A sticker on the side of the tip jar at The Cove, which was our lunch spot Tuesday. I thought it was fitting so I took a pic of it.
First off, please tell me at least one of you out there recognizes the reference? I definitely know one of my followers does, (because she and I sang this song together Tuesday evening) but if not I’ll include the song at the end of the post because it’s so fucking powerful, even though the power can sneak up on you, as it did for me.
Anyway, for those of you unfamiliar, the song referenced above is “Imperfectly Beautiful” by Stacey Ruttledge and Louise Bernadette Dowd. I remember hearing the song sometime in 2014 and 2015. I don’t remember exactly when or where I heard it (I would assume Facebook as I easily spent 10-12 hours on FB every day during that time I was unemployed).
Needless to say the first time I heard that song I was in a very dark place in my life, so dark I thought to myself “what a load of Pollyanna bullshit.” This was the time I thought I was broken, unworthy, weird, etc. among other things that the neurotypical world tries to make us neurodiverse folk feel. I’m sure all of us have been there, done that right? You know how it is.
I think, though, while I was listening to the song the first time and was thinking “what a load of shit,” subconsciously I was soaking the lyrics up like a sponge. Kind of like my inner psyche was saying “you might think this song is a load of shit now, but I’m storing these words here and they will resurface at such a time you are able to understand them.”
Fastfoward then to the evening of Tuesday, March 26th 2019. Laina and I had wanted to go sing some karaoke but the only venue we found was 1) seemingly closed even when their advertised hours said they were open and 2) had all these stupid, uppity rules posted (including “appropriate attire” – I was sure I’d get bounced on account of my signature Dukes because it’s happened to me before). Who’s got time for that shit? Nah, let’s just head back to her home office and jam instead.
So we did just that (we had a much broader selection of music at her home office anyway). So we did just that, me with some guitar stuff and/or just singing along to her collection (not to toot our own horn, but our voices work so well together – being a bass/baritone myself to her true contralto range). And then she pulled up the referenced song.
She said it was like a “theme song” for us neurodivergent people (not just ASD, but a variety of other non-typical neurotypes). Despite having only heard it once before, and several years prior, once it began playing I immediately, and I mean immediately, recognized it. Not only did I recognize it, I was able to sing it from memory (well, 90%+ of it anyway – with the occasional cheat sheet glance).
In addition to all that, it hit me SO. FUCKING. HARD. Like a sack of bricks. I broke down and bawled (but I kept singing along anyway even through the tears because I felt moved to do so, as Laina pulled me into a warm cuddle and we rested our temples against each other as we both continued to sing).
That evening was the right time for the song to resurface for me, for I was now at that point of being ready to start that journey toward self-acceptance and realizing that there’s nothing wrong with me at all. Those of you who were with me and followed my blog in the very early days remember I was very anti-neurodiversity. I did see myself as broken and in need of “fixing.” Thanks to the support of many of you (including and especially you, Laina!), I now see that I am just fine the way I am. Quirks (and lord knows I have many and not just my fashion sense), flaws (we all have them but are some things the world considers flaws really such?), etc. aside. If the world has a problem with that, it is the world that needs to change, not me.
I am imperfectly beautiful. And I will be my own version of beautiful, no matter what anyone else thinks. I will own that shit. I will not stand to be the bird trapped in the cage any more. For everyone else? They will either accept and love me for my face value or they can fuck right off, because I am done, and I repeat, DONE pretending to be someone I’m not (next post in a string of song lyric tie ins about that!).
And for the song. Note there is one transcription error in the lyric video – “lust” (WTF?) is actually supposed to be “love” (now that’s better – the two are not the same and love takes many forms, not just romantic). Warning: you might want to have a tissue handy.