It's one of my favorite phrases.
I used to work at a Thai restaurant. I learned that little phrase: same-same but different working there. I was better at bussing tables than I was playing a stand-in server at times.
I didn't speak Thai.
And sometimes mixed up people's food orders because I misheard them.
I got yelled at sometimes. By "sometimes" I mean a lot.
But at the end of each night, all was forgiven.
The women would pat my belly and tell me to eat more.
Making sure my plate was hefty.
I'd leave with tips in pocket and a full belly.
I feel like this today.
The past few months, anyway.
That's what happens when you start something new or stop doing what you've always done.
For one: I've started exploring the body in a different way, with different teachers.
Two: I've stopped pretending so damn much and stopped playing in to the pretty, posed, and perfect stuff (especially, the representation of such online, Instagram, specifically).
What I am doing is being me.
In the most congruent way I know how, across all channels.
In person and online.
My older online stuff was nearly an everyday draft of some random yoga pose with words of experience, hopefully some wisdom.
An attempt to be inspirational.
I got bored and tired of feeling this need to participate in such presentation.
I was on my way to deactivate my accounts.
And then decided to stop playing up the presentation, instead. Thanks to making friends with people like Ryan (and the rest of the crew).
Which is tough, because a part of my business is closely tied to being online. Hence, the need to upkeep the inspirational speak.
Changing that -- I thought -- would change my livelihood.
Which is terrifying.
So far, it has not. I can still put dinner on the table and pay rent.
And I am really grateful for that.
In the mean time, there's been some hostility around me since I've stopped playing up the pretty (I'm not alone in this. In fact, my friend, Erin, wrote about this today).
Because the expectation is no longer there.
People talk about growth and evolution. They talk about being vulnerable (that word needs to fade from my vocabulary because it's become too trendy now, diluted).
I stopped talking and decided that more doing is what is meaningful to me.
And more funny stuff. More controversial stuff. More feelings. More whatever comes up and out stuff.
And not so much appearing neutral. Or always positive. Or always "yogi-like."
And the moment I did that, I've been turned into one of "them."
In the last week, I've been called a bully and unkind on a #randomtalkingvideo I recorded about the importance of integrity.
I shared my frustration about how lame it is when people use your photos/words as their own on the internet.
This is something that happens every damn day.
It's weird to see your image used to promote someone else's business.
Sometimes, I've granted permission for use.
Sometimes, I've been paid proper for use.
Sometimes, it's just downright taken.
It's one of the big reasons I stopped mostly sharing photos of my son and me doing yoga (long ago).
And I've had my words used too. Full copy/paste as another's own or put on an advertisement.
I don't have the energy to police.
But I will say that such occurrences are absolutely lame.
The thing is -- I've been really fucking honest lately.
And people don't like it. And they want to advise me more lately.
My friends are watching the "unfollows" in amazement.
I wanted to start over, entirely.
This feels like starting over.
I feel like I am doing something that is more meaningful to me. Dropping the game of superficial that hones in on commercial.
Like these emails too. I've written about a lot of life things. Mostly, very personal. Things that are descriptive, not evaluative.
There's death, despair, and depression as well as remembering to be 6, writing about how to write, and what/who inspires me.
And I care about people wanting to be here, with me, not fighting me or turning a frown. I can take a fight and frown, but it's just a waste of time.
Like my friend, Rachel, says, "the smart ones get it."
My re-start leads with this:
I'm under no obligation to censor myself.
Same-same but different. Tips in pocket and leaving on a full belly.