Saturday, September 18, 2010

When No One is Looking

When I was a little girl, the neighborhood kids and I used to pretend we were super heroes. While all of the other children chose to be Batman and Robin, Superman, or Wonder Woman, I took a different approach. I insisted on being myself. Not only was I certain that I could change the world by simply being me, I was determined to prove that doing so did not require a cape, spandex, or super powers. It only required a plan, the appropriate tools, a little elbow grease, and a smile.
So, with that, I became “The Amazing Annie”; a super hero who helped the neighborhood stuffed animals work through difficult transitions in their lives.  Whether they learned to run the soup kitchen, fold blankets for the disaster relief shelter, or to read Where the Wild Things Are, the goal was to make each stuffed animal believe they were valued and had something unique to contribute.  I used to hug each stuffed animal and say, “Hi, my name is Annie. My mom thinks I’m amazing, and you can be amazing, too!” 
In my own little world, this mantra inspired them to become good leaders who made a difference in their communities. I eventually came to realize that stuffed animals didn’t really have feelings, and no one really wants to know that my mom thinks I’m amazing. But in looking back at what I was trying to do at the age of four; I think I was on to something.
This is the story of a former introvert who believed in fate and was severely disappointed in where it led her. What she didn't realize is fate ultimately had a final destination. She reached the end of the road, looked down and saw that there was no longer a path to follow. In order to move forward, she had two choices; Become someone she didn't really want to be, or stop believing in fate and start doing the things she does when no one is looking. Because the person who sang at the top of her lungs, told great stories, loved her life, all happened when no one was looking. She wanted to write her own story. One that didn't have a final destination.

Any good story has to have direction, right? This one really only has 3 ground rules.

1. Become the person you've always wanted to be. The world can always use more super heros.
2. Love yourself, your life, and all the people in it with everything you've got. Take the risk that you might lose it all. You may be wrong more times than you are right, but the few times you are right will prove to be more powerful than all the times you failed.
3. While staying true to your beliefs, seek wisdom and knowledge from a variety of sources. Why have 8 crayons when you could have 120?
Needless to say, choosing the 120 crayon option is not for those who insist on wearing a cape and spandex; nor is it the best option for the indecisive. However, those who are brave enough to withstand it encounter their fair share of characters and find wisdom in the strangest of places. This blog is for everyone who seeks to be inspired to write their own story. It's not easy, no matter what path you choose. But there isn't anything that says you can't have fun along the way. I challenge you to ask yourself what you would do if no one was watching. It serves as a good place to start and makes for some fantastic stories.

My name is Annie, and it doesn't matter who thinks I am amazing. All that matters is that you can be amazing, too.

Happy Reading,


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