During the Coronavirus lockdown, I was browsing through a box of old pictures.
I came across this picture that I used to hide because I was embarrassed at my disheveled and frumpy appearance; stomach out, shirt unbuttoned, knee socks askew, staring down the camera. I’d defiantly claimed the top of the pedestal – Like I was thinking: I dare you.
My sisters and mother appeared “together.” Unlike me – shirts tucked in, neat, composed, orderly.
I think that at the age of 6, I learned I was an “outlier.” And for decades, I tried To.Not.Be.That. The messy kid, who couldn’t color inside the lines, standing on the pedestal when others sat politely.
And as I looked at that picture, I remembered the “back story;” the events of the week that led up to my dad capturing that image. And believe me, as I reflected on these events, I could see how they each shaped me into who I am today. I laughed and cried and was no longer embarrassed, but proud of this disheveled kid and who she’d become.
Let me take you back:
My family was taking our first vacation: The first plane ride for my sisters and me. Bermuda here we come!
But, as a kid, I’d had a problem with motion sickness. I could not go across town in the car without throwing up. And the trip to Logan Airport in Boston was no exception.
Sisters: “Mom – Marty’s lips are turning blue.”
Mom: “Pull the car over and let her out.”
So my dad and I stood in the highway median while I blew my breakfast.
Understandably, no one in my family wanted to sit with me on the plane after that.
To everyone’s relief, my dad finally sacrificed himself and relented, “Ok. I will.”
I was so excited. Back then, kids didn’t go on airplanes! I got coloring books, crayons, a junior stewardess pin – with wings! And then it came time for the meal. Oh Boy! My favorite – roast beef, mashed potatoes and cherry pie!
My dad, remembering our highway median experience, offered to share his meal with me. Of course, I would have none of that and wanted my own meal… I was insistent. To which he said: “OK – if you get sick, you’re on your own.”
It was delicious. And then the crew members became my new best friends. I even got to sit on the pilot’s lap and fly the plane during the flight! As my sisters sat in their seats…pale and queasy.
(By the way, I never got car sick again!)
When we arrived in Hamilton, we went to our little beach cottage. I was so excited to explore everything…
So what, that it was dark outside. I was on a mission to check out my new home for the week… I ran through the house, room by room, on to the patio and quickly fell off the little stone wall (where my sisters are seated in the picture.) OOPS. Oh well! Where’s Marty? On the ground.
I’m ok. Where’s the beach?
Places to Go…People to Meet…
My next recollection was later in the week when we went shopping at a fancy department store. I remember needing to use the ladies’ room and when I was finished, I didn’t see any family members nearby, so off I went… exploring the store. A kind woman noticed this 6 year old wandering through the store and figured there were probably some adults looking for me…
I remember thinking – Hey – you weren’t there when I was finished in the ladies room; I had places to go, people to meet and things to do!
So, when my dad captured this image, I’d like to think he captured the real essence of who I am in life.
On a side note – I think he had a premonition of this quirky kid before I was born. As the story goes, I used to kick so hard in the womb that the bed would shake. He would say “This kid is full of beans.” And my nickname, from birth to into my teen years was “Beansie.” Which of course I hated and found embarrassing – because you know, it’s a musical fruit.
So there you have it – literally – in a snapshot. Beansie Goes to Bermuda. How a week as a 6 year old in Bermuda shaped my life.
My only regret is that it took me so many decades to see and appreciate this kid for who she really is: non-traditional, curious, quirky, fearless and independent. I wish I hadn’t spent so many years apologizing for myself or trying to be orderly and appropriate. It never worked anyway. People could see through my façade! Who was I kidding?!
So I invite you during this time of lockdown and staying at home to browse your old pics, especially those that you find embarrassing. Isolate yourself for an hour and explore the inner beauty of that embarrassment.
You may have an opportunity to re-discover yourself or claim who you’ve been all along.
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Marty Stanley, aka Beansie, Certified Speaking Professional, thinks it’s never too late to discover who you are. In the age of Corona, why not explore the possibilities of who you are and what you really want in life? If you’re ready to explore or reinvent, give Marty a call 816-695-5453 or 858-432-6764 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alteringoutcomes.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/martystanley