Who is Chicago Kelley and why is her blog named The Renegade Peg?


I’m Kelley (aka Chicago Kelley) and I’m a newly liberated square peg! There’s more to the story, of course and I won’t bore you with all of the details but suffice it to say I’ve always been a little bit different. I mean, look. I did all the things in high school and at university. Band, dance team, volleyball. As I became a mom, I became a youth group leader at church. I volunteered at my kids’ school functions.. you name it. No matter what I did, I never quite fit in. I always wanted to wear glittery things and bright red lipstick but I was sure I’d be ridiculed for not getting fashion and beauty right so I stuck to safe, nondescript sweatshirts. And definitely no red lipstick.

After years and years of being the odd one out and feeling like a complete loser for not being able to get it right, I finally said, “enough!” and just marched gloriously to the beat of my own drum. At 51 years old. Let that marinate a moment. For FIFTY-ONE YEARS, I tried to fit in to the role I believed society said I should be filling. And I finally said, “you know what, world? I’m good. I like me and I’m going to be me now – the me, I want to be, not the me YOU say I should be.”

Phew, it is about time. Thank goodness! At the end of the day, here’s all that matters:

  • Am I doing good things? Because I believe in doing well but, more important, I believe in doing good.
  • Am I being kind to myself? Because I can’t be much good to others if I’m not being good to myself.
  • Do I like my choices? Do they make me happy?
  • Am I breaking any laws here? Because not breaking laws is important to me.

Anything beyond that is just stuff that doesn’t really matter. Personally, I like living a zany life. Maybe full-on zany isn’t for you. But maybe, if you want, give yourself permission to wear the red lipstick and sparkly shoes, even if it’s only Tuesday.