My sister and I grew up sheltered, protected (some would say too protected) in Washington, DC. It was the 50s, an innocent decade.
Fast forward five decades. Carla and I were wives, mothers, and grandmothers. We decided (well, really I decided, but Carla went along with me) that we should become street smart. To that end, we learned some street smart language. (These were not swear words, but, rather colloquialisms.) There was only one problem: we giggled each time we said the words. "True dat," I'd say to her, and we'd both burst into laughter. We finally accepted that we probably weren't going to pull off street smart, at least not to people who really were.
I've written before about my desire to develop a gritty writer's voice. Try as I would, though, I couldn't pull it off. It wasn't until I embraced my true voice that I sold the book of my heart.
One more story: you've probably heard the children's story about the porcupine who wanted to be something different. He followed around a rabbit, a squirrel, and other animals. Alas, he couldn't be anything more than a porcupine.
What do these three things have in common? The answer is obvious: that we can't be anything more than what we are. And that should be all right. After all, didn't the Lord create us?
Joy for today: being who I am. Un-street smart, un-gritty, and still a porcupine.