I have always embraced diversity. Ever since I was a very little girl in San Francisco, I can recall my friends being many different races, religions, and with various backgrounds (poor, rich, single parent family, same-sex parents family, interracial parents family). I loved it. I found it to be quite wonderful that I found the “sameness” in the fact that we were all very different.
Growing up, I’ve been told that I have had many diverse styles and looks and that I can fit in almost anywhere and get along with just about anyone, but for me, that’s always been about embracing people and accepting everyone for who they are. I guess I couldn’t help but bring all the diversity from my upbringing with me throughout my life. I still treat my closet like my dress-up box and often find I’m just as comfortable in a conservative business suit as I am in a long-flowing hippie skirt and tank top as I am in skinny jeans and a cropped jacket as I am in a polo shirt and dockers. I teach (and am certified) in 25 styles of dance ranging from Hip Hop to East Coast Swing, to Ballet to Tango to Tribal Belly Dance. I sing Brazilian Jazz but I play rock on the drums. You get the point.
So now, with the soon-to-launch of my Zenful career I’ve gotten myself into a predicament. Folks are telling me I’ve got to pick one look. One message. One style. One dance. One genre. They’re telling me that people don’t like change and I’ve got to come up with a certain something and stick with that. And to be honest, it’s painful to think about. It saddens me that I have to choose one side of myself so that others watching me, studying from me, can feel more comfortable. Or so I can be more marketable.
I won’t be boxed in. Folks are just going to have to accept my diversities and maybe in doing so, they’ll begin to embrace their own.
-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger