A needle in a haystack

Individuality is what makes us or breaks us… so the being normal idea is not one of my favorites.  However, I sometimes wish I were a needle in a haystack as my individuality is what sometimes gets on the way, especially at work.  The place where you don’t find many enjoying anything they do and when they see someone that does, it makes them wonder whether that person is crazy.  And that crazy person is me.

I once had a boss who told me that I was too happy to not be hiding something.  Say what? So my enjoyment for life bothered someone to the point where she had to tell me to tone my happiness down?!  Now, that’s crazy!

Feedback is food for the soul and I welcome it as it makes me want to improve.  But… when does feedback stop being feedback to become an affront?

I got mine at work this week and, much to my surprise, it was not about work; therefore, it made me wonder whether I would do something about it or not.

I love myself and accept whatever comes my way as a learning opportunity -and I’ve had some tough lessons- but when it comes to others wanting to change what makes me ME… I cannot help but laugh.  Which of course triggers the “you’re condescending” comment as I guess the reaction they were looking for was not that one at all.

They say I come off too strong because of the way I walk, look and speak.  Meaning… my entire mortal self affects other people’s psyche.  But how on earth do I change that?  I wonder how my walking affects anyone or whether changing the color of my eyes and skin would make this country’s earthlings accept me or make a difference.  To have them feel that I’m part of the bunch and then… disappear. Lose all individuality.  Lose me.

All of this came about from a post I read this week about cultural misconceptions… the tagging we all fear or dread when there’s not much we can do about it.  My number came up and I’ve been tagged as “way too different”.  So let’s break this down…

The walking part.

I walk fast.  So sue me because I’m laughing hard at this one.  What I see is others walking as if they didn’t want to get to where they’re going.  Hunched back and appearing lazy.  Like zombies!  And I do want to get to where I’m going, be it the copy machine at the office or the shampoo aisle at the supermarket, I want to get there.  So… why is that wrong?

Someone even told me that, when I walk into a room I’m noticed and that I look like someone who just came out of a spa or came back from a shopping spree. LOL So I look relaxed and ready for anything? Is that it?  Is that good or bad?

The speaking part.

That would be a little hard to change, if I wanted to, as people say I speak as if I knew what I was talking about due to intonation and some even say I sound like a man… “women don’t sound like that”, they say.   We don’t?!?  “So it makes you sound aggressive”, they continue.  Well, I’m sorry but how exactly are we supposed to sound like then? An airhead?  Maybe that’s it, the intonation some use that gives you the impression that they are asking a question at the end of every sentence.  That’s gotta be it.

The looks part.

My genes gave me blue eyes, white skin and dark blonde hair (salt an pepper these days).  Now that’s a disturbing one for someone to point out (if not idiotic)… is it not?  Because no matter what I do, I will still stand out in this country I live in. Come to think of it, I have only blended in when I lived in the US and Canada (including the walking and talking parts) so, for others to believe that my looks make me seem arrogant or out of place, I say “Enough already!”.

I’m a 56 year old woman who looks and sounds foreign and walks like someone who’s proud of having defeated the bad and the ugly that has come her way and that have shaped her into what she is today: a strong person who appreciates every single moment she spends on this planet.

And I don’t know whether I’m sorry at all that it bothers some I share space with.  Should it? Should I be a needle in a haystack for others to not feel there’s too much of me?


6 thoughts on “A needle in a haystack

  1. tantoverde says:

    You know the story about man, kid and a donkey? Well, people will always say something. People ask me why my eyes are not blue if I am Russian (but… seriously?)
    And you know – people ALWAYS ask me “Why do you laugh?” Should I cry instead or what? I guess laughing and being happy requires open-mind, because you can abstract from your job and your this minute problems and see life as something bigger

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds as if you have come across a person(s) not at all comfortable in his own skin, thus causing him to project onto you. My advice to others has always been this- walk into any room like you own it, then offer a welcome smile to all- confidence and approachability. Never lower your own capabilities to suit another’s confidence level. No needle! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra says:

    Like your blog title, wonder if you’re familiar with the O’Donohue poem, “Fluent”?


    • liapettersen says:

      I wasn’t! I looked it up and here it is:

      I would love to live
      Like a river flows,
      Carried by the surprise
      Of its own unfolding.

      And that’s exactly what I’m striving for. Learning, enjoying and being grateful for wherever it leads.


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