It’s Good to be a Unicorn.
This sticky note is taped on the wall at my desk to reaffirm the things I do.
Why does it feel good to be a unicorn and what does it mean to be a unicorn you ask?
For me, it means that I am happy with being unique and I embrace my weirdness and the choices I’ve made in my life.
My path was (and still is) a long and meandering one. Much like a quest or bildungsroman, my coming of age was very different from what I would call “standard.” Meaning, I went into the military after high school, then worked in corporate, then went university, then back to corporate, then retirement (which just means doing things on my terms), to now being creative and working on the things I put off for 30-plus years.
Now I do things for me—not because I have to.
I never embraced my unicorn-ness until now. I’ve always been different and I’ve been proud of that, but now I don’t let the fear hold me back like I did for the earlier part of my life.
For example: I wanted to be a radio DJ back in high school. I think I would have been good at because I love music and I believe in the power of music. My mom was not having any of it and told me I had to find a real career and get a real degree.
Well here I am 35 years later doing a podcast because I freaking can and I am having fun doing it. People have been telling me they like my voice, they like the show and they like the content. I am beyond jubilant with this feedback.
That joy was 51 years in the making and I regret nothing. I now have the confidence to put myself out there and have fun. I am powerful, creative force for good with loving intentions and a joyful spirit, trying to create a better world for myself and others.
TJ Butler: Changing the Trauma Narrative – Coffee Fueled Stories with Michelle Schmer
When I think about how much fear held me back and how much farther I could be now, I just have to remind myself that I needed to grow on my terms and cool my jets. It seems that my life is a constant hyper-speed of delayed gratification. I work hard and fast for a very long period of time for some sort of reward. My life is very much my tattoo: Festina Lente—to make haste slowly.
You’d think I’d be tired always going at this pace but it works for me. I have two speeds: go and stop.
I will keep unicorning until I can’t unicorn any more.