As a little girl one of my favorite places was my grandparents house. They lived about an hour south of Memphis but to me it felt like a different world. At their house every day was a vacation day; breakfast was a full on home cooked meal–biscuits, gravy, eggs, and whole milk; days were lazy and unplanned and bedtime was whenever I happen to fall asleep on the couch watching tv. I loved spending my summers with them.
I can remember lots of lazy summer days inventing games and reading books. (Yes, I loved to read even then!) When there was nothing better to do, I would play hide and seek with my cousins and the kids in the neighborhood. In the center of the yard we would gather at the foot of the apple tree to decide who was “it”. There we laid out the rules of the game–the apple tree was home base, the back, front and side yards were fair hiding places, but the inside of the house was off limits.
The “it” person hid his face against his forearm while the rest of us would scatter to find the best hiding place. After quarreling over hiding spots and settling in, we waited to hear the “it” guy call “Come out, Come out, Wherever you are”. I can remember the rush of fear and exhilaration with that call. Knowing I was hiding and knowing that I could be discovered. Also, knowing that I would have to risk my hiding place to find home base.
Recently, this memory bubbled up for me because as coaches we are constantly encouraged to be our real selves–authentic and open. To let others see us not only as coaches but also as humans with the ability to mess up, get stuck and learn from our mistakes. Especially as new coaches our mentors encourage us to put ourselves out there by talking about our passion, embracing it and living it.
What I have come to realize is that fitting in is the adult version of hiding. When we are constantly trying to fit in we ensure that we will never stand out. So, it becomes a game of hiding who we really are, what we really love, what gets our juices going. Hiding our true selves from our friends and family.
Hiding us, from us. So, come out, come out, wherever you are! Stand in your own uniqueness. Stand in your individuality. Stand in your weirdness. Stand in your difference. Stand in your creativeness. Your nerdiness. Your whatever it happens to be. It’s okay to be you. It’s your only job! Own you. Love you. Be you. Your uniqueness is what makes you special in a really good way!
I encourage you to leave the comfort of your hiding place for your true home base. Nothing is riskier and more freeing than realizing home base is you!