Owning It

“You either walk inside your story and own it

or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”

~Brene Brown

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“Applause, applause, applause.”

~Iona, Pretty in Pink

 In eighth grade, I strolled into the Laura Ashley boutique at Crabtree Valley Mall and plucked up a flat-brimmed straw sailor hat with a black band. I envisioned pairing it with a long pencil skirt and flea market jewelry, a la Andie in Pretty in Pink. Oh, yes I did.

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Instead of boldly rocking the bohemian chic look, I hung the hat on a hook above my bed until high school graduation. While I’d always been a hat person, when it came to the sailor hat, I simply couldn’t own it.

Cut to adulthood, spring 2012: When I moved into a 35-foot travel trailer, I didn’t own it–literally or metaphorically. The rig belonged to my aunt in Oregon, who’d generously loaned it while I surfed out life transition and met financial goals. I was very private about living in the trailer during this time.

Why so discreet? I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I’d finally realized my longtime fantasy of living alone in a tiny rural cabin, where I could write quietly for a few years. As a bonus, this cabin conveniently had wheels! Long before the Tiny House craze kicked in, my fellow gypsy friend and I had pored over plans for RVs and trailers. Now the dream was manifest, so why was I so afraid to share it? Why couldn’t I own it?

Turns out, it’s hard to own what’s borrowed. That loaned trailer just didn’t feel like mine to share. What’s more, it’s hard to be trailer trash in high-rent Sonoma, where glimmering chateaux sit like jewels in well-groomed vineyards. You may know money and material goods don’t matter, but other people are not always as enlightened: just ask much-maligned Andie.

What I’ve learned (the hard way, natch) is this: While I may never show those people the value of my unorthodox  lifestyle, I must live it no less fully. In modern parlance, haters gonna hate.  Continue reading