Blame It All On My Roots…

….I showed up in boots…or Converses, Sperrys, flats, sandals or barefoot (NOT!) I may be from Kentucky but I’m always wearing shoes unless I’m at home.

You might be thinking…Ooh I own all of those as well and you may very well be a fashionista (more power to you if that’s the case). I, on the other hand, have always had a very eclectic sense of style and tastes.

One of my first memories as a child was being asked in elementary school if I was mixed. Having long, curly light brown hair and an olive skin tone has thrown most folks off over the years. People automatically assume I’m biracial with African-American and Caucasian, partially Latin or just a really tan White girl. Society has a funny way of putting race into just about every conversation or so it seems. Caucasian has been what my birth certificate has always said but over the years I always found myself explaining that I’m part Egyptian and part white.

I have been an athlete a majority of my life, starting on a co-ed tee ball league when I was 5. I was always involved in school activities, started singing in church at 2 years old so school chorus was a staple in my classes year after year, etc.

Fast forward to high school. High school can be a strange, confusing time for some, working hard to find their niche, the folks they plan on being “forever” friends with, their sense of identity in an odd way. Nostalgia sets in when I look back on how high school was to see that everyone was just trying to find their place, how to make their way and so forth.

I spent my freshman year at Henry Clay High school. Most of my days were spent listening to Green Day, Crossfade, Killswitch Engage or Fat Joe, Chingy and Lil Wayne. I spent every chance I could at Crossroads Christian Church in their youth group, 242 groups and by joining the praise team. I never lost my love for softball (still do to this day) but there were four years that I was home-schooled between elementary school and high school so you could say that didn’t exactly advance me any in that arena. I played my freshman year at Henry Clay doing my best to make up for what had been lost and before I knew it life would have me transferring to Scott County. I had been told from the start that the softball team had been decided a number of years prior to getting into high school. The same girls who had been playing all their lives would continue to do so and their places had been pretty much decided. Fate sealed. I was told I could accept a position on the team not knowing how much I would have the opportunity of playing until I proved myself. This is completely understandable if you understand what a powerhouse Scott County is when it comes to sports and even more so if you knew the amazingly talented young women were who had already made their way onto the team. This could have been intimidating for some but I like to think I worked hard for every bit of playing time I had and then some but it wasn’t enough (it was mediocre at best in my opinion and that wasn’t good enough in my eyes). That ship had sailed. The 5 years of slow-pitch softball with the 2 years of fast-pitch wasn’t enough to get there to the next level. Sometimes experience is so much more than one’s love for the game. After years of saying, there just wasn’t enough time for both softball and volleyball, I came to terms with it. Volleyball became my next focus. Sports had always been a big part of my life and high school was no different.

Music continued to be a top priority as well being involved with Singers, Ladies Ensemble etc. I began to develop friends in different social circles due to differences in tastes. Scott County was a bit cliquey coming in as a sophomore in high school. I thought I knew who I was at the time, when in fact I just had a great deal of goals and aspirations and I was figuring myself out as I went.

You had your preps, the jocks (often they were the same), the band crew, the FFA crowd, emo/grunge, the vocational kids, and so on and so forth. Looking back, there wasn’t one specific group that I “fit” completely in with. After high school, none of that matters (as it never should have) and everyone is back on the equal playing field.

I always had a variety of friends in different social influences over the years that compliment different interests I’ve had. My love for music quickly became love of rock festivals, the occasional country concert. I discovered a love of the great outdoors, going hiking, and spending extensive amounts of time in the gorge. Truck pulls were my favorite past time for a brief stent. I spent 3 years doing mixed martial arts(Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai). I love keeping my nails done but boxing and lifting weights are my favorite forms of cardio. I spent 10 years getting relaxers because I was determined to have straight hair, it took me years to embrace my curls.I love getting dolled up, but I’m just as comfortable being in a t-shirt and yoga pants. “The Prayer” by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion remains my favorite song to this day. A League of Their Own is still my favorite movie of all time. I’m obsessed with architecture and interior design. My metallic slate converses are my favorite shoes that I own currently. I go cuckoo for cocoa puffs over all things Toyota. 1990’s R&B, 1970’s Disco, and 1980’s power ballads are all some of my favorite genres to this day. Those are just the tip of the iceberg…

I could go on and on about myself but I will highlight the below definition instead.

Anomaly (n): Something different; not easily classified.

The above word is how I would best describe myself. There is no magic box to check. But even more importantly there doesn’t need to be. The world is full of differences. Don’t get so worried about the labels. No matter the color of our skin, the religion we choose to practice, the person we choose to love, the interests we may have, etc, we are all human beings. We are one. As a society, we need to learn to embrace each other  more and lift each other up through the differences we have rather than separating one another for it. They are the intricate parts of our lives and part of what make us all unique. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to not fit a specific mold. Make your own way, do your own thing, and elevate yourself in doing so. Be proud of the versatility you bring to the table. Know the value of knowing your value. Be confident in your abilities. Manifest your time and energy where you best see fit, not where you feel society’s norms may lead you to be.

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