I've never wanted to be the center of attention, being tall has always made me feel awkward in this regard, as I always stand out (literally). But despite my height, I've gotten good at being a chameleon, camouflaging myself wherever I go. As I get older, I try to get wiser, and so I chose to draw on my natural tendencies to be introspective and curious to examine my need to hide. In my hunt, I discovered a few things; for one it's part of our social construct that says we should not be narcissistic, which I full heartedly subscribe to. For another, it's part of my personality, I'm an introvert and I prefer to be part of the background. And lastly, this was like hitting a funny bone, an intense (non humorous) pain when poked, something you want to quickly rub away, I fear being judged. I fear not being accepted, being misunderstood, and worse, being ridiculed for it. My heart skips a little and I feel a bead of sweat on my brow as I think about this. It's so deeply uncomfortable that I want to change the subject. This is where the wisdom kicks me and says, "Stay!" I thought wisdom was supposed to be Dalai Lama-like... kind, humbled, and accepting, but mine is like a wired drill sergeant working third shift and barking orders. And so like a good recruit, I stay. I observe. I get curious. In my observation, I find some structural issues in my foundation, areas that have been worn down by whispers, funny looks, and pointing. When I examine even closer, I notice that their shapes are blurry and they have no names, they are figments of painful memories from elementary school yards and middle school hallways, but nothing that resembles where I am now. It is time to take those old ghosts down, their haunting serves no purpose I wish to fulfill. I would like to come out of the shadows and fully embrace my height, my weirdness, my insights, my fears, among many other things, and for those who don't get it, it's ok, and for those who do, come on in. I saw a quote recently that said, "The older I get the more I understand that it's ok to live a life that no one understands," may we all give ourselves this special permission.