In the words of India Arie (perhaps my guru) – I’m having a private party. Learning how to love me. Celebrating the woman I’ve become.
I’m not a yoga master. I don’t eat vegan. I have a bad habit of getting my energy from coffee, not the universe.
Yet, I do have some completely lost-in-thought moments. While I blow dry my hair, in the shower and sometimes on my drive to work. (Sorry to other drivers who share the road with me). Perhaps regaining my chi is something I have learned to do in my every day activities, not in a steam filled room with strangers.
Today whilst blow drying my hair, I had some thoughts. A couple years ago, I lived in Phoenix, AZ. On one side of the valley lay a town that I loved and hated…Scottsdale. We would go out every weekend and dance. Every weekend I would be faced with some sad realities. People spend a lot more time and money on their looks than me. Old Navy had suited me thus far. Yet when I would venture to the east side of town I’d discover that I wasn’t processed. This meant I did not adequately moisturize. I didn’t own enough couture (still not even sure what that is…) and I wore far too little mascara.
Over my two years of residency, Phoenix caused me to do a few things. Through my career I developed a strong sense of my talents and heart in serving my students. I grew confidence in my abilities in teaching. I also slowly discovered that I was kind of attractive. In my five years of attendance at Michigan State University, I don’t remember getting asked out once. Yet in just a few months of going out with some confident friends, I found that I did have something to offer the dating world.
When we’d go out to Scottsdale, however, my friend Sandy would put on her BeBe dress and I’d pull on my Old Navy jeans. When men would hit on Sandy, I chalked it up to her attention to appearance. Guys would walk up to me and inform me that I wasn’t “Scottsdale.” They didn’t say it in a negative way, just an observation. Clearly I didn’t fit in, but I did stand out.
I met Mike in the middle of my Phoenix journey. I was sleeping with my mouth wide open and drooling. The week following I developed a bacterial infection in my eyes which caused them to turn red resembling a troll. Clearly not my finest moments. Yet, Mike saw me as beautiful, worthwhile. He is a man who doesn’t care about bad breath, or farts or greasy hair. He has even loved me through some of the most mortifying experiences of my life. But he loves my so-not-Scottsdale, crocs wearing self.
Now I may just be assimilating to my new home, but Portland has done a lot for my journey of finding myself. Perhaps because others are a LOT weirder than me. And even though I may not be “Portland,” because of my fiance (soon to be husband) I feel more comfortable in my own skin. For instance, in the past year I have gotten into the habit of not wearing makeup to work. After wearing mascara and eyeliner for a year, you forget what you look like without it. You begin to doubt your natural beauty. Your eyes feel sunken, your skin seems pale and your nose a little too pointy. No wonder the phrase, “I’m putting on my face” is so commonplace. We have learned to wear a mask to cover our real faces.
Today while I blow dried my hair, I looked in the mirror and saw a beautiful woman. No mascara, no eyeliner. I haven’t dyed my hair in over a year. Yet all that processing would have made me jealous a few years ago.
When I was young, I remember getting ready for church in front of the mirror that was on the door of the room my sister and I shared. My father walked by. He said, “you don’t need that stuff, you are beautiful.” I didn’t believe him then. It has take a journey of fifteen or so years to begin to believe his words.
In my blow drying meditation today, I celebrated the woman I have become.
© 2011 D. Willson