I remember when I was a teenager, I wanted to be good enough to make the basketball team. Frankly, I sucked at basketball but my older sisters were both on varsity teams and I was trying to follow their lead. They were pretty and popular, and I tried to be just like them. I couldn’t do it, and oh, how I beat myself up about it.
At the same time that I was running pathetically up and down the basketball court, I was also doing well academically. I had a great imagination. I was curious. I pushed myself to do things that were uncomfortable if I thought that they were worth doing. I talked a lot too, although whether that is an attribute is debatable.
The problem was that I, like so many others, couldn’t see what my gifts were because I was too busy comparing myself to someone else. Judging myself by someone else’s standards. And that is never a good thing.
So here we are, many years later, and I’ve had a bit of a revelation. As I’ve mentioned, I recently wrote a children’s book, the story of which was kind of given to me. Like a gift. The universe gave me a gift. I did no market research. I did not wrack my brain for an idea for a book. I had no intention of writing a children’s book. But I did, and it’s printed and going into some stores, and we’ve opened an Etsy shop. And I finally know why it happened.
The universe game me this gift because I have the gifts to bring it into the world. First of all, I understand this story, and I have the ability to write it down and make it sound good. I have the imagination for it. I also have the tenacity to get it out there, even if it scares me. And finally, I can talk about it until the cows come home.
It is a story about being true to yourself. About understanding the joy that comes from following your own path. And it’s a story that can lead to conversations about acceptance of others, no matter their colour, their gender, how they choose to worship, or who they choose to love. All told by a sweet red crayon named Emerald Green.
So even though the thought of groups of small children makes me sweat, I’m going to go out and read my book to them. I’m going to read to them because I truly want those little humans to be happy with who they are. I want them to know that they have their own path to follow. I’m going to go out and read my book to as many kids as I can. Why don’t you join me?