It Only Takes a Spark

As so often happens for me on social media, be it Facebook or Google+, a posted photo of a magnificent Ginger Fro inspired me this morning…and got me thinking….

Dunlap High Prom 1980My memory traveled back to 1980, and my Senior Prom.  My date, J.R.,  had an awesome Ginger Afro. I was reminded of how he’d asked me to my very first Homecoming dance sophomore year. I’d just moved to the small town of Dunlap, Illinois from my birthplace and lifetime home, Jacksonville, Florida…and I felt completely out of place.  Being the new, shy, ‘too’ tall, self conscious, Southern Baptist girl with a deep accent which was ripe for teasing, was terrifying for me and a source of amusement for many of my Midwestern classmates…these farm raised kids who worked long hot summer days detasseling corn for beer money.  I was completely out of my element.

After a while, in order to survive high school, I learned to be a chameleon.  I blended in…and that has served me well in many uncomfortable situations since.  From living in Queens, NY…to being a Navy wife in Southern California, to being among the oldest returning college students attending Nursing School after the birth of my daughter…I always felt a bit different, and I wanted desperately to simply blend in.  Now, these days,  I don’t mind standing out in a crowd, as long as it’s due to my strengths and not my insecurities.  Don’t most of us just want to fit in?  I know I do.

So….that said…this place is not about the +1’s, the Shares, the Follower Counts….
Social media, for me, is all about making Connections, reveling in both our differences and recognizing the things we have in common, and I think we all have a lot more in Common than most people realize.
I never had a “boyfriend” in high school…(remember the too tall, too skinny, too ‘smart’ girl?) So, J.R. and I decided we’d end our high school dance traditions just as we’d begun them. We attended our first, and last high school dance together.  Two kids, standing out for different reasons, with so very much in common.