It's hard to believe I've written on this blog 300 times over the past 3 years. My oh my, how time flies!
Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like bananas.
I'm not going to get nostalgic or anything, but my ratio of pound vs. blog posting is 4.25 posts per pound. I guess I need to start writing posts 5 times a day, huh?
My friend Shari posed an interesting question to me the other day. It’s one of those questions I assumed would have a very simple answer. Here’s how the conversation went down.
Shari: (talking about one of her friends) “I told her a bit about your story and she says she wants to talk to you - she's inspired by you!”
Charlie: “See, this is what gets me. I kind-of understand why people are inspired by me, but if you saw what I looked like at this moment (pj pants at 2:22 in the afternoon, no bra, haven't brushed my hair or teeth yet today, and I'm pretty sure this shirt hasn't been washed since last week when I wore it everyday) I laugh at the idea that I could inspire anyone. That's healthy humility, right?”
Shari: “Why does your worth rest on how you look?”
The simple answer should have been conveyed in 2 words.
But that’s a lie.
Because my worth does rest on how I look. It shouldn’t, but I’d be lying if I said otherwise. My highest and lowest moments in life confirm that fact.
When I sang a solo for my high school showchoir as lead soprano. HIGH. Totally costumed and makeuped out.
Breaking up with my first true love over the phone. LOW. I was wearing a flannel shirt, leggings and a ponytail.
My marriage to Matt. Obviously HIGH. (Even if my “something borrowed” was a tampon which I discovered I needed 30 minutes before the ceremony. Ah, memories…)
Being in the women’s shelter. LOW. I couldn’t even tell you how I was dressed, other than it was summertime, and the clothes I had were in garbage bags.
So in all of these experiences, I’ve deemed that the moments I really shined, great care went into the preparation and outfits. And the low moments were painful and I probably could have been inducted onto “thepeopleofwalmart.com” for what I was wearing.
Does my worth as a person rest on how I look? No, not exactly.
Does my measure of “how successful I feel” rest on how I look? Yes! Yes! Yes!
I know I am a person of worth, but the scales of success tip back and forth like a boat in the ocean.
And isn’t that what we are all striving for? To feel successful in one area or another of our lives?
I know Shari understands. Her high school experience was a lot like mine. We have spent years trying to FORGET the bulk of it. We both felt awkward, out of place, and frustrated at the people around us.
But here’s the cool thing. Even though Shari and I both FELT that way, I never knew that. In fact, I considered her one of my most coolest, interesting and exotic friends! (Not only was she from the New York area- which basically meant anywhere north of Ohio- she was also Jewish!) She was one of those girls that I remember wanting to live up to her expectations, especially because I was 2 years younger than her and it was an honor to just be included in stuff with her. But after high school, she got out of Dodge and we lost touch.
Now, as women who have grown up and reconnected through the powers of Facebook, our paths are very different. Shari has become a self made professional woman, and I am a stay at home mom who blogs. We are pretty much polar opposites in that department.
Yet even on different paths, we still struggle with the idea of worth and success. Both of us. At ages 29 and 29. (cause we have hit that age where we don’t go past 29 ever, even though we are 2 years apart.) We still swing from moments of glorious success to feelings of “Why am I even here?”
Is there a way to become settled in the inbetween?
Maybe somewhere positive between “I can do it” and “I should do it” would be a great place to land. A place where we know our actions relate to the betterment of ourselves. No more emotional eating in the car after a long day. No more stress decisions for ice cream at midnight.
Instead, we should be stepping into the shiny shoes of success each and everyday, knowing the world isn’t going to throw anything at us we can’t handle.
Maybe that’s the key to worth. Maybe it’s the emotional dressing of our souls. If we surround our hearts with self affirmations, brilliant ideas of how we can make the world a better place, ways we can both help someone else and pay it forward- those are things I consider worthy to wear.
No more of this down in the mouth constant state of frustration. Honestly, that’s where I’ve been for the better part of the week- I’ve been Mrs. Crankyhead.
I’m wearing emotional sweatpants. I don’t feel motivated to care, I’ve committed myself to the couch, and because of that- I’m struggling with my worth.
Today I am making the choice to put on some emotional sparkle shoes. Ones that speak about the person I can be! Bright, tall, a little out of the ordinary, but still shoes I can fill.
So, yes, my worth is based on how I look, but I’m going to start considering how the inside looks. Making sure that’s dolled up first.
Then I’ll deal with how I look on the outside.
And hopefully, one day, the emotions and the outside will match perfectly!