Saturday, March 20, 2010

Life in a paradox

The element of surprise.

It's big in sports. Hit your guy off the puck, blindside the receiver so he can't make the catch, hit off-field instead of pull.

The other guy never sees it coming, right?

That's me.

You'll never nail me down and therein lies the secret to figuring me out. Sounds complicated?

A few weeks ago, we were at Flames Central to watch Olympics hockey.

It was intense. We were yelling at the big screen, fist-pumping the air and high-fiving each other when the opportunities arose.

Within seconds of the final horn, the TV screens switched over to the original dance final for figure skating.

I oohed and aahed as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir glided across the ice, their Twizzles spectacular, their lifts breath-taking and their edges so deep and graceful with a dazzle of power and a hint of serenity.

A friend looks over at me and says, 'you're such a paradox.'

Main Entry: par·a·dox
Pronunciation: \ˈper-ə-ˌdäks, ˈpa-rə-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin paradoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter of paradoxos contrary to expectation, from para- + dokein to think, seem — more at decent
Date: 1540
1 : a tenet contrary to received opinion 2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true b : a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true c : an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises 3 : one (as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases

That's me.

In my early years, my mother was determined to instil in me the qualities of a 'young lady.'

All I wanted to do was play 'War' and 'Cowboys' with my brothers and the neighbourhood boys, even though Jennifer and Stacy were just up the hill waiting for me to come play Barbie.

Today, I can recite the rules of baseball, hockey and football and, in the next breath, quote Shakespeare and tell you about my senior thesis on dream analogies in his works.

I can pull on cleats and a ball glove ...

Then, after a day at the ballpark, I can run home, jump in the shower and be ready to play dressup. Inside of 90 minutes, I had my makeup done, my hair curled and I was wearing a dress -- all set for a night out with friends at my favourite Calgary restaurant, Santorini.

Pssst ... that's not me.

And wouldn't Mom be happy to hear that I'm OK with wearing a dress now?

Now you might be thinking 'this chick is heading straight for an identity crisis.'

Too late. I've already been there.

The world came crashing to a halt when I could no longer identify myself as a sportswriter.

That's who I was.

But it wasn't. It was only a part of who I was. And it's a part of who I am ... forever.

As I battled to overcome the challenge to figure out who I am, I've realized I don't need to be this or that, either or, neither nor.

I just need to be ... doing the things I love to do. That could be sliding into second, cruising Zappos or Buckle (my new addiction) for a new pair of Naughty Monkeys, telling goofy pun jokes with Lisa or reading about the sociological effect of technological advances.

The secret is to never be surprised when you're surprised by me.

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