Eating my lunch by the duck pond at the local zoo has become my newly found solace. As I sat on the pier close to where my husband and I had our first lunch as Mr. & Mrs. at least 23 years ago, I took a really good look around. Oh, how I envy my closest friend that lives in New York (the Bronx) and works close to the UN in the very heart of the city, and the scenic buildings reaking with culture and overflowing with rich tones of "come explore me". While I sit in the quiet-ness of suburban life with nary a building that goes over 5 floors in this little midwestern "paradise" of Fort Wayne, I start to realize then what she means when she says "the grass isnt' always greener" (in the city).
I like this little bit of quiet in my busy day, though. From the office of a ringing phone and contractors that complain all day long about the economy and the construction business woes that surround them, I take this break about 3 times a week and just consider it a "time-out" to collect what little mind I might have left.
Watching the ducks and all the moms with toddlers throwing stale bread to the ducks is very peaceful to me. It was then that I noticed one duck that set itsself apart from the others. This duck was a gorgeous black (what I assumed) Mallard that was swimming all alone apart from the geese, the other smaller ducks with brown markings and even the gulls that were willing to fight with anything for bread...trust me, they were vicious! It began to swim closer to the pier where I sat. I then found myself talking to this duck as if it could understand me. "You're the odd one huh?" I said. Emphatically, I said, "...well, I think you're beautiful!" This simple quiet moment gave me a thought of what it might feel being the "odd one out" of the crowd. The one that sits and takes notice of surroundings, sometimes counting blessings, sometimes not. I remember feeling like the "odd duck" when I was a little girl in the first grade seeing the majority of blonde haired girls with fair skin, wondering why I had to be Mexican-American with this mocha skin. I learned later, that it would be THEY who envied ME, especially in the Summer! (go figure!) I hadn't even HEARD of a tanning bed by the time I had this little "epiphany".
While this blog entry may not seem to have a point, it is with intensity of pure, raw emotion that I write it. I experienced a self-profound revolution that day in being comfortable in one's own skin; even if you're that one black duck, swimming all alone. Odd? Nah--mediocre, maybe but definitely comfortable being "the odd duck out" for the rest of my life.