stuffiness of corporate life, and some of the business casual attire I used to wear. And while I’m forever grateful for my life as a military brat, I dealt with a certain amount of stuffiness there too.
For example, in 6th grade, a classmate told me I was too silly. We were both 11-12 years old. Kids are supposed to be silly at that age, but someone somewhere decided we should all act like adults. I didn’t get the memo.
I get it now. There are times to be serious. School, work, being surrounded by spiritual types – as if spirituality can’t be silly sometimes. It can all be silly sometimes.
That’s why I’ve been taking Nia classes for over 2 years. There are some spiritual elements to the practice. And we are highly encouraged to be playful, make mistakes, be authentically ourselves, even as adults with children and jobs and responsibilities.
Loving the parts of yourself that no one claps for
Despite it being 4 years since I left corporate life, it hasn’t been easy giving myself permission to express some of my quirkiness. I can’t entirely blame corporate America for that, but it certainly reinforced the idea that it’s wrong and being unprofessional in any way shape or form is the kiss of death. Maybe I’m exaggerating. You tell me.
If you don’t think I’m exaggerating, and you feel there is something within you that’s absolutely dying to come out, what are you doing to help that along?
How do you express yourself, particularly in situations where it’s better to keep a lid on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
To be clear, when I talk about expressing yourself, I don’t mean being rude and condescending to others and then following up with “I’m just being honest!” I’m talking about your love of building a Star Wars character collectible, or your secret love of a TV show. Or maybe you want to explore your artistic side, or adopt a new spiritual practice that deviates from what you grew up with.
Take a moment and ask yourself…
- Where in your life do you feel it’s time to be true to yourself?
- If you’re ready, how will you share your true self with the world?
- If you’re not ready, and you want to be, what do you need to feel ready?
Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below. Or if you’re feeling extra bold, you can also share on my Facebook page!