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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Self-Image


I’m a bit of an odd ball. I’m a nerdy, tattooed mom who may be out running in single digit temps and come back home to play video games with my fiancĂ© and kids. I’m somewhat atypical. I’m totally okay with that. I believe the older I get the less I give a damn about anyone’s view of me. I don’t think I can go an entire week without getting an odd look or stare or comment. That’s totally okay. I believe it was Edgar Allen Poe who said, “there is no beauty without strangeness”. How dull would life be if we were all the same? So, really, I am doing everyone I meet a favor by keeping things a little out of the ordinary.
 (Me)


On the job, I have been told I don’t look like a typical law enforcement officer. Not sure what I should look like, but apparently, I’m not it. I carry a gun, a badge and the whole nine. What about me says I should be at home knitting sweaters or maybe somewhere more girl friendly. Sorry bud, I’m not your typical girl. I shoot guns, I could kick someone ass if need be and at the same time counsel someone on the bad choices they are making. I think the fact that I’m not the typical officer dude plays to my advantage at times. I don’t need to try to bluff someone or be super authoritative. What I look like is not going to influence someone into committing a new crime or using drugs. They are going to do that no matter what I look like. Now, as a female officer knocking on their door I don’t deny I’m probably not seen as a threat. That’s fine, it just makes things a bit safer for me in the field. What they don’t know about my capabilities makes them underestimate me. Don’t doubt that I couldn’t get myself out of a bad situation even though I may be wearing mascara. I worked my booty off to do what I love and even though I don’t look how I’m expected to look, doesn’t mean I can’t do my job. I’m passionate about helping people and I don’t have to look a certain way to do that.

Now, at school functions, I am usually a bit of an outcast. I don’t look like the typical moms that are hanging around on the bleachers. That’s OK. The genuine moms will come talk to me and the rest probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea anyways. Sadly, your missing out on a pretty fun gal.. your loss. But, please know, I’m there just like you, pretty clueless in the whole mom department but pretending I know what I’m doing. I don’t get to go to school for every function, I work full time and it just isn’t possible. But, the times I am there I made it happen because I love my boys and no matter how you look at me that doesn’t change that fact. I may have tattoos, still in tactical pants from work and look like I’ve had a rough day but you know what, I am there; same as you. Instead of staring, you could smile back or say hey. I’m just trying to do my best. We don’t all look the same, we have different backgrounds and that’s OK. I lose my patience and yell at my kids. I may not have it all together all the time, but I am a good mom. I will say, I am thankful for those moms (and the dad) who have been so sweet and welcomed me when my boys started a new school. You gals (and dude) are the ones I look for at every school function. I would be super lonely if not for you all.
 (The little men)



When I am out doing what I love, I get looks there too sometimes. I don’t always look like the fast runners at local races. I often feel eyes on me assessing me before the race begins. No, I am not some long legged, stick then runner. Yes, I do have some curves and a little junk in my trunk. Yes, it is possible I will pass you and you may or may not be surprised. Don’t judge these thunder thighs until you see how far they can take me. Runners don’t have to look a certain way. I see skinny, thin, big, curvy, short, tall; all kinds of women out hitting the pavement. I think we are all on different journeys. There is no end destination. I couldn’t care less if I lose another pound. If I get to run, I’m happy. So, look at me and underestimate me, then watch me pass by you at a 5k.

Oh the stares, oh the comments. Yes, I am gay. No, I am not the “girl” in my relationship. No, I am not the “dude” in my relationship. No, I won’t “decide” to go back to dudes. Yes, girls can look girly and be gay. Yes, I do have kids. Yes, I did have them myself. No, they aren’t scarred and miserable. Yes, I know you are praying for me. No, I don’t think the devil has a hold of me.  I could write a blog just on questions I have been asked since I came out. I am who I am. I would rather wear yoga pants than anything but I have no problem throwing on a dress and heels. Mascara is a necessity and I carry a wallet. I don’t have to look a certain way. I don’t have to act a certain way. I might not fit a certain label but I don’t think I should have to.   I have come to the realization that when I am out with Jackie I am going to get stares. I would like to think it’s because we are an adorable couple (yes, we have been told that numerous times), but I know it’s because we are girls and usually there is PDA. Everyone knows lesbians exist, this is not some new discovery. I was always told it’s not nice to stare. Maybe their momma’s didn’t teach them those manners. I may or may not look like you think I should, I may not fit into a certain gay girl category, but I am madly in love with a gorgeous woman and we probably will be holding hands while we walk through a store. Stare if you want. Your gawking is second nature now.
(us)


I’m not saying all these things as some big long rant. I’m saying all this because I think self-image, in a world full of social media and television, is evolving. I think more and more people are being happy with where they are in life and breaking down labels that have previously existed.

I want my boys to grow up and know they were raised by an awesome mom who, even though she may not have been like the other moms, did her best. She played video games and had tattoos but she was there and they were loved.

I want little girls growing up knowing it is totally okay to be a gun packing lady. Girls can shoot and kick ass just like the boys can.

I want girls who fear coming out to be okay with who they are and know they don’t have to look a certain way. If you are girly, be girly. If you don’t want to be girly, don’t be girly. Be comfortable with who you are.

I want people who are contemplating running, joining the gym or going to a yoga class to not be afraid to go because of how they look. Everyone must start somewhere. You may not look like the rest of the girls running, you may be the curviest girl in yoga class and you may be the only one looking perplexed at the equipment in the gym. But, no matter how you look you deserve to be there just as much as anyone else. It’s okay if you don’t fit a certain mold, everyone is made and shaped differently.

So, being strange and a little out of the ordinary is a good thing. If anything, I give people something to talk about and I’m okay with that.