Who Am I Anyway? Am I My Resume?
I still remember the dance steps from my first professional dinner theater review of “A Chorus Line” where I attempted to step kick, kick, leap, kick, touch. AGAIN… and again, and again.
It took me a long time to figure out for sure who I was supposed to be. Early programming can lead us to find flaws that we discover later in life, were our best features. Raised in a conservative rural midwestern small town in a fundamentalist baptist church, acceptance is often subtly (and not so subtly) engrained into your psyche by peers, parents and people whose approval you seek.
Scott Wedekind, Diane Landis, Christopher Hopkins, Cindy Lew, Tom Lockhart, Nanci Greene 1985 River Palace Dinner Theater
I wanted so badly to be beautiful. And to be accepted. But I wasn’t. The beautiful boys fit into the rural midwestern ideal of the time. They had broad shoulders, strong arms and healthy looking skin. They played in sports. They worked hard and could talk farming, hunting and hog reports. I was terribly skinny with a bent for beauty, theater, dance, art. I sang and played the piano while the acceptable boys donned uniforms and got sweaty with other guys on the field, the court, the matt or the track.
Though I don’t like the word, and feel it’s used too often, I was bullied. Daily. Faggot, femmy boy, woman, pussy amongst other less publishable names. My stomach would turn when walking alone down the hallway and a group of the acceptable boys approached. It took me several years after graduation l to get out of the habit of looking down when 2 or more men approached me on the street.
I’m not sure exactly when I began accepting myself as I am. Nor am I sure, with my desire for constant, never ending self improvement that I will ever completely accept where I’m at. But what I can do is send that boy the approval he deserved and let him know it will turn out just swell. In the end, I am so grateful for being considered unacceptable. Because If I’d been accepted I’d have not searched. If I’d not searched I’d have not found. I’d have not knocked and doors wouldn’t have opened. Yes, “and now life really begins.” Go to it!