Monday, February 8, 2010

Sore Thumb

I like the phrase "sticking out like a sore thumb." I find it humorous and true on occasion.

I have a story.
I've been keeping it to myself, but today I am getting that annoying nudge that makes me feel like if I don't just share it I'm going to be bothered until I finally do.

I'm a bit of an odd duck. I'm pretty aware of the fact and while I don't mind to a degree, sometimes it is tiresome. Sometimes I just want to blend in and be invisible.

I've had moments where I didn't wear my kid (which was a huge pain for me), or used a regular diaper, or done something one way when I normally would do it another way just because I just didn't want to be the oddball.

I've gone out of my way to go places where no one knew me so I could just be another face in the crowd because I get tired of the labels, "The baby carrier lady", "The breastfeeding lady", "The cop wife", "the yappy one", or just people knowing who I was while I had no clue who there were and on and on.

Even my name is unique and there are many days I cringe when I hear my own name because I have been in the uncomfortable situation where someone who has never met me has actually said, "Oh, I've only heard that name about one other person, my (uncle, sister, random person) knew a girl named Kimber and said she hated her." Then that person names that person or names something very descriptive about my life and I know that the "other Kimber" in question is actually just me. Sometimes it is fun to join in and say, "Oh I bet she is a rotten gal" and just laugh it off, but mostly it hurts. If my name were Jennifer or Mary (names I quite like btw) that would never happen.

Then there is my last name. Both before and after getting married it has been unique. That was actually a detractor about Sam, truth be told. I was hoping to marry a nice Smith or Brown or Simpson. Something boring and easy to spell over the phone.

There are many moments in life when I look at the things I like, that I care about and just get so frustrated because they just add to the sore thumb quality that on occasion I really dislike.

Then, there is the comment someone made to me a few months ago that has been biting my ankles ever since. This person was involved in some service type project with me and also happens to attend church with me. She made a statement about how busy she was and I agreed saying I was busy too and I understood. But then she said something along the lines of how she had important time consuming jobs at church, along with the other women in the service project we were involved in. Then she noted that I on the other hand, do not have any jobs at church and do not contribute anything there. Sore. Thumb.

That comment hurt so much. I could feel myself start to pull back in that moment and bring myself back in. To feel not only like you are entirely too exposed as a human and to know that at least one person in the world believes you don't contribute to it is an downright depressing feeling. A feeling that for me has been a motivating force for withdrawing from groups, people, anyplace that isn't "safe" to be me in.

Add that feeling to mommyhood and the fear that my sore thumbing will affect them. Makes one want to climb into a cave and never come out.

Then there is today.

Today I am staring at a vase of flowers some wonderful, unknown to me person dropped off sometime Friday night. Someone knew on Friday that I needed a friend and they were my friend. Someone left me these lovely light green and white flowers with this small splash of color in a red ribbon. I've been staring at these daisies and that ribbon and thinking this morning.

Maybe I'm not a sore thumb.

Maybe I am a bright pink daisy in a field of lovely white roses.

I don't match. My petals are bright and more fuzzy. My color is entirely too loud and I don't have a pretty rosey smell.

But I also don't have any thorns.

Those roses are beautiful too. But, no flower is entirely perfect.

And, while a rose may not see it, my daisy does have something to contribute in its own distinct way.

Maybe my bright, out of place daisy will inspire other types of flowers to crop up too. Maybe in a few years this field will be a wonderful cacophony of different colors and types of flowers, with a few shrubs here and there for good measure. Maybe my sore thumb feeling will be replaced with a green thumb instead.

And maybe not. Maybe I'll still be pink in a field of white. But I won't know unless I try and either way, it will still be a beautiful change of pace for anyone passing by.

I've made this commitment to myself to thrive this year and I can't thrive if I am shrinking back into the shadows. I don't need to force myself to stick out, but I don't need to force myself to blend either. I need to just be myself and know it is wonderful and enough and if others can't see that beauty in that, well, that is a pity for them.

So, there you go. It is time to stop feeling like the sore thumb and embrace being that splash of color instead.
Maybe this was silly to post and I know I am mostly talking to myself here. But, I felt like I needed to share.

I hope maybe this helps someone else out there too.
Thanks for reading.


  1. I love you and your splash of color! I'm a bit odd too at times. WHO'S NOT!? As far as I'm concerned the lady who judges how busy you are based on responsibilites is just as odd. Aren't we all given the most we can carry and at all times feel just as overwhelmed as the next person. She just needed some justification that she was busy and she got it. Probably she wanted to bite her toungue after she said it. We are all totally different from one another and at the same time need the exact same things to end up where our dreams may take us; hope, love, and support.... You have all of those, from me and many others. Love ya!

  2. Wow, Kimber, You inspire me. My grandchildren are in good hands.


  3. I am so glad that others feel that way too. I usualy stick out in a crowd and there are times I thrive on that others where I'd love to just go and dissappear a tad but I'm glad someone else feels that way too. I think you are pretty fabulous and inspireing to me so don't ever let anyone make you feel less.

  4. I knew this girl named Kimber . . . and she was freakin' awesome!

  5. Beautiful Post. Kimber one of the things I like most about you is your ability to stick to your "guns" and be true to yourself. You are awesome and like it says in the scriptures, a candle should not be hid under a bushel but put on a candlestick to share its light with everyone. Keep shining and standing out because you truley make a difference.

  6. I get the name thing. Me too. And the being a "bit odd" thing. Me too. I love what I've learned from you about babywearing and bargain shopping. Some of the most influential people in the world were a "bit odd." Maybe that's because they were the ones brave enought to make a stand.

  7. Thank you Kimber,

    I was feeling much the same and it is nice to know that there is another flower in this field that sticks out besides myself. I love this song, I love listening to Christian Rock and find it an uplifting tune in a sour note day. Thank you for all that you do!

  8. Thanks for sharing the Babywise link. Someone recommended it to me, but I never got around to researching it. I had no idea it was so horrible!

  9. Kimber,

    I just wanted to say thank you for making this post.


  10. Love your name and Love Daisies! :) Don't ever change....