The Best Damn Acorn

For several years, my friend dressed up as an acorn.

The acorn was the mascot of a popular local dairy. It marched in parades, gave hugs at country fairs, waved and jumped around at ribbon cuttings. Like any good mascot, it was exuberance made manifest.

My friend had a full-time nonprofit job. She also made brilliant, sophisticated art. The acorn was a bit of side income. Though by no means easy.

The acorn kept a busy travel schedule. Plus, given its joie de vivre, the costume was often sweaty. Not just with her sweat, but with the sweat of the six or seven others who wore the costume. And still, she was an acorn, and a damn good one, for several years.

What did you learn doing that? I once asked her over coffee.

My friend put down her drink and, without hesitation, said: Don’t be apologetic. Don’t be half-hearted. If you’re going to be an acorn or do anything odd or unconventional, you have to go all in. Own it.

Or, put another way: If you’re going to be an acorn, be the best damn acorn.

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