Starfish and coffee

“The biggest challenge in life is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you life everyone else." Unknown

Last week I wrote all about how much Prince inspired me. Well, he did it again this week...with some help from one of my best friends.

I met Stephanie Morgan in acting class 4 years ago and knew instantly that she was something special. Sure, she's gorgeous to look at, with a figure that makes women half her age jealous, but that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

What I came to adore about Steph is her unique and creative sense of self. She's definitely one-of-a-kind. She rocks her life and is usually rockin' some funky outfit while she's doing it.

Because you see, Steph literally is a rock star. Until this past weekend, Stephanie was the lead singer of one of Asheville's favorite bands, stephaniesǐd.

For the first time in my life, I had to grapple with how to be someone's friend and groupie at the same time!

Watching this master on stage, I've learned to live in the moment, go with my gut, and be fiercely strong and vulnerable at the same time.

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On Sunday, I sat front and center to watch the band's final performance. After 10 years, they are splitting up and Stephanie is going solo.

And here's where Prince comes in...

For the band's encore, they performed two of his songs. The second was Purple Rain, which absolutely brought the house down.

The first, however, was a little-known song called Starfish and Coffee. Although it never became as famous as some of his other songs, it's always been one of my favorites.

Rumor holds that it's about the mentally challenged classmate of one of Prince's musicians and how some classmates teased her for being different:

All of us were ordinary compared to Cynthia Rose She always stood at the back of the line A smile beneath her nose Her favorite number was 20, and every single day If you asked her what she had for breakfast This is what she'd say Starfish and coffee Maple syrup and jam Butterscotch clouds, a tangerine And a side order of ham If u set your mind free, baby Maybe you'd understand Starfish and coffee Maple syrup and jam

Now while I bet you've never eaten such an eclectic morning meal, I'm guessing you do know how it feels to have someone judge you as being "too much," "out there," or "different."

It doesn't feel good, does it? But hear this: it says way more about the person saying it than it does about you.

Most people want to keep others playing small, because it keeps everything the same (i.e., safe). If you don't change, they don't have to either.

But what if Prince had listened to people like that? What if Stephanie had?

The world would be a less colorful, beautiful place, that's for sure.

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So dream big, think big. That's what you're here for.

And if you mess up - as we all do - who cares? The ones who refuse to shrink their dreams down are the ones who change the world. CLICK TO TWEET

And usually they're a lot more fun to hang out with!

Now, I want to hear from you on our Facebook page - has someone ever told you to dim your light in some way? How'd you handle it? Please share your story with us. I promise, we'll fan those flames higher!

We're all rock stars,
Emily