Calves pictured are lovely - but not mine :)
You know the saying the grass is always greener on the other side? Well, I spent a good portion of my life saying that, except instead of grass I'm talking about calves: as in the area between your knee and ankle, and instead of their verve or color I'm referring to their size. Yes, the bane of my existence has been that the calves are always smaller on the other girl.
The Olympian Man-Calves:
My calves are big - well defined, and toned. Don't get me wrong, they would be impressive if they were on an Olympian male - but for little ol' 5 foot 6 inch me, it was notable. My first consciousness about the size of my calves was after a Volleyball game in 7th grade when my dad came up to me and said "You know what I love about watching you play? Your the only girl out there with some meat on her legs! All the other girls' look like toothpicks!" Of course he was paying me a compliment, and he meant it! But it did make me wonder if other people noticed it too (don't you hate your insecure junior high years!?)
From there on I began to realize my abnormality - how my skinny jeans would fit over my waist but not my calves - how my cat would nibble on them like a chew toy, how they were the same exact size as my quads. I mean, an hourglass figure is desirable but not when it runs from your hips to your ankles.
The funny thing is, it was in fact my calves that attracted my mate - as if my large calves were puffed up bird feathers or extravagant siren call to my lover's eyes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my husband fell in love with me when he saw my calves running across a tarp covered with mashed fruit and vegetable oil with a spray painted cardboard box covering all but my legs.
Let Me Explain:
We were at our Church's High School Kickoff Retreat where a group of adults agree to take a group of teenage kids on a bonding trip. We got to do the amazingly stupid things you only get to do as a teenager that are wonderful; for example Amazon Woman- where you put all the guys in a circle, have them link arms and then the women rip them apart from each other until there's only one left and they carry him off and throw him in the lake or something (ah yes, love at first pulled hamstring).
The hubs noticed me when the entire group was playing a game called Relay Of Death or something.
- Everyone divides up into 4 teams
- The 4 teams each decorate a refrigerator box with spray paint
- The leaders drench the tarp in vegetable oil and day-old fruit (not too rotten but in the cheap section at the Grocery Store)
- Then, logically, each member of your team runs full speed ahead diagonally across the tarp. If you fall - you're out
- The team with the most people - or the last box standing - wins.
So there I was with a box on my head running for dear life across the tarp when he saw them...Perhaps it was the oil - perhaps it was the scent of lightly spoiled fruit juice running down my bulging muscle. Whatever the reason - I snared my a mate that day, and we were married - four years later - almost to the day!
When Your Weaknesses Become Assets:
We all have things we'd rather not have. Like an affinity for quoting Faulkner or worse, LOTR (the book, not the movie, posers!). But in my experience it is these unique rather-nots that make us special suited. For example - a number-loving jock who instead of crunching barbells has an affinity for algebra. Or an entrepreneurial women who enjoys talking more about customer development than Jimmy Choo's (not that they are mutually exclusive).
You see, it was when I realized that I had a weakness - embarrassing myself, and subsequently for making people laugh at me. But if I could tell the story - and laugh with them - hadn't I broken myself from their haunting jeers? Hadn't I transformed them into something I too could enjoy?
In a similar way, instead of being depressed about how much time I spent on Facebook and how much I loved speaking with people I'd never met before - I pursued social media and it transformed into a love of developing customer relationships and sharing stories.
When Your Assets Make You Money:
Embarrassing myself taught me to write, writing taught me to share, sharing taught me to listen and listening taught me to teach. It was when I learned how to teach that I started my first career in social media that subsequently brought me money! Even though it was a short stint, it turned into a job that built on those assets and what do jobs bring? Money!
In the same way many personal finance bloggers have turned a weakness into a strength and have made money helping others get from there to here. If you haven't taken the time to read their About Me pages, a lot of bloggers have a fantastic story from weakness to assets and have spent their time encouraging, teaching and yes making money.
What Weaknesses Are Assets?
So, on this wonderful Friday (aren't they the best!?) I want you to take some time today or maybe this weekend and examine the things you think are embarrassing, or that you consider to be a weakness about yourself. Why do you think that? Is it a socially prescribed assumption? Is it a socially conditioned feeling? Or is it an insecurity run wild in your imagination. In some cases you might be right - we all do have real and crippling weaknesses - but isn't it time to face them and share with others what we learn on our journey from them?
What are some of your "weaknesses?" Why do you think you think of them that way? In what ways have you made money from a perceived weakness - or - a weakness turned strength?