“You’re an odd bird,” she said…

“You’re an odd bird,” she said, and for the first time in my life I felt affirmed.

Are there things you know about yourself that nobody would ever guess by interacting with you? Is that because you hide those aspects? Or is it perhaps because they’re buried in your subconscious and you don’t even realize that’s intrinsically who you are?

The thing is…

I suspected – maybe we all do – that there was another side to my personality that didn’t automatically show up. Every-once-in-awhile it leaked out. Like the time I was irresistibly attracted to a wildly colorful, Bo-Ho blouse that didn’t at all fit with the buttoned-down, tailored professional I thought I was. I bought it, loved it, but never wore it.

Growing up in Minnesota we lived near a reservation. Native Americans gathered every Friday night and performed traditional dances in full war paint and feathers. Their wild drumming mesmerized me. At six years old, when Dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I said, “An Indian chief.” He very solemnly replied, “Okay, honey.”

There was something about drums that took me to another realm. If you’ve never heard Japanese Taiko, baby, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. I was introduced to it at a Praises for the World concert in Berkeley, CA in 2002. I came home and tracked down an instructor. All through that winter I made the icy trek from my home in Minneapolis to a warehouse in St. Paul and drummed my little heart out.

When Jessica Murray told me I was an odd bird, she also said I’d gone through a transformation around 2012 – 2015 that redefined how I related to the world.

I moved to Bali in 2012.

Okay, this woman, this Jessica, didn’t know me from Eve. But she read me like a book. When she finished I understood myself in ways I never had before, because I AM an odd bird, and not too many people I know would describe me as such. In fact, before she said it and I acknowledged the truth of it, I would not have described me as such.

In Bali I’ve become who I am. Now I wear those Bo-Ho shirts, long swingy earrings, and flouncy skirts.

My blood pounds to the sound of gamalan orchestras as they parade with the deceased, the tower, and the bull to a cremation site. Here I’m an odd bird among others of my kind – some even odd-er – and nobody cares. It’s liberating and thrilling.

Don’t live small, only allowing a fraction of yourself to show up. Life’s too short. The world needs every bit of you, your good, bad, and ugly, your shine and your shadow. It’s thirsty for the nitty-gritty of you – especially now.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sageblessings
    Apr 24, 2020 @ 22:04:34

    Love this. Love taiko drumming!

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  2. Pat Malcolm
    Apr 24, 2020 @ 23:29:41

    Isn’t it great when we get to live all sides of ourselves? It really frustrated my mother, who always wanted me to settle down and just do one thing. I’m about to turn 71 and am proud to say I never did! In the words of a wise man, “Don’t worry, be happy!”

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  3. Kate
    Apr 25, 2020 @ 10:58:11

    You speak to me… lovely odd bird! I think you could counsel a flock of all of us – how eo we break into flight? I feel a constriction growing and I KNOW this is a pivotal year for me. I just don’t know how to direct myself to BE myself, finally!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Apr 25, 2020 @ 15:20:49

      Do you like to write, Kate? Journaling can be an excellent way to unpack those constrictions and examine them. But sometimes we just have to trust and allow whatever is trying to manifest to come forward. That feeling, though – I know it well. Patience is your friend!

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