I've never blended.
My entire life I have felt like I stood out. I have always felt like everyone was looking at me. I have always felt head and shoulders above the crowd.
Because, well, because I was.
I have realized that my standing out is two-fold.
One is that I am tall. That part is obvious.
However, having Tijmen here from the Netherlands, I realized that the other part of that is that I am a coloring that isn't exceptionally "normal."
Here's what funny. While standing together in Lowes, a man walked up to the two of us and said: "Wow. There must be Scandinavian blood here." And he's not the first person to say that. Everyone who sees Tijmen and I thinks we look a lot alike. I actually started to believe it.
But then last night Tijmen said to me: "In the Netherlands, no one would think we look alike. Everyone is blonde there. We don't look at blonde as making people look alike."
So in addition to not blending because I am tall, I don't blend because I am a blonde, blue-eyed person. While either of these can occur in America, the combination of the two of those things is incredibly rare. I have in fact only met three other women in America who were blonde and above six-foot tall like I am.
A few moments of my life stand out particularly for me when it comes to blending.
One was traveling around Turkey with my friend Linda. Linda is one of those gals who can blend into so many cultures nearly seamlessly. But as we walked through the mall, I vividly remember her saying: "Wow Wendi. You are right. You do not blend."
In fact, this feeling was not new to me. As early as four-years-old, I remember graduating from preschool and feeling different as the teachers took a photo holding each of the students in their arms ... except for me. They kneeled down next to me. It is one of my earliest memories, and my mother says she remembers feeling uncomfortable for me. I also remember feeling incredibly uncomfortable and sad that they didn't pick me up.
However, the other moment that stands out to me was the moment, as a twenty-three-year-old married woman, I disembarked from a train in Switzerland. The moment those doors open, I felt like putting my hands up in the air and spinning in circles and singing, "I'm home! These are my people!"
All of this had made me think. What would I rather do? John has often commented that he isn't exceptionally "memorable." His name is John and he looks like a pretty "normal American guy." (Whatever that means.) But for me, I've never felt that way. I have always felt different. So would I rather blend? Or rather stand out?
What about you? What's your opinion on this? Love to hear from you!