You Are A Beautiful Freak / by Patsy Kolesar

I have had some great conversations with some amazing women in my life this week about risk taking and embracing our unique selves.

I have always felt a little bit like a freak. I have never chosen the easy path in life, the straight road, the road that society feels comfortable around. I have been a vegan for 12 years. I worked for 5 years of my life in feminist women's centres. When I was 28 I took a giant leap and went back to school to pursue a career as a jewelry artist.

There are times when I am at a restaurant trying to devise a vegan meal from a meat and dairy heavy menu, when I will tell the server that I am allergic to dairy. For some reason, I think that I will be taken less seriously as a vegan. In my mind I see the server going back to the kitchen and snickering to the chef that there is a freaky vegan in the restaurant tonight.

I am often told by people that the way to make money as a jeweler is to cast everything. To mass produce. To come up with a simple design, make a mold, and produce it over and over again. Yet, still I continue to make every piece with my own two hands, too make pieces that are one of a kind, and to push myself to continuously come up with unique, original jewelry designs.

What I have learned in the past few months of my life is that I need to trust who I am.  I need to embrace my freak, not apologize for it. I need to to trust my instinct. Trust that there is many other people who embrace the unique, who want jewelry that is one of a kind, who will buy jewelry that is authentic, and made by hand. Trust that other people are also embracing what is freakish or different about themselves and honoring it.

On my living room wall I have these two Papaya Art panel prints with a mirror beside them. Every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded that I am a beautiful freak. A big thank you to all of you other beautiful freaks out there! You inspire me!