Meek, Strong, Big, Small – A Story of Strength in 7 Snippets

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I.

Scene: It’s 2006.  19-year-old me behind the register at a local pharmacy.  My summer job until I return to school for my sophomore year.  A woman comes into the store and starts perusing the aisles in a peculiar, suspicious manner.  My supervisor — a petite, blonde girl, who is maybe a year older than me, at best — has me follow her.  Standard retail procedure: pretend to clean the aisle, to put things away, yet all the while a presence around a potential shoplifter.

The woman doesn’t purchase anything, but she also doesn’t steal anything.  She just leaves.

“Thank you so much for doing that,” my supervisor said. “I would’ve done it myself, but you’re so much more intimidating.  I’m too tiny — I wouldn’t scare anything.”

I smirk self-consciously.  Me?  Intimidating?  I’m 5’11”, but the idea of me holding any weight or space is foreign to me. Continue reading

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Type Four

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I’ve been blessed in my adult life with people who are primed to dive deep into the waters of the human condition — from all walks of life, these incredible people who are willing to admit we don’t have as much knowledge or control over who we are as we’d like to think we do, and that it’s vital to learn our own authentic story before — as Jeanette Winterson puts it — the story takes us in directions we don’t want to go. Continue reading

Urgency 

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I can’t do beach vacations.

At least, not the type where you lay in a lounge chair all day (to quote Bill Engvall: “With a mai tai in hand, and keep them coming until I fall over.”)

To paraphrase Eddie Izzard, I’m a running, jumping, climbing trees type of person — even when the location is tropical.  Even in Puerto Rico — at a resort made for relaxing on a lounge chair with mai tai in hand — I had to keep moving.  The idea of being idle all day sounded like hell.

“I’ve got an hour of laying on the beach in me, tops,” I say to my husband, as we’re discussing our anniversary trip — a trip that has, not once, been a beach vacation, despite that being the #1 way my husband relaxes.

“Why would that be so difficult?” he asks.

“Because…I’m anxious,” I reply.

“But, why the anxiousness?” My husband asks, his usual inquiring.  There’s nothing accusatory about it.  He simply wants to better figure out how I tick.

“Because…there’s an overwhelming sense of urgency,” I say.  “I’d spend the entire time feeling like I should be doing something. I’d feel like I was wasting my time. There’s nothing relaxing about that.” Continue reading