Hello all. I told you yesterday that I would define what I mean by Sparkle and Growl. First I will give you a short explanation of the history of the phrase. “Sparkle and Growl” is a combination of qualities I attributed to my youngest sister in her introduction here on my blog under Meet the Cast. (Seeing that she has now turned 27, I am finally trying to break the habit of calling her my ‘baby’ sister.) Anyway, I love both my sisters- I think they are both amazing women in their own ways. But Little E. has always been especially awe-inspiring to me.
Here is a girl who simply rocks at everything she chooses to do: she’s a gifted, dedicated interior designer and artist; she sings with an award-winning choral group; she is fierce when she decides to change her eating habits or exercise habits; she is responsible and wise and mature. I started to say mature for a person her age, but heck, she’s mature for a person MY age! She grabs hold of her goals and dreams and shakes them until they whimper for mercy and then dresses them up in pageant clothes and makes them shake their booties. In other words, she decides what she wants and then makes it happen, kicks ass and takes names, and lives her life according to her own rules. I Really Like That! I want to be like that. I’m trying to learn how to be like that, and I think I’m making great progress.
So what exactly are Sparkle and Growl as they relate to this whole discussion? Well, yesterday for my meeting with the Golden Goddess, (Again, see Meet the Cast above) I had an assignment to make a list of attributes, qualities, adjectives, whatever you want to call them, and put them under the categories of either Sparkle or Growl. Here’s what I came up with (I wish I knew if there were a way to make columns in this thing) :
And under Growl
conviction (courage of conviction)
So there you have some of the qualities that define Sparkle and Growl. (I claim a patent on that phrase, btw.) And I discovered something as I made my list, which I feel certain was totally the point of the exercise: I think I pretty much have most of those qualities. With the exception of #3 on the Sparkle side and the last three under the Growl side, which I might possess in amounts that don’t show up on the Growl detector, but which I am working on increasing, I actually have my own special variation of Sparkle and Growl. Who knew?!
Anyway. As I was sitting there waiting for GG to arrive (we have an odd habit of meeting for therapy in public places. Yesterday we ate breakfast at IHOP) I was looking at other people around me- the waitresses, bus boys, other patrons- and trying to see the beauty in them. Wondering how they would define their own Sparkle and Growl, and if they even knew it was possible to do both at the same time. I think most people probably think the two are mutually exclusive, but they’re not. You can be one of those sweet, charming, bubbly, enthusiastic people who are kind to everyone, uplifting, encouraging, and energetic. That’s Sparkle. Or you can be, quite frankly, a jerk who stomps people into the mud on her climb to the top, says what she thinks and tells it like it is and lets people have it with no filter of gentleness, tact, or love to lessen the sting of your words. That’s not even Growl, that’s just ‘bark’ that nobody wants to hear.
But it is possible to be one of those effervescent people who just seem to brighten the corner where they are, so to speak, but who also stand up for themselves and their beliefs, go after their dreams, and live their lives with a certain fearlessness and gusto. That, my friends, is Sparkle and Growl. I think it sounds like something worth having, don’t you?
Until next time,
PS- One of these days I’ll have to devote a post to the ways my other sister personifies Sparkle and Growl. She’s incredible too, in her own way, but she’s a lot more Growl than Sparkle. She’s Eastwood and Norris in Michaels’ body, toughness personified, but tenderhearted way back behind it.