All the freaky people make the beauty of the world.

~ Michael Franti

Why did I wait so long to let my freak flag fly*?

Those who’ve known me for a long time may beg to differ, thinking ‘Rachel, you’ve always been a goofball.’ And while that’s true, I’ve felt regret for all those years I didn’t fully embrace who I was. But now in my life, I am unabashedly me.

I’m unapologetic about the fact that…

I am someone who prefers to smile and give a bow with my hands at my heart than give a handshake when being introduced to someone.

I am someone who loves karaoke and chooses to believe that my enthusiasm for the song makes up for my lack of vocal talent.

I am someone who bike commutes in wedge sandals and a sundress and doesn’t care if I arrive sweaty to my fancy destination.

What are your quirks that you aren’t going to hide or apologize for?

Now I GET that being different is harder to embrace when it goes deeper, when it feels like the core of your identity, as compared to something more lighthearted like a quirk. Or when it feels like everyone else around you in your community is the same, except you.

It took me a long time to embrace and respect myself for the fact that…

I am someone who ultimately did not feel called to have children, and instead believe my path is to be a caregiver in a different manner – helping to alleviate the suffering of those who seek me as their therapist or yoga teacher. 

I am someone who believes in and supports untraditional relationships of all kinds, and has never been into labels for myself or others.

I am someone who talks frankly about taboo topics whether it be sexuality or depression or divorce, and this sometimes makes people uncomfortable.

I’ve been told I don’t seem like I’m from the Midwest. Too direct, too single, too childless, too brazen… too much this, too little that.  And I’ve come to the point in my life in which all I can say is, THANK YOU. Thank you universe for providing me with all the ways I’ve felt included, cradled, and supported. And yet thank you for all the times I’ve felt a little different, misunderstood or separate; this has helped give me perspective, gratitude, and a gravitational pull towards the underdog.

I don’t know where my quirkiness will take me. I don’t know if I’ll lose my home, my business, or worse, my mind to Alzheimers someday. But I know that my soul feels more content because I’m living true to myself. I’m not hiding, pretending, or shutting down. I’m honest about my light and my dark, my peaks and my face plants. (Oh and face planting I have done, believe you-me. And it will happen again.)

At the end of your days your soul doesn’t care whether you succeeded or failed. It only cares whether you lived life your way. That you lived YOUR life. Not the life you think you are supposed to live. Or the life your parents wanted you to live. The world does not need more people being fake or phony or imitating (not to mention it can be personally exhausting). The world needs more people who stand up, be seen, and let their light shine.

{…And with that I’ll leave you with a short video of me standing up – onstage, that is – with one of my favorite singers, Michael Franti. I didn’t care how I looked, how sweaty I was, or that I was about to fall off the edge in front of hundreds of people, I only cared about enjoying him and that spirited summer night.)

Don’t postpone letting your freak flag fly.  Radically accept and display who you are — quirks, goofiness, bad karaoke singing and all. I want to be with the real you.


Micahel Franti concert, St. Paul Jazz Festival June 2016 - Video by Lisa Venticinque.


*A characteristic, mannerism, or appearance of a person, either subtle or overt, which implies unique, eccentric, creative, adventurous or unconventional thinking.