Outside the box …

IMG_5620My name is Renee. Only those very close to me call me by nicknames and even that is rare. Family calls me Ray. Ray Ray if they want to show affection or playfulness.  The younger ones are trying out Nay or Nay Nay and that’s a more recent phenomena. The name Renee was picked by my mother after my  birth, in the hospital at a point of panic because up until then, she couldn’t think of a name at all.

I am the youngest of 5 and the others were all given names of my father’s family members. I think that my mother was tired of that and didn’t like the names that were left. She did know that she wanted the name to start with the letter R because that was a pattern that developed in our family and she thought why not stick with the theme.

Apparently, she befriended a nurse in the hospital who, like my mother, found religion. Both born again Christians, my mother trusted this woman immediately. This stranger suggested the name Renee and my mother took to it like a duck to water. It was perfect because it satisfied another factor that I failed to mention. My father’s family was French (American now for at least 4 generations). The name also means reborn but I don’t know if the nurse told my mother about the name’s etiology. I think that they just liked the way it sounds. My mother can’t remember but it is possible that the nurse saw the connection between its meaning, my birth and their religious philosophy of being reborn. I’ll never know now.

Interestingly, the meaning of the name followed me all of my life. I wasn’t aware of this until later years when I finally looked it up. Rebirth. Interesting, I rolled that information around in my head for a while like a lint ball to see what memories it would stick to and explain. I didn’t take long for me to realize that it explained a lot. I was rebirthing and recreating myself all of the time and that’s what drove most people crazy about me. It was my favorite thing to do. The goal was always improvement and altruism … I’m not perfect, though. I didn’t always get it right.

One person flat out told me I was an enigma. Others said it in different and maybe not so nice ways  because they could never figure me out and put me into the little box they had all prepared and ready to explain everything about me.

No, when others would zig, I would zag apparently and I never knew that that was how I was perceived. I was just being me and chose the roads that interested me, not others. Oh, sure, I tried to do what people thought I should do but that practice usually made me vibrate uncontrollably from the core of my being and made me uncomfortable. Yes, eventually I would redirect myself when my radar registered those feelings. It just wasn’t logical in my world to do what others wanted most of the time. It didn’t take long for me to learn that I am the one that’s supposed to be happy with myself and my life, since I was living it.

If you think that I am going to tell you what I am, I cannot. It depends, sort of. I cannot predict what I would do in a situation before it happens any more than anyone else can, I have to be in it. I don’t come pre-packaged. But I do come with directions (outside of the box, of course) and that’s to be the best, most altruistic person that I can be in the moment. I may not be the warmest or fuzziest. I do I care about others. But, I am not a doormat.

Most are satisfied with the boxes that others make for them. They will even stay in those boxes and make themselves absolutely miserable and sick because they think that it’s the right thing to do. They find safety and happiness in the fact that anyone would think enough of them to make that box.

As for me, I destroyed every box presented. I wouldn’t let anyone put me in a box. Ever! Well, maybe I struggled out of a few …

Wow, I just remembered that yesterday I broke down all of those holiday boxes for recycling … inspiration comes from strange places …

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