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Defining a Stripe

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Strong influences that helped me build stripes.

I always hear that, “Carrie is good at everything,” and that is not true. Why is this not true? Because good is a four-letter word and if I am just good at something, I stay away from it unless I can be great at it. Why try to be something you are not? Jack of all trades, no. Many trades, yes. For whatever reason, I do have a wide array of talents. Maybe it is my upbringing of having to fend for myself and having a tremendous amount of self-pride.

“Good is a four-letter word.”

It may have something to do with the strong influence of my grandmother, as I watched her live in the shadows of my grandfather, until the freedom of his passing. It was like watching a baby bird take its first flight and I was right alongside of her. We were like Thelma and Louise. It was as if another world were created just for us and we could experience and conquer anything that life handed us. She was my rock and I was hers as we discovered how to make lemonade out of the lemons. And boy, was that lemonade fabulous.

She was my escape from the pressures of being an adult child. She taught me that life is not about living but experiencing everything. She taught me to see the simple things as extraordinary marvels. She could envision the simplest things in life to be something grander and then built them. She did not let gender define her, as she took pride in showcasing her manly skills. If there was something she had not learned, she did not let age hold her back. She lived in a manufactured home in a community of quiet streets and she wanted to get out an explore and meet her neighbors. She thought the best way to do this was to ride a bike. The problem was she never learned how to ride a bike, so what did she do with these lemons? She found a three-wheel bike that gave her the ability and confidence to explore her neighborhood. Of course, this led to her becoming a member of the Home Owners Association (HOA) because she saw a need and was not going to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to step up to the plate. This is where, “get out of my way world” comes from. If something needs to be done, just do it. Do not blame others and do not complain about it if you are not willing to do something about it yourself. Not to mention, you could save yourself from wasting the precious time you have on this earth to experience new challenges.

After reflecting on my grandmother and other mentors in my life, I know what I’m truly great at and that is people.

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