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Daring to Be You or Why Lime Green is My Black

Carolina Fernandez

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If it hadn’t been for my lime green corduroy bell-bottomed pants, I’m not sure that I would have as many toddlers in my circle. Or strangers, for that matter. Nope. Most people expect to see blue denim rather than green corduroy on one’s legs and so when they see lime green, a conversation—or upturned nose—is usually the next step. (I actually bumped into the only other woman on the streets of New York City over the holidays who was also wearing lime green cords; we gave each other a high five). Yet these wonderfully worn-in pants are the mainstay of my at-home winter wardrobe…and an identifiable part of who I have become over the years.

I’ll turn fifty this week. So it’s a turning point. But hey. Fifty’s the new thirty. (And Thursday’s the new Friday. ) And lime green is my black.

Turning fifty gives one pause. It’s time for reflection. Where one’s been. Where one would like to go. The world is a-changing, that’s for sure. And today, there seems little that will stand in the way of living life to its fullest when middle—or old—age settles in. We went skiing this weekend, and although I avoided the black diamonds, I managed some decent runs down the blues. Didn’t see a lot of older folks out there, but the diehards still do their own thing. Always have. Always will.

Daring to do your own thing—to be different—takes some guts. But it gets easier as you get older. You just don’t care what other people think as much as you used to! Sticking your neck out to express a dissenting opinion, wearing clothes that buck the industry standard, or rearing your kids in ways that make you seem like an odd duck are all part of living life creatively. Wearing green cords instead of blue jeans.

None of the world’s greatest leaders followed the crowd. Nor have its greatest artists. Or brilliant minds.

Each one of us is gifted with a birthright of virtually unlimited creative potential. Ability to leave your mark. You need to figure out how to tap into your potential and more significantly, unleash it for the benefit of others.

How to get started? Or move father faster? At fifty, here is how I see it:

  • Travel more. Taking a break from your usual daily scenery will free up your mind to enjoy different cultures, different accents and languages, different foods, different air, different smells, and different sights. It will inspire creativity in the deep recesses of your mind.

  • Expose yourself to the arts. Immerse yourself. Through museums or theater, the symphony or in a class: study the masters. Their works will motivate you.

  • Become prolific. One characteristic of creative people is that they produce. Geniuses never seem to run out of brilliant ideas. Bach wrote a cantata every week, even when he didn’t feel like it.

  • Think like a child. Get in touch with the child inside you. Look at issues in life and ask: “How would I look at this situation if I was six years old?" It makes wearing green corduroys fairly easy.

  • Give yourself the freedom to act creatively. Let yourself act like a creative person, whatever that means to you. Buy yourself a pair of red shoes.

    Or green pants. And wear them. You will feel more brilliant instantly. Trust me.

    Carolina Fernandez is a professional speaker who brings a message of hope to a wide variety of audiences. Her speaking style is high energy and satisfyingly entertaining; her use of amusing visual aids and personal anecdotes garnered from raising her own brood of four provide the high-octane fuel needed to navigate the oftentimes stormy waters of life and to blast into brilliance. These are played out in seminars and workshops, lectures and keynotes and in ROCKET MOM! 7 Strategies To Blast You Into Brilliance. Carolina is also a certified Lay Speaker of the United Methodist Church. Please visit for more details.

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