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  • Writer's pictureSheila Kamuda

The "Crinoline" Incident

I think it's entirely possible the Crinoline Incident had a major effect on me & taught me how to rewrite my script. When I was a kid I loved dressing up, especially when company was over. Balding, brash, almost toothless Uncle Murray would be there, ready to pinch me and my sister on the cheek and embarrass us by asking in his gravely voice, "So, when you goils (girls) gettin' married?" And I can never forget Aunt Estelle with her blue/grey hair and booming voice (the mom in Bye Bye Birdiecomes to mind), gossiping in the kitchen with my mom while helping herself to the chocolate brownies, honey cake, marble cake, and other tasty goodies. There were other assorted relatives on hand too. And I loved it. I loved company and adored getting dressed up. This was my moment. The fancier, the better. So, I'd find a dress to wear and then put some crinolines under it to make sure it was good and poofy (the more crinolines, the more poof). I thought that was so chic. What did I know? I was seven. Not sure whether my mom was embarrassed by my strange wardrobe behavior but her remarks, You sure you have enough crinolines? You want to add one more,? although seemed funny to everyone at the time, made me feel wrong, embarrassed, small, insignificant. But fancy is who I was. Who I wanted to be. And at that tender young age, it was the only way I could be my true self. That was what I could put my hands on to feel fancy. So crinolines it was. And it took some years to realize I didn't have to live this script of me. I was worthy of more. So I rewrote it. Instead of being silly, looking ridiculous, and feeling small and insignificant (a very demoralizing way to think), my new script sounded more like this: DAMN STRAIGHT I'M WEARING CRINOLINES. I LOVE CRINOLINES. LOVE DRESSING UP. I ALSO ADORE TIARAS AND DIAMONDS!

In case you're wondering, No, I do not own any crinolines now (although I wouldn't mind having a fun Tulle ballet skirt in the closet!). Here's the thing...

Living someone else's script, someone else's truth of you, is awful, and exhausting, and humiliating. It keeps us from our dreams and our passions. It makes us feel small and neglect who we really are, which is just about the worst thing we can do to ourselves.

If there's a script you'd like to rewrite, my workshop, "Rewrite Your Script. Rewrite Your Life" may be for you. Let's connect and you decide if it's a fit.


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