It seems as though these Bethenny posts are really beginning to come in thick and fast, but I’m surprising myself with my sheer determination to get through these chapters and discover more about Bethenny as well as myself. I feel as though this post might get a little deep, but that’s what’s this whole journey’s about, so let’s get started.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Separate from the Pack has by far been my favourite chapter. When I was reading it this morning, I felt as though Bethenny was speaking directly to me, especially after my Find Your Truth post. This chapter was all about staying true to who you are and not trying to be like everybody else (if that’s not who you are). Bethenny drew from her experiences on The Real Housewives of New York City and I think this is partly why I found this chapter so personal, because this was where I first introduced to Bethenny, and I can remember her from the first episode.
By the time Bethenny was on The Real Housewives of New York City, she was done with The Apprentice, had called off another engagement, her career was slowly moving, and she had found a new man: Jason (who appeared on The Real Housewives). Bethenny writes about the chance meeting with the producers of the show and how she had turned repeated turned their offer down because she was afraid of what it could do to her career. She had a somewhat epiphany (THANK GOD) and she ended up joining the cast mid-way through filming. Now obviously, we’ve all seen or heard of The Real Housewives series, and so we all know that it’s about a group of affluent women, usually married, and with children: living, working and socialising in a city. If you’re familiar with the first series of The Real Housewives of New York City, then you’ll know that Bethenny was anything but this! She says she had $8 000 in her bank account, was living in a one bedroom apartment and was nowhere near close to getting married of having children, so say that she did not fit the bill for the show, would most definitely be an understatement. I think this is the precise reason she was such a hit (I know I say this in almost every single Bethenny post, but I can’t help it). Bethenny never for one moment pretended to be anything other than herself, something I think she learnt from her years as a struggling actress in Los Angeles, and auditioning for The Apprentice. I can remember the first episode (I think it was), when most of the women were in the Hamptons and Bethenny wasn’t there simply stating that she was very anti-Hamptons, and I think this sums Bethenny up very well. She wasn’t out doing what the other women were doing (we all remember Ramona’s very expensive beauty regimen), or out buying clothes, in fact I don’t viewers ever saw Bethenny doing anything that the show was supposed to typically be about. Her example of being separate from the pack meant that she could be honest with herself and I found this very encouraging.
I felt there were some strong bonds between Separate from the Pack and Find Your Truth because both chapters are about finding yourself and knowing yourself, and I think that in order for you to truly be able to separate from the pack, you first need to find your truth and welcoming whatever makes you different to others. I guess then, in some way, in order to find your truth, sometimes you need to step away from everybody else, spend a little time by yourself and find what’s best for YOU.
How I can tell I’m really learning on this journey with Bethenny, is that I can see things in my life and relate them back to each chapter I’m reading. Whilst reading this chapter, I found ways in which I did separate from the pack and then I found ways in which I didn’t and haven’t, and so need to work on – but that’s what’s this is all about.
So anyway, there are of course ways in which I feel I separate from the pack, ways I never really thought about or realised until reading this chapter. I am without a doubt a freak. I know weird things that I wonder how I know them, I think things that I know I shouldn’t be, I say random little things, always seem to have a perfect quote for ANY occasion (I’m not even kidding), and I think know I can take things a little too far at times. Then again, that’s just me. I think the way in which I separate from the pack is that I’m not really afraid to just open my mouth and say some of the randomest things ever, in fact sometimes, I can’t even stop myself. There are some things that don’t affect me the way it might affect others. For example, I never wear makeup apart from when I’m going out, and most items out of ten I don’t realise I’m not wearing any (because I guess it’s honestly not that important to me). However when I was working this summer, I was surrounded by all these beautiful women, who would turn up to work all glamourized and beautified. Of course at times I felt weird being the only girl not wearing any makeup, but then I’d forget about it (again a sign that it’s really not that important to me) because maybe deep down I realised that that’s not who I am. I’m not the type to wake up early (or earlier) in the morning to put my slap on. I have nothing against it, but that’s just not me. Another way in which I feel I separate from the pack is with this blog. I read and follow quite a few and I can see there’s a general consensus about ‘having a blog’. For starters, most of the blogs have one sole topic: fashion, and for another thing, most all of these bloggers get dolled up and turn their posts into fashion editorial shots for Vogue or something. Again, I have nothing against this (otherwise I wouldn’t be following them), but that’s not me. If you’ve seen some of my outfit posts, you’ll see that I’m usually on the go – I mean let’s be realistic here, who really has time to pose for hundreds of snaps (you know it’s hundreds because only their best ten snaps make the cut), when you’ve got a day ahead of you. I feel it’s a lot more natural (and convenient) to snap on the go, again that’s just who I am. I’ve also read many blogs which state (while trying not to sound as though it’s their way or the high way) the best way in which to have a blog. I’ve read countless posts that suggest sticking to one topic (BORING) when writing a blog. I personally think that if it’s YOUR blog, then you should post whatever it is you feel like posting. Blogging is such a personal and liberating experience that I don’t think people should be pigeon-holed to writing about just one thing. Take my blog for example; it’s a mismatched cacophony of all things that I like, unlike others that I follow and read, which are just about one thing. My blog is an extension of myself, it’s my diary, my journal, my life, and most importantly it’s mine. The other day my brother said I should ask my readers what stuff they wanted me to post, I told him to fuck off – it’s MY (emphasis on the my) blog! I think the biggest way in which I separate from the pack is my interaction with people, and it took me up until Find Your Truth to accept that this is just the way I’m programmed. I have a habit of disliking people (I am really working on this though), but unlike many people that I know, when I say I dislike someone, I mean it. I don’t associate myself with them or continue to chat and be friendly. I find that fake, hurtful and just plain disrespectful to myself and to the person I don’t like. However, I know people who bitch and gossip about others, then act all friendly, leaving me to look like the bad guy, or as though there’s something wrong with me. It’s as though nobody wants to be honest that they either like or dislike someone (and I thought I was afraid to rock the boat, obviously not as much as others). I can’t help that I’m not one to be friendly with someone I don’t like. I can be cordial and polite, but you won’t find me hugging and laughing with that person. Again, it’s this that sometimes leaves me feeling a little weird because while others are hanging together, I feel like I can’t connect, just because I can’t force myself to like the others. This happened at work and at school, but surprisingly, I would always find myself being friendly with the one person everyone else seemed to hate. I’m not sure what that says about me exactly, and I don’t think I particularly want to find out. Ha.
Obviously separating from the pack can be scary and feel weird, and it’s just easier to follow the herd or go with what everybody else is doing. Hey, I’m guilty of that too, but then reading about how Bethenny decided to separate even more from the pack when she was offered her own show (Bethenny Getting Married) and how it affected her relationship with the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City, just shows that sometimes you have to be a little bit selfish and do things for you, because let’s face it, it is your life, and as I’ve read on numerous occasions this summer; you can’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s hands. You have to go for yours!
I know this must look like I’m writing this backwards, but please bear with me. Bethenny started the chapter by advocating being different and unique, and I think it really made me look twice at myself and how I should start to separate from the pack. I like to blend in. I don’t like having all eyes on me (which is a bit of a contradiction because, well, I have a blog, which is very anti-‘I don’t like having all eyes on me’, but anyway). If I can get away with being unnoticed then I’ll most likely try and take full advantage of that. I think I’m more of a ‘seen but never heard’ kind of person, though I know I’d prefer to be ‘never seen and never heard’. Of course it’s hard because I’m different to all my friends and I’m different to surroundings I’ve found and put myself in. I don’t think I’ll go into details, though I’ll give you a hint. I don’t look like any of my friends or like any of the people at the places I tend to go out with my sister and/or my friends; and I won’t lie, sometimes I feel uncomfortable and wish that I looked like everyone else just so that people would stop staring. However, I will say this: I’m going to start embracing this difference and using it. I’m going to try and not want to fade to the back every time, and I’m going to try to speak up because I think I owe myself more and as my mum used to say, I’m ‘selling myself below the price’ by not. Also, like Bethenny, I used to wish I had a different name. I used to wish my name was something more normal, like Ashley (yes I was VERY obsessed with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and still am, when I was younger), similar to how Bethenny wished her name was Jennifer (random, but still…) I really didn’t like the name ‘Alice’, but now I love it and I could not be happier that I have this name because it is so different and not a name that you’d expect me to have, so maybe the same thing will happen once I start to see my difference as something good.
So, I’m going to continue to know random things, say things I shouldn’t, and stay true to who I am, but I’m going to try to embrace what makes me difference and instead of working in overdrive to hide who I am, I’m going to shout it from the rooftops slowly start accepting the fact I was born with this face and with this body and that, that is something to be proud of and something to advocate.
Definitely from what I’ve read of A Place of Yes, Find Your Truth and Separate from the Pack have been the most eye and soul-opening, and my favourite, chapters.