I could be myself, I could stop the portrayal of the Maren that everyone expected and be the Maren I wanted to be, all new people and a fresh start. I found a lot out about myself in the short 5 months I was there. One, that I could be respected, admired, supported and loved for being truly who I was (thank you Nicole and Jonelle, my sweet friends). I could try new patterns of behavior, new styles, new dance moves and even if they were less than perfect my friends were still there and didn't shun me because it wasn't cool or proper or mainstream. From that day forward I slowly started to do what I should've done in my adolescence....find that creative, unique side of me and embrace it no matter how weird! As the quote says above, there were people that loved that part of me that I had made small and hid for many, many years. I still struggled with this especially after moving back home in my twenties to where my husband and I grew up where appearances and keeping up with the Jones's is the way of life. In my family of origin it was all about keeping what I call the Kennedy appearance and not discussing our "issues", to be a preppy, conservative, white bred family that had nothing but class and manners and no dark side. It was easy to fall back into those patterns of my childhood but when I did I always had a low level of depression for not expressing who I truly was and finding a community that supported me for just that.
Through a lot of therapy and yoga, I have day by day come closer to embracing my weirdness, my true self without excuses or apology and I encourage all those around me to do the same, I tell my clients that I don't like people that are perfect and have no issues, I don't like wallflowers or people that do not embrace who they are and are judgmental. To those people I truly feel that if they judge me it is because I am doing something that they cannot do, I am happy to work with them if they are interested in bringing forth their inner weirdness and true life's purpose but if all they want to do is judge and not change then I thank them for challenging me to make sure that my beliefs about myself are true to my soul and then find those that are on a open, wholehearted living path as I am. So I encourage everyone I meet to do something scary everyday, something out of your comfort zone, find out what you like what you don't like. What makes your heart sing and smile so big that nothing can take it down, what excites you and what are you passionate about. So in the spirit of being who I am with no apology here are a list of some of my favorite things.......
- Reality Television (Bachelor/Bachelorette #1, any singing competition The Voice, Idol, etc....)
- The sun and the beach...I love the sound and smell of ocean air, it feeds my soul
- Music, pretty much any kind but especially cheesy 80's, 90's music and love ballad artists like Josh Groban and Celine Dion, I also love what others music tastes are, you can learn so much about people by what kind of music they listen to
- Michael Buble (ok I know he should fall under the music category but I love him for more than his music!!) and yes my husband knows :)
- Bologna sandwiches on a hard roll (only from NJ or NY) in the summer...it is a childhood thing with my sister, we have them every time we are at the beach together
- Dancing...even though I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld and people tell me I have no rhythm I do it anyway on purpose in front of people
- Hugs....I feel strange greeting people with a handshake, I always ask if it is some one new (I don't violate people's personal space) but human touch is so important to me and is something that I have lived without and refuse to ever live without again
- Tattoos, I don't have one because I have never found one that truly sings to me, and if/when I ever do I will get one (or two) but I love seeing what others have as tattoos, I think it tells a story about them
- Cooking, it is my favorite way to take care of those I love, nourishes their bellies and my soul
- Being alone (this is new for me) I like the adventures I take with myself whether it be a trip into NYC, yoga in my sunroom, rollerblading (I really love that!) Just being quiet and reflective in my own mind in a state un-infuenced by others and 100% balanced on feeling and just being with me, myself and I!
I could go on and on but these are a few of the things in my life that are not negotiable and that I am proud to say describe me, who I truly am. Weird, creative, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, nurturing, funky, delicious and fun! I would really love to hear at least one thing that you hide from people ( a guilty pleasure) let's see if we can make that little secret of yours a new part of revealing your true self, embracing your weirdness and attracting those in life that love you for exactly who you are.
or email Maren at firstname.lastname@example.org