Reasons for Living: Punctuation and My (Weird) Self

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I'll be the first one to admit, I'm a complete geek. Maybe that's why I fit in so well here? I knew I'd be able to relate to the team at Delivering Happiness before I was even an official member, when Jenn Lim sent me a copy of the DH core values to read after my interview. The first one says: "Be true to your (weird) self. Live with passion and purpose." Dude. These are my people.

For the last few weeks I've been thinking about what I would choose as the topic of my next "Reasons for Living" post. The idea that had been swirling in my head was all about punctuation, and it's role in my life. I'm actually planning to have a semicolon tattooed on my body ahead of my wedding this summer. The semicolon's function in a sentence, stated most simply, is to remind us to pause. I've heard stories from so many brides about how little of the actual day they remember, how many moments they didn't take the time to appreciate, and instead allowed to slip away in the craziness of the event. I don't want that. I'm going to put my semicolon on the inside of my wrist, so that every time I look down I'll see it and remember that I need to stop and take everything in, remind myself to not just enjoy the day, but to experience it fully, and remember.

Last night, when I tried to begin writing my post on punctuation, I got to thinking, not about semicolons, but about the "ah ha!" moment that I had with that first core value, and about those awesome parentheses that really make it work.

Being true to myself is something that I've struggled with in my work life. I'm a sci-fi geek, gamer girl, quilter, and writer, working in corporate America. Anyone else out there feel like we're all supposed to match as well as the taupe cubicle walls do? I don't match. I struggle with maintaining the "corporate professional" facade, my every internal impetus is to be my normal, snarky, transparent, impulsive self. I feel like I'm living inside a parenthetical, like all the things I like best about myself, that make me me, are packaged up neatly between two curved lines, not really necessary to the statement and prepared to be removed at any time, without changing the meaning. But removing what's in those parentheses does change the meaning.

When I saw "Be true to your (weird) self," I smiled, and relaxed. Here, with these people, I don't have to drop my own parenthetical. I can let my work life merge with my "real" life, I can be me.

Being true to my (weird) self, means embracing all of my wacky and weird loves. Sharing my hobbies and interests with others and being appreciated for my different-ness. It means finally living the transparent life that is actually aligned with who I am.

How are you being true to your (weird) self? Tell us about it in the comments, or Facebook or Twitter, with the hashtag #mytrueself!

About the Author

Lindsay Brunner


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