I find myself using that hashtag a lot lately. #beunique
It's because I have been thinking about that a lot lately, being unique. I think about it related to backsplashes and bathrooms and fireplaces, but also as it applies to life.
Growing up in a small town, I know all too well that being unique requires a certain type of confidence that I never had. Instead, I conformed or rebelled, but I never really felt ok with me, you know? After college, I loved living in Vancouver and then Toronto. It was the not knowing anyone and getting to start over with who I wanted to be, that I loved. Truthfully, it was Kitchener-Waterloo that gave me my confidence. I think about how that came about, and I think it is maybe because it is a good-sized area, with a good-sized budget and respect for the arts. But, it is more than that, It is also the people there. For whatever reason, they embraced my uniqueness...more so, they ENCOURAGED it!
I bought a house in downtown Kitchener in 2010 and almost immediately went about tiling the OUTSIDE of it. Honestly, it felt like no one in my neighbourhood even batted an eye. I am sure some people thought it crazy, but every time I saw someone taking a photo of my house it made me happy and I took a pic of them, taking a photo of my house!
I wrote a poem in 2013. That was how I really got started trusting myself. I wrote a poem, I showed up and I stood up on stage and shared it as spoken-word, and as a result, I won grant money from the KW Awesome Foundation. With the money I won, I went about creating a huge public art mosaic wall beside the men's shelter in downtown Kitchener. 72' long! I got it done with the help of hundreds of volunteers including 2 city mayors! I called it the aWEsoME Wall. I felt awesome. I started to trust myself, my vision and my unique skills. I was nominated twice as Artist of the Year (2013/2014) and nominated Waterloo Region Woman of the Year in 2017. These things fuelled me. They gave me the courage to stop trying to conform.
So. Back to business.....If you ask me if I think that tiling your kitchen or bathroom in a unique way is a smart idea as you are thinking about resale value....well, I would tell you the story about that house that I bought in downtown Kitchener that I tiled (OUTSIDE and inside).
In 2019, I sold that sweet mosaic house for over the asking price and in one weekend.