Monday, September 7, 2015

Bravely you

When I was younger I would pretend I was other people. I’d come home from school, go down into my den, and carryout entire play sessions re-enacting what I saw the cool kids doing throughout the school day. I desperately wanted to be someone else. As a shy kid with a gap in her teeth and hairy legs, you can understand why. If I’m completely honest, I still carry this tendency to pretend sometimes even today. It’s no longer a play session, obviously. Now it’s more like imagining what my confident ideal would look like. Would an external change help? Perhaps my style is too simple. Maybe I should take more time with my appearance. Honestly, not much changes from 13 to 30 with regards to wanting to be one of cool kids.

But here’s the thing: Each passing year allows me to learn something new and exciting about me. While I can acknowledge that tendency to want to change at times, I’m learning to accept myself just as I am. So, inspired by Mandy Hale’s list of “Things I’m No Longer Apologizing For,” here’s my short list.

1)      I don’t like shopping. When I absolutely have to shop, I know exactly what I want and get in and out within an hour. Anything else feels like a waste of time.

2)      I don’t like putting on make-up. I’m not opposed to wearing it. But if the application takes more than 10-15 minutes, forget it. At times even that’s too much.

3)      I don’t like high heels. My feet just aren’t designed for them. They hurt and fashion is not worth pain to me. Plus, hobbling around or tripping and falling would counter the sexy vibe I’d be going for anyway.

4)      I don’t get regular manicures. They’re lovely for sure. Unfortunately, I’m the girl who messes it up before even leaving the salon. I’m too active to worry about messing up my nails.

I realize my examples might seem superficial. But, I think we discover who we are by ruling out who we aren’t. By making this short list, I’ve confirmed I’m a low maintenance minimalist who sometimes has dry cuticles. Not only that, but I love to run and dance, neither of which are supported by rocking heels all the time. I’m casual. I’m earthy. I like to be outside. I prefer comfort and utility over fashion. I wear a natural look because I equate it to authenticity. I want to see and be seen and that comes from removing real and symbolic masks.

As I read back over my list of characteristics, I really like them. I would totally want to be friends with me. Why, then, is it so hard to be oneself? Why do we put ourselves through the frustration of comparing? My belief is that comparing and pretending come when you don’t know who you are. I think as you devote yourself to learning your unique identity, then you’ll get excited about all the little things that make you special. Then, and only then, can you go forth and be bravely you.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are beautiful on the outside & the inside!! Looking forward to working with you on our Bridge events! :) Be Brave Be True Be You..........Dawn