Every once in a while, you are given the gift of proof. Even when it has been right in front of you, proven and shown time and again, and you either do not see, or do not believe. Then something will happen, and you are given the amazing gift that opens your eyes and touches your heart.
I am one of those individuals who wants to be accepted and fit in, while at the same time wanting to be that individual happy with who you are, on your own. That paradoxal life that seems confusing and frustrating. Wanting to be one of the cool kids yet one that stands out on my own. All the while struggling, feeling that it was a battle I faced fully on my own. I have been called shy. I have been called too independent. Tagged time and again with descriptions that had me dreaming of an acceptance that I feared would never come.
Several years ago, I wanted a Jeep. The big kid wanted that Wrangler, the responsible adult purchased the Compass. The big kid who only dreams of being that individual who stands out, decided to allow the character of the Jeep shine. Seeing so many Jeeps with their names and tattoos, I wanted mine to join in the fun. Being a Compass, the name Star seemed obvious. I did go simple, a compass design on the hood with a ribbon of stars that crossed the hood and down the driver’s side. Planning once able, to continue the stars around the back and up the passenger side. Star, who I have often laughing stated identifies as a Wrangler, was accepted. We were accepted in a local Jeep group. It didn’t matter, if it said Jeep, it was accepted without hesitation. But, in the back of my mind, was the fears and concerns of whether I was accepted. Whether I fit in..or not. Even though no one had ever acted in any way that I didn’t. Fear and insecurities are a horrible thing. They can prevent actual living in life.
One thing I do love to do, is join in the Jeep group events. I don’t always get to participate, but I do cheer the group on from the background. Last year I participated in the group’s annual Show and Shine Jeep show. I even entered Star. She didn’t win, but she did get ducked and that was winning enough to me at that moment.
The show and shine, is a fundraising event for the group’s charity Love Like Lauren. https://lovelikelauren.com/ Last year I helped sell souvenir shirts. I helped give directions. I helped clean up afterwards. I wandered among the many who attended and made the event a success. The process is well underway for this year’s event. Tickets and tags, signs are printed and being put into the public’s eye and hand. I had ducked some Jeeps while in Tennessee at the first of the month, but I needed more tags and I really wanted a yard sign.
Today I went to meet a couple of people who are not only part of the Jeep group, but part of the foundation. They were already there when I pulled in to the designated meeting place. I had anticipated a quick exchange of greetings and the items I had come for. Instead I found myself deep in conversation for almost an hour. Chatting over so many different things, I don’t know if the ‘bug eyed sunglasses(as my son calls them) hid the surprise and joy in my eyes or not. But at that moment, during that extended conversation, I felt one of the cool kids. I felt, and it was assured, that I was fully accepted and not only accepted but appreciated. I felt, a friend. In the course of the conversation, I did say that if there was anything else I could do, call me. I meant that thing. All too soon, even though time would say otherwise, we parted ways. Me to come home and them off to deliver more materials for the event.
Once I got home, I immediately got the sign in the ground up along the road in front of the house. I then came in and began getting the tags on the ducks. One of which I have already delivered. There is the realistic side that reminds me that while I am a part of the group, I am nowhere near the level that some reach in participation and actions. I’m not a leader, not a manager, I’m a follower. I am happily one of the worker bees. Out here, doing what ever I am able, doing what will help with the success of the show. Whether it is ducking Jeeps, putting up a yard sign, or writing blogs to draw attention to something that is important to so many. Taking a part, knowing that no matter how small, it is important. Feeling, that maybe, I am actually one of the cool kids trying to help an event that is so important and so special be a success. And having an amazing time doing it.