Sometimes You Just Need Some Rainbows

There are so many things about our move to San Francisco that has truly moved me. The west coast was the best thing to happen for our family in more ways than I could ever imagine. When we moved here I was determined to get back into the arts. (I have a degree in theater that I’m STILL paying for it 20+ years later—might as well use it! lol)

One of the very biggest and rewarding changes since our move was meeting this guy—Walker Fisher. I googled “adult hip-hop classes” and some weird format of “drip-pop” came up. I figured I’m old and haven’t danced in the club or frat party in a LONG time. Maybe it was a new trend I didn’t know about…turns out it is. Walker Fisher and his wildly creative mind developed a dance format that turned me into a believer. Of myself. My strength. My everything.

It has given me the desire to put my best foot forward. Literally. AND I’m always early! I’ve never been early to anything.. in my life!

I signed up. And showed up. I’m embarrassed to say I left in tears too many times to admit because I just didn’t think I belonged there. These were grown women who grew up dancing. Not just in a late-night dance party…but real dancers. Who was I—this forty-year-old woman—to think I deserved to be there?

Guess what?! I DID deserve to be there. And even though my own self-doubt and fear was trying to take me down—this guy right here continued to make me want more. Even if I had a midwest heart and a Philly mouth after I lost it on a woman who was trying to push me out of “her” space because I “wasn’t a dancer”—this guy reached out to me and encouraged me to keep coming back. (True story. I didn’t realize how much Philly I had in me until that day!)

I grew up in a very small-minded, small-town community with very rigid thinking. I was raised in a place where my understanding of what others should be like did not fall in line with who I was and wanted to be. Or the people I surrounded myself with. I have always held a love of people—no matter our differences. Everyone deserves love and craves acceptance for who they are.

Let’s face it. There was no pride in being different in the nineties. I’ll never forget when an adult in my life told me “rainbows are for sissies.” I was a theater kid, remember? We WERE different. In every way. My first show was Aunt Em in the Wizard of Oz. And I loved rainbows, damnit.

Living in San Francisco constantly reminds me that it is totally ok to be weird. Different. Loud. Crazy. Even my over forty-year-old self.

Thanks, Walker for seeing the good in me. You make me smile every time I see the PRIDE in you! I wish you were in my life growing up. My small town would have loved you. And I can assure you I would have felt more pride of who I really was around a great guy like you. AND YOU GOT TO WEAR FANCY SHORTS ON THE FLOOR AT A WARRIORS GAME!

If that’s not breaking the mold—I don’t know what is.

Friends, do me a solid. Look someone in the eye today and tell them how proud you are of them for being their authentic themselves. Tell your kids your proud of who they are. Let them know the differences in them that you love so deeply.

Being real makes the world a better place. Our country needs all the rainbows we can get! 🌈

Joey Fortman (Founder, RealityMoms)

Joey Fortman is the brains behind #RealityMoms. In 2008, after 20+ years in traditional media hosting radio shows around the country, Joey traded in the microphone for a diaper bag, struggling through her own personal crisis: unemployed, overweight and lost in the land of mommy bloggers. Little did Joey know, her traditional media background would pave the way for success at Real Mom Media. As a sought after media magnet, Joey has been featured nationally on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper, the Katie Couric Show, Dr. Oz, Redbook, The Today Show, The Talk, Fox and Friends & The Newlywed Game. When not at the sports complex with one of her kids, on an island or a grocery store run, or on Facebook Live with #RealityMoms contributors, Joey is obsessed with adult coloring.