I’ll Start Here
I was born in Great Falls, Montana. I am what you may call the middle child. Although when I take the time to think about it, I am not your typical middle child. We have several years that separate us for our age. There was not much for us to compete against to have our parents’ attention.
My father a man that is kind considerate and thoughtful was also very matter of fact, do what you say you are going to do individual. Correctness burned into my psyche there was no room for nonsense.
We grew up well protected from the typical and hideous negativity that children of color faced. Growing up in the military there was not a lot of focus on who you were or what nationality. I am sure it was there, we were just not aware. So many military children traveled all over the world. We had to adapt to our surroundings. These things did not rear their ugly head until I started to attend public schools.
I’ll start here’s purpose is to provide a picture of my evolution to where I am now. My ‘why’ to the mission that has been simmering in my soul.
A Moment of Revelation
As the daughter of the military man, we traveled from one base to another. One day I was sharing with my father about the memories I shared with friends on how he would map out our trips with fun adventures along the way.
He acknowledged that was true, but he looked at me intensely and says ‘You realize that the reason behind his mapping out our stops to our final destination we could not stop just anywhere. We were not welcome at some venues.’
I had no idea of this in any way. Mind you I was 9 years old during this time my sister was 3. That would be 1971! We were coming here from Orlando, Florida. Can you imagine?! I had no idea!
Now fast forward to now and the movie Green Book debuts. Although I am sure that he did not have to utilize the book, I do believe he had to rely on speaking to other travelers on where not to stop or stay. It will be something I will have to ask.
To Chameleon or not to Chameleon
Do you find that you are trying on different shoes to see if it fits, only to toss them aside then want to try them on one more time? Is it wrong to choose to blend in with the crowd?
Is it wrong to become a chameleon and adapt to our surroundings?
As for me being a ‘chameleon’ gives me the opportunity to connect with my surroundings and making the people around me comfortable. Some feel that it is not being real, that you are just being fake. My thought is that it makes it easier to create a connection and the opportunity to get to know the person you are engaging.
As a woman and in a woman of color, I have had to adapt to my surroundings. This is another aspect of the evolution of me.
As women have had to cloak ourselves. Times are changing, we have the opportunity to adapt or ‘chameleon’ as we choose. Cheers to our adaptability and the success it will bring.