Sunday, March 25, 2012


Not native.  Not familiar.  
 As in this doesn’t feel like me.

Because that's it, isn't it?  It's foreign.  
You don't understand it. 
You've never had it, seen it, been there, done that before.

It takes awhile…before it's not foreign anymore.  But that’s the great thing about foreign-ness.   
Foreign things are those things that could become familiar if you make an effort.  
To go there.  Do that.   
They could start to feel like you, if you make an effort.

A story just landed in my lap this week.  A story that so perfectly captures the unease of foreign.   
The experience of knowing something is outside of your box.   
The first steps towards taking foreign and making it familiar.   
The strange discomfort you get from knowing 
that other people do/eat/have/use this foreign thing all the time, 
but not you. 

Such a perfect thing happened.  Here's the story... 

She got herself dressed.  Not headed out for a night on the town, 
but to the grocery store of all places.   
Is getting dressed a foreign thing? Certainly not. 
It was the fashion choice that was foreign to this girl.   
Somebody she trusts told her she looked cute in those skinny jeans.
So she sent me a picture of herself and said, “Be honest.  Can I wear these?” 

Not native.  Not familiar.  As in this doesn’t feel like me.

This story is not about fashion 
or feeling confident in garments with spandex.  
 It’s about the experience of going outside of your comfort zone.   
It’s about the first steps towards taking foreign and making it familiar.  
 It’s about the special nature of a foreign thing 
that makes it possible to have it become familiar.   
It can become your thing.   
You can go there.  Do that.   

Foreign things are special that way.  
 They can change.  If you make an effort. 

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