Monday night found me wandering the crowded Biltmore Ballrooms celebrating Georgia’s 2015 Travel Guide. I’ve swam with the dolphins, driven thousands of miles to set up camp in unfamiliar places, been up close and personal with alligators, and ridden dirt bikes. But, this… this, party, is so far outside my comfort zone. Welcome to Atlanta, outdoorswoman.
I’m generally an easy-going, laid-back person. But, I admit I stressed at finding a way to blend into this crowd – something that would be nearly impossible for me to do. I actually asked my friend, “What do I wear to something like this?” adding, “Keep in mind, you’ve seen all my clothes.” My clothes. They’re all purchased based on durability and comfort.
I gave up fitting in with folks many moons ago. But, blending in is a different story. It’s something I do to avoid too much attention.. Excited to make an appearance at this Georgia Tourism celebration, I was stressed about how to blend in to the point of near invisibility. Crowded parties are more nerve-racking than alligators on the Okefenokee.
After failing to find any clothing that would offer some camouflage, among the professionally dressed, I settled on my favorite pair of hiking pants and a prized green shirt given to me by Georgia State Parks. I was out-of-place against the backdrop of a classy multi-million dollar renovation. But, if there’s one thing I do well on this planet – it’s be me.
As awkward as I felt, being announced and having all eyes on me, it would have been ten times worse if I’d represented myself differently. My outdoorsy look made it easier for interested folks to find and connect with me. In this thick forest of people, I was like a big obvious oak tree still hanging on to her colorful leaves. I’ve been warned about the dangers of being myself in a world that expects something else.. But, I’m not some secret identity that only comes out in the wilderness. I am who I am and what you see is what you get.