Jun 152022

Growing up being consumed with the feeling of being special was both a blessing and a curse.  I was “the real child “, “the baby”, “the perfect one” yet I could do wrong and boy, was that wrong.

I remember distinctly my brother telling me he predicted I would be beat up because I thought I was so special. I shocked and amazed me as I, in that moment, felt my most insecure. I felt like everything I did was for someone else. Everything I said was to lift someone’s spirits,  to shine the light on them and every word spoken was what was expected of me.

The truth was from my pen.

I was told I was special because I was “the real child” as opposed to the foster kid. That no one had to worry about me because I was fine, I knew what to do and how to act, dress and when to stay quiet. I was the good child despite my feeling oh so desperately wrong.

While I was perceived as the one with the knowledge,  strength and courage, the wisdom to handle it all and not ask for help, my poems screamed for it though remained tucked away hidden from anyone. No one was looking for the me I kept inside. They seemed to trust that what I showed was who I was while who I actually was remained hidden in scribblers and scraps of paper. Not only had I captured imagination, I captured my soul in notebooks no one would ever think to see.

Many times I would escape to a mountain side, above a road less travelled, and admire the birds and their freedom. Their seemingly care and stress free life, filled with opportunities to leave it all behind. That was the life for me.

Yet I stay grounded, working hard to prove my specialness while struggling with the rejections, law of averages and exhaustion from working on many things waiting for one, just one, to prove effective. To be happy in the moment when the present is laughing at my face, telling me my dreams are futile.

And then I listen to the great Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, James Mullinger and, most recently, Nancy Regan and am inspired. I see their special, their struggles and their accomplishments and understand that all had the determination required to stand up and, forgive the pun, show up. So I continue to ground myself, to balance all the chaos terribly and drop a ball vowing to come back to it later. I push through all the doubts, skepticism (mostly my own) and Show Up while trying not to be perceived as showing off.

Even before reading the book From Showing Off to Showing Up, I have been learning from the comments, the podcasts, the videos and seeing the special in Nancy, and all others, even if they can’t.

Which reminds me that I am as special as I think I am and that’s really all that matters.

And you know something, you’re special, too.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

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