Begin Again

IMG_6561Each Spring, it seems I need to replace the plants on my porch.  I let the ones from last year die off in the winter.  It's never intentional, it just happens.  Well lack of water and protection from the winter cold is what actually kills them but that's never my intention. These new plants remind me that we have the choice to begin again.  We can begin again every day, every minute, every second, if we choose.  If I wake up in a crappy mood or cranky, I can choose to continue down that path or make a shift and change my perspective.  And some days, I stay on the path of crankiness and hey, that's ok.

As I approach turning 49 this Friday, I have been thinking about all the ways I begin again. This blog is one place I tend to begin again and again and again.  I take these long unexpected breaks but the writing always calls me back.  It's been over a year and while so many things have happened in that year and 4 months, some things remain the same.  I'm still in the same home,  still teaching Pilates, Allie cat still wakes me up too early in the morning, and my family are all doing well.  Some things have changed though and reflecting back, there have been some huge changes!  I began and ended a relationship, both of my parents lost their precious fur babies, my sister graduated from college and started teaching kindergarten, my mother 'retired' from her corporate job and I started an Holistic Life Coaching program.  I have also begun the online dating process again.  So I'm almost full circle to where I left you last year.  Although so much has changed.

I'm a bit lighter in my approach.  In the past, I was looking for "the one", that relationship that is going to last the rest of my life.  I'm not saying that wouldn't be nice, of course it would but it's just not my focus.  Although if it happens naturally, then bonus!  I'm dating, yes, dating.  I'm meeting new people and seeing what develops.  I'm having fun and not jumping into anything too quickly.  Enjoying the ride.  Most have not gone past a first or second date and that's ok.  We will see what happens and I hope to share more here.

And so, I begin again.


Suffering Silently

IMG_5535 Dealing with chronic pain over the last year has been eye opening for me.  It has made me more patient, more empathetic and a better teacher.  I have learned how many people suffer with some sort of physical pain every day and do so without a bit of complaining.

Over the years, I was really good at keeping my feelings inside for fear of burdening anyone else.  When my brother died, my parents were concerned because I wasn't sharing my feelings with them, they didn't see me cry.  I got really good at stuffing down my feelings until they exploded in one moment.  When I announced I was getting divorced, everyone was shocked because I was really good at keeping my feelings hidden, no one had a clue anything was amiss.  Slowly, over time, I've gotten better about sharing.  Maybe its age, maybe its a lot of hard lessons, or maybe its the people in my life.  I think its a combination of all of these things.  I'm no longer afraid to share feelings for fear of burdening people because they want to listen, they want to help.  How do I know this?  Because I want to do that for other people and I have an amazing group of friends who are always there.  Are there times when I worry if they really want to hear me cry anymore over my breakup or cry about the chronic pain, of course I do.  But I am getting better at sharing in spite of my fears.

Even here on this blog, I've shared things I'm planning on doing and then turned around later and changed my mind.  Last post, I told you I was planning to have surgery to get rid of the herniated disc in my back.  I was convinced that was the only solution for me.  Last week, I changed my mind.  I'm trying a different route and if that doesn't work, surgery can always be rescheduled.

What I've learned about sharing stories, feelings, pain, is that there is someone out there who can relate in some way.  I always wonder if people think I'm crazy or annoying but it doesn't stop me from sharing anymore.  They will always think what they want but by sharing my stories, my feelings, my pain, I may be helping someone else who is too afraid to share.  I know for sure that I'm helping myself by sharing.  I'm no longer suffering silently.  I'm actually not suffering at all because the more I talk about it, the more free I feel, if that makes sense.  I'm no longer stuffing my feelings down creating more internal strife.

I guess the point of this post was to let you know you are not alone, you don't have to suffer in silence, you can share your feelings, your fears, your pain and there is always someone willing to listen.

Only Love

Love rock, Nags Head, NC It has taken me about a month to write about my experience at Serendipity Retreat in Nags Head, NC.  I'm not sure why it has taken that long except maybe its hard to capture  in words.  I was in a very sad place when I arrived at the retreat but it was exactly what I needed at the be surrounded by some of my dearest friends and near mama ocean.  The ocean is so vast and powerful yet can be so calm and soothing, it brings much needed perspective.

This retreat was much different from years past.  I didn't attend any classes, I helped set up the houses for all of the amazing women in attendance, got breakfast ready a couple of mornings, helped clean up after meals and taught a Pilates class.  I also had lots of time to think, nap, relax, get a massage, soak in the hot tub, and just BE.  It was also different because I was in pain, physically and emotionally.  At meals, I felt like I was standing on the outside, watching everyone have these amazing experiences while I was trying to keep my tears in check.  Of course as soon as someone would spot me and come over to check in, all they needed to do was give me one look and the tears would flow.  I can vividly remember two instances where women who had been in my place and were now on the other side (they are back with their loves) gave me one look and I couldn't hold back the tears and that made them cry too.  Don't think it was a big cry fest because there was alot of laughter too!  But for me, the shedding of tears was more common that not.  That's what I needed though, to move through the sadness.  And this was the safest place to do that.  There were no judgements, only love and support.

When I arrived home, the sadness intensified, if you can believe that.  Although if you've ever been to a retreat, the return home can be difficult.  Perhaps its because I was no longer surrounded by all of the support and it was just me, alone with my thoughts.  Today though, I'm happy to say that, for the most part, the sadness is gone, although there are still right now writing this post.

What I really want to share though is that I opened my heart, really opened it for the first time since my brother died.  Yes, I was married and in other relationships but I kept a part of me closed off, a part of my heart protected, because I never wanted to feel that kind of pain again.  It took me a long to time to open it up and when I did it was wonderful.  Yes I got hurt but I also experienced such joy.

I still love him and I think I always will, because what I'm finding is that although there has been alot of sadness, there has been no anger, no regret, there has been only love.

Not Alone

IMG_1844 On Monday morning as I was leaving my house, I noticed a bird in the road on the side of my house.  When I looked closer, I saw it was a hawk.  Now I don't know about you but I've never seen a hawk on the ground.  He was just standing there and as I pulled up to him, he hopped off the side of the road into my yard.  He didn't appear to be injured so I went on my way.  When I arrived back home, I looked all over the yard to make sure he was not in fact injured.  He was nowhere to be found.  I headed out yet again to meet a dear friend for lunch.  I pulled into my driveway and there was the hawk in my neighbor's yard.  I got out of my car and walked over to him.  He proceeded to hop in the road so I stood there to make sure no cars hit him.  I kept walking closer and closer to him.  I snapped a couple of pictures because I just had to capture this moment.  When he didn't move, I started talking to him, asking him if he was ok.  After what felt like forever, he decided I got the message and he flew off, with that big beautiful wingspan.

Hawk is a messenger of the spirit world.  They are protectors and visionaries.  So I choose to believe he was sent to me to tell me that everything will be OK and that I am not alone.

I must admit, the first person I wanted to share this sighting with was him and I couldn't and that was really really hard.  Honestly, I've been on an emotional roller coaster and this was just one of those moments that was amazing and sad all at the same time.  But that is life right?  Good, bad, happy, sad...we all deal with a myriad of emotions on a daily basis.

We're not alone...we are all here doing our best.  I know someone sent me that message loud and clear with a visit from a beautiful hawk.

No Regrets

Heart in the sky (taken by him) My friend who introduced us said now she's sorry she did.  I told her please don't be because I don't regret one single minute of it.  How could I possibly regret meeting such an amazing man?  I fell in love, why should I regret that?  I truly opened my heart for the first time in 24 years.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable and experienced such joy.  We got along so well and had such great times together.  How could I possibly regret any of it?

Oh don't get me wrong, I am sad, so very sad.  And heartbroken, oh yes.  But regret is not one of the things I'm feeling.  My heart is still telling me that this is not completely over, that this is not the end of our story.  Right now, he is doing one of the most loving things for himself and I can't be angry at that.  Of course I wish I was by his side helping him deal with it all but that's not what he wanted and in the end is probably not the best for either of us.  It hurts, believe me, but I have nothing but love for this man.  He opened my heart and for that I am forever grateful.  I still love him deeply and I can't imagine that ever changing.  Only time will tell how this story unfolds, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that I will never regret any of it.


IMG_0773 When I worked in the corporate world, morning meant rushing around getting ready and flying out the door to make it to work on time.  Usually without breakfast or even a cup of coffee.  I would get all of that at the office.

Now, my mornings are slow and relaxing.  I have time to feed Allie, drink my coffee or tea, eat breakfast, catch up on some emails and Facebook or just stare into space.  As I sit here now, enjoying my coffee, watching Allie groom herself, I can hear the birds chatting away.  They are quite active in the mornings...I often wonder what they are saying to each other.  Is it their morning coffee clutch?  Talking about where the best worms can be found, the cardinals gossiping about those noisy bluejays, the females complaining about having to stay in the nest all night while he was flitting about.  I guess I'll never know but its great to have time to think about what they might be saying.

I often think I should take the time in the morning to sit and meditate...I do seem to have the time.  Enjoying my coffee, listening to the birds and not rushing around before heading out the door to work...this is my morning meditation.

Grief from afar

2013-08-13 19.09.09 When I left, she was unhappy with me and hurt, at least I think she was.  I wrote a letter to try and explain why I left.  I still loved her, I just couldn't be married anymore.  We didn't talk for a very long time.  Then one day I just picked up the phone and called, we had a really great conversation.  Over the years, I wanted to reach out but never felt it was my place.  I knew she was sick but I wasn't sure how to get in touch and felt that the communication would be unwanted.  Now its too late, she is gone and I just hope she knows that to this day I still love her.  I never stopped loving her.  She was an amazing woman.  I admired her for her strength and her perseverance.  Even though we weren't in touch, I never stopped thinking about her.  I would like to think that she and my brother will finally meet and share some good laughs.

Its an awkward place, the world of exes.  How does one react to such a loss when you are no longer in touch, when everyone has moved on and there are no kids to connect you?  I wasn't sure what to do, is it appropriate to send flowers, a card, or a donation in her name.  Then I received an email from my ex-husband telling me of his loss which was, I must say, a surprise but very much appreciated.  I felt like that gave me permission to let the tears flow...and to acknowledge that his mother was still special to me even though we long since parted.  So I did send flowers and I will make a donation and I did send him my deepest sympathy.  And today as they say their goodbyes, I am sending the family my thoughts and prayers.

Lesly is one special woman and she will be missed by many...including me.

Where has Summer Gone?

IMG_1402 Its the end of July and I'm sitting here pondering what I've been up to since my last blog post.

I've been working, of course...teaching Pilates and now TRX...and I really love working with our amazing clients every day.

I've spent a few days at the beach with family that I only see once a year at the beach...we need to do something about that!

I've gone for a motorcycle ride just to get ice cream in the country.

I've been eating out and enjoying alot of wine...and its evident on my waist line!  At least its good wine...and good company!

I've been falling more and more in love with my boyfriend every day.  The more time we spend together, the more I want to spend together.  Oh don't get me wrong, we are still navigating this relationship thing and the challenges that come with it but I couldn't ask for a better man to help navigate.

I've been paying attention to the signs.  Like when "Freebird" plays at the exact moment I'm on the verge of getting upset about something...its my brother reminding me to chill the "F" out and let it go!  And he's really been sending me the signs lately.  There's the feather I found on the beach after taking our family photo...a sign from either my brother or grandmother reminding us that they are there.  I love getting these little messages.

I've been 'voxing' with my girlfriends and getting to know them even better.  If you haven't checked out Voxer Walkie-Talkie (iphone app) it...its an awesome way to keep in touch with your friends especially if they are spread out all over the country!

I've been spending more time BEing in the moment instead of trying to keep busy DOing things.  As my boyfriend wisely said one lazy weekend...we need to spend more time being and less time doing.  Its kind of sticking with me.

So what have you been up to this summer?

I've wanted to tell you...

IMG_1239 I've been on an unplanned hiatus but I've wanted to tell you...

That spending a weekend in Myrtle Beach during Bike Week was a ton of fun.  Lots of time on the back of a motorcycle to think and enjoy the views.  Lots of time with new and old friends, lots of people watching and most importantly, quality time with my love*.

That road tripping with my bestie, her hubby, his son and their dog, was AMAZING!  Seeing parts of the country I've never seen before with my best friend is priceless!  Staying in these little towns and meeting interesting people was just awesome.  Like the Harley dude who pulled into a rest stop we were at because he saw me in my cowboy boots, skirt and cowboy hat and had to see what we were doing.  We chatted with him for quite awhile.  Or our waitress who had moved to the little town of Pipestone Minnesota from San Diego because she wanted to experience seasons and she met a trucker who was on the road all the time and offered her a place to stay.  Or our bartender Toni who made a mean dirty martini and owns 14 dogs and is a sled dog racer (is that what they're called?).

That my best friend got to meet my boyfriend in Wisconsin because he flew up to meet us and we all had a great time.  He loved them and they loved him.  Of course it helped that he had already made a good first impression by sending us a bottle of wine when we were in eating at the Peppermill in Valentine, Nebraska.  Yes he is a very thoughtful man.

That fish bowls are pretty fun and the fish really tasty!

That I can't wait for another Road Trip.  This time in an RV for an extended period of time!  I love seeing parts of our country from the road on little two lane highways or dirt roads (yes there were a couple of dirt roads) and meeting new people and hearing their stories.

And most of all I've wanted to tell you that life is good...really, really good!

*yes you read that right...he calls himself bachelor #6...I don't think I will ever live that down!


Santa Barbara, Feb 2013 Why is it that some people feel we 'owe' them an explanation for our decisions?  We all have choices.  We can't make someone do something or share something they aren't willing to or don't feel is necessary.  We can only choose how we react to their decision.  We can hold on so tight to our need for an explanation that we don't move forward or we choose to let it go and move on.

It is not my responsibility to make you feel better about my choices.  Just like its not anyone else's responsibility to make me feel better about theirs.

And so it goes...

IMG_0819 While you're on vacation in sunny CA, you text message frequently.  Fun, flirty little messages.  When you get home, you actually talk on the phone and set a date for Thursday.  You're nervous and excited but try not to think too much about it.  Then there's car trouble so you postpone the date until Friday.  Still all good as you have a great conversation on the phone and you get to go have dinner for your brother's birthday that you didn't think you'd make.  Friday morning comes and you're looking forward to the evening.  You teach a private first thing then when you're done, check your phone for messages.  There's one canceling the date with no explanation except "I'm sorry".  Of course you have to ask if you're being blown off just for tonight or for good.  The answer that comes back is surprising and yet not really. The way it is all communicated via text message, well that's the hard part.  Something like this should have been done with a phone call but then that tells you so much about him.  One little text message tells you the measure of the man.

When you reach out to your girlfriends, you receive amazing support and love, which is no big surprise.  When your mother asks how the date went and you tell her the saga, she replies with one word, "asshole".  When you go out for drinks with your girlfriend, you realize that this is just a little blip in your life.  In the end, he wasn't the right one for you, which you knew already, even though he did make you laugh alot.

So you rethink this whole online dating thing.  It feels so unnatural and yet how else do you meet people these days?  And you realize that nothing has to be decided today.

I'm Learning

sunset I'm learning that...

Letting go of expectations may be the most freeing thing ever!

I can say Thank You when someone pays me a compliment.  Not Thank you, but...just Thank You.

Letting go of old patterns doesn't always happen overnight.

I can ask the Universe for something that I want, and I'll get it.  Just be careful what you wish for...

Even though I may no longer be in contact with someone, I can still have an impact on them.

I'm kind of having fun with this online dating.  I'm having interesting conversations and meeting some nice people.  I don't respond to all the e-mails, especially ones like this..."Hi. I am Peter new at this site here you? You are pretty hot. Wanna chat?" especially when he sent the same message when I first joined the site about a month ago.

Every day, I'm learning something new.

Gratitude Week - Day 4

Today was a rainy, chilly day here in NC.  It seems to me that we're having alot of days like this lately.  I still found a few things to be grateful for though.

  • Having lunch with my friend Penny and her cutie-pie daughter
  • Giggling when I played the word "fart" in words with friends for 45 points
  • Enjoying some dark chocolate with sea salt and Wine...oh so good together

It really is the little things.

You can join in over at Michelle's blog

Subtle Shifts

The things that used to seem so important that aren't anymore.  College football on a Saturday afternoon.  Trying to 'fit in' wherever I go.  Needing someone to go with me to watch a band or eat out.  Feeling the urge to pick up the phone whenever I'm feeling down so I can have someone else tell me its all going to be ok, even though I  already know it will.  Keeping quiet when I have something I really want to say for fear of ruffling some feathers.  Constantly needing approval.

Ok so some of these aren't small subtle changes but they've happened slowly over time.  Maybe its a self confidence that comes with age.  Maybe its this awakening into knowing what really matters in this life.  Paying more attention to what feels right deep down in the core of my being.

I like these shifts, I feel more like Me.  I know more shifts are coming, some subtle, some not so much.  While I may not know exactly what these shifts are, I know that they will be exactly what is needed.

There is a mantra I say when I feel a bit of fear creeping in, usually late at night when I hear strange noises, I am safe and I will always be ok.

Have you noticed subtle shifts in your life?  How does it make you feel?  Do you have a mantra that helps you work through the fear?


Some people think of September 1st as the start of Fall but here in the south we were still in the 90's part of the month.  Today, however, on October 1st, its cool and rainy and all I want to do is cuddle up under warm blankets, drink hot tea and read...that is Fall to me.  Instead I am waiting for my landlord and roofer to get here as I have a leak in my bedroom.  I am drinking a hot cup of tea and thinking about beginnings.

October 1st, the beginning of a new month, a month where the weather turns cooler and I tend to start my hibernation.  I am also beginning a couple of e-courses.  One is Spirits of Joy and the other is the Jumpstart Creativity Tour online course.  Add these to the 2 other e-courses that I'm way behind on and I've got a lot of creative projects to get started.  I used to get down on myself if I didn't keep up with the courses I was in and then I'd just give up on them because I was so far behind.

Today, I am committing to begin each morning with one or more of the courses, reading the posts and watching the videos.  Then when I have time throughout my day, I will pick up a brush and paint or a pen and write or sit in meditation...following whatever is that day's prompt(s).   And if I happen to fall behind, I will begin again tomorrow.

This holds true for so many things in life, in any given moment or on any given day, we can choose to begin again.

This week...

Yesterday I got home from work with grand plans to go into town to an artist reception and maybe grab a drink and dinner at a local restaurant.  Instead I sat on the couch and caught up on some shows on Hulu.  Grey's Anatomy was the first show, and boy what a sad show.  When they took McSteamy off life support, memories came flooding back of my brother when we had to do the same.  Then I was thinking of my dear friend who lost her dog around the time I was watching the show.

The tears started flowing.  Not one of those uncontrollable crying fits but a small steady stream of tears.

Then there was the loss of a friendship over a series of text messages and oh yeah... Thursday would have been my 15th wedding anniversary.  All in all a pretty shit week.  So I didn't try to stifle the tears and just let them come and go as needed.

This is life, right?  good days and bad, weeks with nothing eventful happening and then those weeks that nothing can go right.  I know I have a pretty great life and most of the time I probably would have stopped the tears telling myself that there's no need to have a pretty great life.  Sometimes though you need to let the tears fall...a good cleansing flow of tears.

Retreat and Re-entry

Five years ago, I attended Squam Art Workshops for the first time.  I went reluctantly, fearfully into those woods, not knowing what to expect, knowing that I was not an artist, knowing that somehow I would be found out, that I would sit in the corner, and everyone else who was there "belonged", they were artists, photographers, writers, but not me.  I was so very wrong, I did belong there, I was meant to be in those woods and make life-long friends, create art, write stories and learn more about myself.  That first year, it was so hard to come home and integrate what had happened in those woods into my every day life.  It was difficult to sustain that energy, that love, that support, that creativity into a daily practice.  Coming home from Squam, a type of depression would sink in, I'd go into a funk and it was just plan HARD!  The first couple of years that I would go to those woods and find a little more of myself, I'd come home and fall back into that funk.  Each year it would be a little shorter, but it was still there.

Fast forward to this year, the fifth anniversary of Squam Art Workshops.  I entered those woods a more confident, more complete woman.  There was no fear or apprehension, no wondering if I belonged there.  I know it was exactly where I was meant to be.  I was surrounded by the most amazing women, friends ~ most of whom I had met in those woods over the years.  This year, those friendships deepened.  There were some new connections made too and I look forward to those friendships blossoming.  I had more FUN in those woods then ever before.  So much laughter and joy, dance parties, lying on the dock looking at stars, skinny dipping in the lake, soaking up the sun while a dear friend played her guitar and sang so sweetly, conversations with new and old friends and totally BEING in each moment.

Coming home this year was easier.  It may be because I will see some of those friends again in October at Squam by the Sea, it may be because of the constant text messaging since coming home, it may be because of the fun banter on facebook or the goofy photos.  I think the real reason that its easier, this re-entry, is that I know that these friends will be in my life forever, they're not just friends by the lake, we'll make plans to gather again on a regular basis, we'll make the effort to touch base and check in, we'll celebrate the joys in life and be supportive during the tough times.  Re-entry is also easier, because I'm a different person than I was 5 years ago.  More comfortable in my own skin, more sure of my self, more ME then ever before.

I look forward to more retreats, because they are important to me.  I hope that you are able find some time to retreat, whether its in the woods or by the sea or in your own home.  A place to reconnect with your friends, your family, your self.  And I wish for you an easy re-entry because it makes it all so much sweeter.

**on another note, I have finally entered the 21st century and have a fancy iPhone.  you can find me on Instagram (my new addiction) as myredtutu**

Finding my Voice

The last time I posted was back in July!  I have sat down at the computer several times to compose a blog post, I'd start but get stuck and couldn't find the words.  I would have posts running around in my head but was unable to get the words down on the page.  And instead of writing and seeing what comes out, I walked away from the blog and went over to Facebook or Pinterest or someone else's blog to see what they were doing.  Is what I have to say really that important anyway?  Oh yes, this is where the comparison monsters would come in.  I'd read other blogs and see what other people are doing with their e-courses and retreats and offerings and creations, and wonder what the heck I could say that would be so compelling.

Several weeks ago, I went to a retreat in Big Sur, Matrilumina.  I was super nervous to attend, because there were all of these amazing women who are doing great things.  Why was I included again?  Right before the retreat, almost all of these women, who I admired from afar, were voicing their fears about attending too and wondering why they were included.  We all felt in some way that maybe we weren't worthy to attend.  Oh and then right before I left for CA, I watched this  and really wondered what the heck I was getting into.  Maya was one of the organizers of this retreat along with my dear friends Christine and Pixie.  I had never met Maya before but after watching her TedX talk, I was totally intimidated.

Arriving at Esalen in Big Sur, seeing the beautiful Pacific Ocean, the rocks, the cliffs, the gardens and then the beautiful women, any fears I had about attending, melted away.  We gathered, we shared, we cried, we created, we communed, we collaborated, we were introspective and we loved.  We all had our journey to this point, we all had lessons to learn, we supported one another and we listened.  We were seen and heard in this space.

One of the big things that came up for me, was my voice.  I woke up every morning with a little scratchiness or congestion and every day when we gathered and did our work, stuff always came up around my voice.  When I arrived home, I immediately had a sore throat and then achy-ness in my body and then the congestion which is now a lingering cough.  I felt like every single cell in my body was detoxing old negative patterns, old crap (technical term) that no longer serves me.  Oh sure it could have been the flu but it felt like a detox to me.  I even had dreams about old relationships that I hadn't thought about in years.  Letting go of the past.  Letting go of old patterns, of feeling small, of keeping quiet so I didn't upset anyone, of not sharing my feelings, thoughts, ideas, because who wants to hear them.  Letting it all go.  This has been a work in progress, years of work to shed these old ways, to step into my Truth, not someone else's, to not worry so much about what other people think I should or should not be doing, to find MY voice, to let go of the fear that I might say something that will make someone not like me (oh the horrors).

So what does Finding my Voice mean to me?  It means that I will speak my mind, even if you may not agree with me, that's ok, we can have a compelling discussion.  It means that if I feel passionately about something, you will hear about it.  It means that I will no longer remain small for fear that I will offend someone or that you won't "like" me anymore.  It doesn't mean that I will intentionally say something to hurt anyone and it doesn't mean that I will get in a political argument with you (because really I know I won't change your mind).  It means that I will no longer do things that don't feel right in my gut.  It means I will pay attention to my intuition and follow it every.single.time.  It means, that if I go against my intuition and things go sideways that I will learn from it and move forward and will not beat myself up for it.  It means that I will share things here on this blog, that you may disagree with or not like, and that's ok.  It means that I will live in my Truth and no one else's.

I am finding my voice and you can choose to listen or not, that my friends is up to you.

Standing Out

Do you ever feel when you are in certain groups of people that they don't really see you?  They see the you they 'think' you are or the one they think you should be.  Do you feel like you stand out in a crowd, you're different in some way from everyone else...either your ideals, dreams, beliefs?  Do you feel like you want to stand in the corner and be quiet because they will make fun of you for these beliefs?

Then one day you say to hell with the fear and speak your truth and realize that everyone is going to think whatever they want and you have no control over that.  And then you keep speaking your truth and living the life you want to live and stop trying to live up to the supposed ideals of someone else (that are really all in your head anyway).  Then you realize that you'd rather stand out then just follow the crowd.

And then, then you find out that the people you thought would ridicule you really do SEE YOU and are proud of you for standing out and being your true self.