Friday, January 18, 2013

CHAMELEON defines "chameleon" as:
1 :any of a family (Chamaeleontidae) of chiefly arboreal Old World lizards with prehensile tail, independently movable eyeballs, and unusual ability to change the color of the skin
2 a: a person given to often expedient or facile change in ideas or character
   b: one that is subject to quick or frequent change especially in appearance

My name is Camille. I've been called a lot of things over my lifetime, including nicknames like The Hurricane, Cami, Camilly, and, yes, Chameleon. The Hurricane? That's a reference to Hurricane Camille, the BIG one that hit in 1969, killing 259 people and causing over 1.42 billion dollars in damage. Not a particularly fitting nickname, given that I have a rather phlegmatic personality. Cami? That sounds like some type of women's underwear. Camilly? Maybe what you would call a baby; can come across as a little demeaning.
Chameleon? Now that's a nickname that makes sense. While I don't have independently movable eyeballs, I am prone to change to match the environment. What do you want me to do for you today? Who do you need me to be?
Sometimes, this tendency is a good thing. It helps me connect and relate to other people, helps me smooth over an offense or a tense situation.
Sometimes, this tendency is a bad thing. It becomes a method for avoiding difficult issues. You hurt my feelings? No problem - I just become a rock. I don't need to confront you about your hurtful behavior or myself about my sinful attitudes. Nope, I just blend into the gray. You want me to be happy and fun today, even though I'm grieving over a broken relationship? Sure thing. I'll put on a smile and try to blend in with the sunshine. You want me to feel sorry for you because you're reaping the consequences of blatant disobedience to God? I won't agree with you that God is unkind or unfair, but neither will I call you out for blaming God and wallowing in self-pity. Throw all the muck you want, and I'll just blend in with the mud.
But something is changing.  Maybe it's this whole mid-life thing of figuring out who I am - not who I used to be, not who I wish I were, but who I really am, right now. And not only figuring out who I am, but finding out that I'm okay with that, that I don't have to define myself in terms of how other people see me or how they react to me or what opinions they have of me. It's like finding out what color I really am underneath, and then choosing more and more to be that color on the outside.
If you're orange, and you're used me being orange whenever I'm around you, I have some news that may be a little unsettling. Don't panic - I think we'll find a way to work this out. The color isn't orange: it's...

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