The Tale of Unicorn Thunder


Somehow, in our early precious years, we all know there is something special within us. Something worthy, a sparkle, an aspiration, a motivation to lay it all out on the world’s stage.

Whether it’s our superhero worthy prowess, our future billboard chart topping vocal stylings, astronaut dreams, or confidence in how far our intelligence will lead the world in finding cures, we have a little kernel within our souls that knows how special we are. A small fire waiting to become an inferno.

This fire is dimmed, hidden, or snuffed in a heartbreaking majority of lives. As the rigors of school, work, and family, cause many to abandon their dreams, this knowledge of how special we are evaporates as hoards queue into a mass of complacency.

However, I am a fool among the masses, and have been carrying around this fire just waiting, for years, to let the beacon shine. And it isn’t because of a cakewalk life, or having escaped the exhaustion of obligation. It’s just what is possibly an insane level of hope that keeps my dreams buoyant.

For example, I launched Design Seeds in what would appear on paper, to be the absolute most insane time. I was pretty much waiving my middle fingers at A-Woman-Your-Ageists.

Having a three and a half year old daughter who had yet to sleep through a single night of her incredibly bright life, raising her in a new city where we had no family or friend support, while quitting a breadwinning job to start my own business, is a seemingly disastrous recipe for destruction. I decided to up the ante and launch Design Seeds through this. So my 90 hour work weeks, traveling between here and China, and keeping my daughter out of daycare so she could spend more time growing up in her home, was a clear illustration of how I often let hope prevail over standard logic.

So what does this soliloquy have to do with unicorns? Well a unicorn through all this was me. Unicorn Thunder, to be exact. Since Design Seeds became popular, I have kept personal profiles under this username. And to sound absolutely insane, Unicorn Thunder is not my alter ego. It’s me. I have an admittedly strange fondness for unicorns. They’re not my spirit animal or anything, that’s a hummingbird, of course, but they’re what I can best identify with, in a sea of human adults.

Whether it’s business, neighborhood, or a family event at my daughter’s school, I’m not exactly reflected in a majority of the other adults hanging around. Hence the unicorn emerges. I smile knowing there’s a unicorn on my necklace no one else sees, and this smile gives me a pleasant glow in awkward social situations bereft of connection. Since I have a tendency to be unlike, a mythical creature is my go to self identifier. How’s that for optimism?

As I look to my aspirations in future years, and hear other women’s wonderful tales on aging, Embracing the Crone is popping up. And although I think it’s a gorgeous analogy, I’m thinking to myself ... “f*ck that, I’m sticking with embracing my inner unicorn.” Way more fun, colorful, offers more sparkle opportunity, is absolutely evasive, and impossible to stuff into a box of norms. Even with a few recent detours in getting my health on track, I'm trotting along, holding my horn up high.

This beauty of identifying with a mythical entity is that there’s no way anyone can pin you the hell down. There are no “have to’s” or “should do’s.” Galloping down my unicorn path usually results in “oh, that’s just Jess.” Expectations for the unexpected are the only norm.

And right now in my life, I feel at a glorious precipice. I have no freaking clue what it is, or where it will lead me, and I find that absolutely invigorating.

I sit here as a 46 year old woman, feeling the flutter of excitement my 8 year old self knew as well. I didn’t marry Michael Jackson, or principal in the American Ballet Theatre, but I still see tomorrow as a wide open stage. And this is not because I don’t have a life blessed with obligations and people. I have been married for over 22 years, and am an active Mominator to the glorious Ruby Joy. I have never seen my family tribe as a detriment, but as more unicorns in the pack to share the adventure. Maybe that’s also why the unicorn analogy works for me?

I also like that Unicorn Thunder is seemingly silly and easy to dismiss. I adore flying under the radar with certain folks. If they won't get me, it saves each of us a lot of time trying. And being underestimated is a far more valuable technique than people generally recognize. And for those who find my unicorn analogy more tweaked than endearing, that's cool too. Crazy is often a license for doing. So I’ll take crazy as it gives me a hall pass on the constrictions of traditional adulting.

So in this flutter of Unicorn Thunder, I find myself daydreaming about what tomorrow will bring, while cooking up possibilities for getting there.

What about you?

What is your alter ego?

Do you too have a self identified inner mythical being?

What keeps your spirit burning?

Have you been able to keep the gift of knowing you’re special, or how are you reclaiming it?

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Age, ThinkJess4 Comments