Don’t Be Beige

Don’t be beige.

I scribbled the words excitedly in my journal like a 15 year old writing about her new crush.  So profound.  Or was it?  I can never tell with these thoughts that occur to me in the shower, or while driving around town, or while I’m half-watching Law & Order: SVU and half-making an imaginary grocery list.  (Does anyone else do that? I’d imagine it’s a normal part of life as a mom/household manager/toddler wrangler.)

Anyway… beige.  The walls in our apartment are beige. I don’t mind it.  It’s not particularly exciting, but it’s fine.  Beige is a neutral – one of the blending colors.  It’s a color that allows all the other decor to be seen. Beige is a good background because it isn’t memorable or noticeable. It does not stand out.

Don’t be beige is my new motto.  So what exactly do I mean when I say, “don’t be beige”?

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I mean show yourself.  Reveal who you are.  Don’t be afraid to live your life at full volume because you think someone else won’t like your song. In order to live a fulfilled life, you need to in full glory and magnificence, without any care for what anyone else thinks.

I think that people are comfortable being beige. Beige isn’t scary. I get that.  They feel beige is safe. It’s polite. It doesn’t offend. I tried to be beige, I tried to please people, tried to blend, tried to step back so others could have the attention.  While blending in and being beige may make others comfortable, ultimately living life this way ends in disappointment and regret.

Two major things I noticed while I was consciously camouflaging myself:

  • There is no benefit to me. – I gained nothing from stepping back, dimming my own light or quieting my passion.  Literally nothing good comes from silencing my voice so that someone else can speak.  I get no life experience, meet no new people, and receive no praise because no one sees me.  And ironically trying to please others didn’t make them like me more ore less.
  • There is no benefit to others. – The people who shine do that because of who they are. Colorful, magnetic, fun, talented. My beige-ness didn’t accentuate them. It only hid me. Worse, being beige causes me to miss out on contributing to the world in a way that only I can.

When I realized I wasn’t being my authentic self, I made a choice to be more colorful. I spoke up when I felt passionate.  I accepted invitations to parties.  I wore the sexy dress without worrying what someone else might think. Creatively, I have so much to give, and expressing that through writing, podcasting, and other venues allows me to contribute something tangible to the world.  My kids see me being silly and it shows them that they can be silly too.  I follow my own rules and beat my own drum and in the same way, peers and friends hear me telling my story and they are emboldened to tell their own.  It’s a beautiful domino effect.

These days, I have renovated my soul. There is no beige. I am memorable. I stand out. I am not a neutral, because I have a voice and I’m not afraid to be seen, and my home – and my whole world – is so much more colorful.

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Asking for Exposure

Hey Friends,

So as I’m sitting here at my desk (read: on my bed) this morning I’m thinking about the concept of marketing.  Direct marketing, grassroots, bad videos that go viral,  things like that.  The purpose of my search was to find out how I could best reach a wider audience with my book and podcast.  The answer, so far, is I don’t know.

I have an online profile coming out next week, and a blurb in a local magazine.  I asked for both of those.  Up to now, that’s been my strategy: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.  A part of me believes, though, that if the work is good the people will like it.

If you build it, they will come. right?  I don’t make a habit of arguing with classic movie talking cornfield logic.  So if my work is good enough, it will attract followers.

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Did you guys hear that?

Still, I can’t help but wonder what might happen if I had just one BIG name. One influencer.  One celeb who read the book and loved it and wanted to pass it on. The work IS good.  And because it’s good I want it to reach many people – and hug them and validate them and save them – and so I’m impatient for it to go global.

So, my friends, I’m asking you – will you be my influencers?  Will you support my small endeavor so that it becomes a large endeavor and eventually a movement? Will you help me build it, so they will come and read and listen and grow? Write a post! Interview me! Link to the book, buy the book, share it on kindle.  Listen to the podcast, share it, tell others if you find value in it!  I’d be so grateful.

The book is on Amazon here

The Fear Itself podcast is here, with options to support and subscribe.