Wednesday, May 21, 2003

By Tia

I am the antithesis of cool. A Geek. A Dork. And the best part about it is, I DON'T CARE! I’m happy being me. I’m not dainty. (Much love to the thicky thick girls reading) I’m not especially graceful. (Although, I‘ve come leaps and bounds since adolescence I still have my moments. Just this morning during jury duty, I lost my balance and fell in the lap of another juror. This was, of course in front of the judge, the attorneys, the other potential jurors and the defendants on trial for federal murder. I wonder why I was dismissed from service?) I’d rather read a good book than watch a crappy movie any day. I don’t own one thing from Abercrombie and would be caught dead in 99.99% of the stuff you’d find in Vogue. Prada, Gucci, Enyce…no thanks. Hand-me-down Gap skirt, American T-shirt I bought for $10 and old flip-flops are where you’ll find me. (That’s what I’m wearing at the moment, in case anyone cares.)

I work, play and worship in the Hollywood of the south: Brentwood, Tenn. It’s nothing to see random stars at any given time. Toya sat behind Donna Summer (or someone to that effect) a few months ago. I heard a Road Ruler goes to my church. Sheryl Crow was here last week for the funeral of June Carter Cash. So as you can imagine there is a lot of keeping up with The Jones. I often see people trying so desperately to fit in that you can’t tell who they really are. They buy the same clothes, drive the same cars and even drink the same overpriced coffee. And it’s all in an attempt to have the almighty moniker of “Cool” bestowed upon them.

Call me lazy, call me cynical but I ain’t got time for that. Image is not everything. I want to change the world not my wardrobe. A person’s acceptance should not be based on whether or not they can order a tall non-fat double grande latte with chai. (Is that even a real drink?) I thought we were supposed to build relationships based on who a person is not what they drink. Isn’t that what they taught us on Sesame Street?

I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when not only was I a dork, I was an insecure dork. I was a pretty average kid. Kinda cute actually. But something started to change around kindergarten. While the other kids were playing Atari, I was playing with my Speak and Math. Remember those? They were like Speak and Spell (Think E.T.) but with math problems. Everyone else wanted Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids. I wanted Transformers and books. Everything pretty much went down hill after grade school.
They put me in smart classes and I just stopped caring about trying to impress people.

High school presented its challenges. I wanted to fit in but I didn’t care enough to try all that hard at it. The ironic thing is the less I cared about “image” the more I got to know people. I guess if you’re not killing yourself trying to be “in” you can actually concentrate on building quality relationships. I found my niche and ran with it. Being the odd chick in Physics who liked Stone Temple Pilots didn’t bother me so much.

But don’t get it twisted. For me to sit here and say that I haven’t had and occasionally still do have my moments would be a lie. There was a time when I try to define myself by a lot of unrealistic standards. I try to be the person I thought my parents, friends and boyfriends wanted me to be. (That would explain the cowboy I dated in 10th grade. Belt buckle, hat and all. I was confused, y’all.) I spent a lot of time trying to fight off misery b/c I thought I was a failure as a person. I finally came to realize that God made me who I am. That before anyone else could love this mildly dramatic, highly nerdy, wanna be surfer/skater/British chick she had to see how much Christ loved her. I had to see myself through God’s eyes. Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows. Matt 10:29-31

So as the Anberlin cd ends and the John Mayer cd begins (Disc 2 of Any Given Thursday if you’re wondering.) I sit here and ponder the words of the great Pauly Shore in Encino Man, “I’m just happy to be me.” I’m happy in the skin I’m in. My weirdness, my idiosyncrasies, my dumb ideas make me who I am. I’ll always be that chick that gets a raised eyebrow or two when she walks in the room. I’m the girl who wouldn’t trade places with you or anyone else. The girl who’s happy with who she is, who she’s still becoming and who she’ll one day be.

PS. I have modified my appearance since those unfortunate adolescent years. I’m secure, not a masochist.

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