Being a beautiful mess....and other lessons in authenticity
When I was younger. I would spend hours organizing my closet. All clothes needed to be hung facing the same direction, in rainbow order. All shoes needed to be lined up from tallest to shortest, flush against the wall. Belts hung, sweaters folded, socks paired. And the night before school, you'd find my outfit laid out on the floor, as if someone melted into the ground, only leaving the clothes behind. And in the bathroom, the bottle of AquaNet hairspray sat on the counter and was used daily to ensure that not even one piece of my generously teased hair was out of place. Welcome to big hair and the eighties, my friends.
You see, back then I was in to order. I was into beauty. I was into the presentation of things. The image. I was into everything having a place and spending a lot of my free time making sure it stayed there, right where I wanted it to. You'd never know if I was sad or having a rough day, because on the outside, I looked probably like most of you...just fine. I crafted an exterior image that made me look like I had zero issues...My room was spotless, my outfits matched, my nails were always done. I was on the honor roll every year. I did what I supposed to...what was expected of me and looked good doing it.
Flash forward thirty years later where I am writing a blog post in the same shirt I wore yesterday (and slept in), paired with my pj bottoms and a pair of socks I found on my floor that may or may not have been sitting there for the last week. Plus I haven't brushed my hair yet. In like two days.
The soup I made the kids last night for dinner is still sitting out. The paints from Presley's art project have taken over the kitchen table. Yaya's 1000 piece puzzle we started right after Christmas has not had any progress since...well..right after Christmas. And the clothes in my closet are not hung in...eh...rainbow order. Truth be told they are not even really hung up in my closet, but instead thrown on the first empty shelf I could hit while tossing them from across the room.
And when people stop by? I make no apologies when they come over and see the bin of legos dumped out on the living room floor. Or the board game that we started playing the night before still out on the coffee table or the hot glue gun, with it's drips of dried glue, still on the counter.
You might find some dust on the bookshelves. Maybe some fingerprints on the windows. A throw pillow most likely will be out of place. My bed will not be made, my curtains undoubtedly will still be drawn. My laundry just might be overflowing. OK. It will be.
And if someone asks me how my day is, I will tell them...honestly...how my day is.
You see...this is me. And it's important for you to know this. Because I am not who you think I am. And I hope you aren't either.
I am messy. A lot of the time. I make mistakes. I am sometimes late paying my bills. I don't get an oil change every 3000 miles and last week, I almost ran out of gas on the way home from Minneapolis. I sometimes work 14 hour days. I sometimes binge watch mindless shows on Netflix. I forget, for days at a time, to check my voicemail messages. I eat too many tacos and wish I could drink more margaritas. I sometimes wonder about my first love. I sometimes curse the name of my last. I wonder if I will settle down again. Trust again. Love again. I often wonder if I am good enough for this life. If I am strong enough, making the right choices, or being responsible enough. I am curious if I am failing my children. I sometimes hate not knowing.
But within this, I also am fierce. I am strong and wise. I love fully and question endlessly. And I am learning that I don't always have to have all of the answers. Or even some of them. And I am ok with that. I have started a business that supports me and my little family and I am ridiculously happy most of the time. I travel, meet new people, eat good food, dance into the wee hours of the night and sometimes, because of this, I need to drink way too much coffee the next day.
I eat when I am hungry, have more fun making messes with my kids than cleaning them up, wear mismatched clothes that usually always includes a hat of some sort, and in general, I really have lost the desire to be who you want me to be. I am a beauty. But not because I look a certain way. But just because I am.
I am a beautiful mess.
And you are too.
You see, I am finding that I am less concerned with how we people see me I am less concerned with doing things your way or on your timeline. I don't want to fit in your box and be who you want me to be just to make your life easier. I am going to speak my truth, speak my mind and encourage every single one of you to do the same. Not because it's convenient, not because it's safe...but because that is who we are and how we want to set up ourselves to be treated and respected...from here on out. It's how we want to be seen. Every piece of us gets to be seen. Every piece of us gets to be heard. Every piece of our beautiful mess gets to be respected, honored, and cherished.
And that's how we take this all back, ladies. That's how we make these little ripples of change. We start being more real. We do what we want instead of what is always expected of us. We look how we want, instead of how we should. We lean into our tribe just a little bit more when we need to. We start practicing authenticity. We stand up for each other. We have each other's back.
You don't have to pretend to have it all together. You don't have to pretend that you can do it all. You can just be you, Come over with your unbrushed hair and pajamas mid-day, if you want. We will sit and eat too many tacos together, binge watch Netflix and toast our beautiful mess of a life to a couple of margaritas...just because we can.