Sunday, February 22, 2009

...aM i jUsT aN aCCeSSoRy?...

I love accessories.  I have 3 plaques that each have 4 hooks on them in my closet just for belts.  Brown belts with gold buckles...brown belts with silver buckles...animal print belts in both zebra and leopard belts with diamond belts with a plain silver buckle...fancy belts in differing colors...belts that go with everything...belts specific to one single outfit...I have a lot of belts.  It is the same with jewelry.  I love big chunky "cocktail" rings and I have tons of different colored bracelets and necklaces.  Some are practical...most are not.  And shoes...Let me just say that NOT including flip flops...I have well over 100 pairs.  Then there's all my purses...

I once had my brother who doubles as my "handyman" come over to hang long plaques with hooks on them all along the walls of my closet for my belts and purses.  Everytime I would hand him another one, he'd say, "Are you kidding me?!?  ANOTHER one?!?"  Then at one point he started calling me a "hooker"!  I was offended until I figured out that he was referring to all my hooks and not my platforms and stillettos...then I laughed!

Accessories are great.  They do so much.  Sometimes it's strictly utilitarian.  If our pants won't stay up, we put on a belt.  We put shoes on to protect our feet.  A purse carries important items we need to take with us.  Sometimes it all fluff.  I can't think of a single reason to wear half of the big, chunky cocktail rings I like to wear on my "pointer finger"...other than maybe in the place of brass knuckles if I come upon an attacker.  I will say that I NEVER go without accessories.  I have to have at the very least a cute belt and earrings.  The plainest outfit can be made "special" with the right jewelry and shoes.  I realize that I don't have to have accessories...they are not necessary...they are extra...the "icing on the cake".

The other day I was kinda feeling like an accessory.  I was feeling like I don't add any real substance or importance to anyone or anything in my life.  Sometimes I feel like everything that people like about me is all "fluff"...all glitter and to look at...but not necessary or essential.  It started to really get me down...because I wallowed in those thoughts ...because I LET it get me down.  It effected many areas of my life.  It worried me.  I wondered..."What if I stop looking the way I do?"..."What if I stop always agreeing to help out when it's inconvenient?"..."Would people still love me? me?...need me around?"

The more I have thought about this...the more I have realized that I should not feel this way...I should not worry or feel ashamed of who I am.  So what if I'm not always what if I make what if I wear lipstick and cute clothes to the what if my appearance is what draws some people in.  I am still important...needed.  Sometimes my silly ways make hard times bearable.  My mistakes...they make me human...real...they make it easy for me to forgive others' mistakes.  My lipstick and tight pants prove that looks can be deceiving...that you don't have to look like a man to work hard and be strong.  Lastly, my appearance may draw some people in, but my heart is what keeps them close.  I may be an accessory at times...but I'm still important.  I am the belt that people need to keep their pants up...I just happen to have "rhinestones and leopard spots" too...and I actually think that's pretty cool.  I may not be ordinary...I may not always appear to be necessary at first glance...but I know in my heart that I am.  I may sparkle and shine...I may not match everything that I stand next to...but I am NOT just an accessory.  I am much more.

Saturday, February 14, 2009 iT...aLL tHe tiMe...

A bouquet of flowers on a random Tuesday...a love note under a pillow for no reason other than the sender really feels the words written...good dinner and pleasant conversation in a nice restaurant after a hectic day full of pressure...a compliment just because...expressing love at the moment that one is FEELING the emotion...these things are precious and sincere.  So why is it that we save these things for one day a year?  It seems like it becomes a chore and loses it's authenticity when we do so.

I'm not one to hate Valentine's Day.   Even when I was single and without a special someone and the day would roll around...I never hated it...but many people do.  I had a conversation with a man I was training at the gym on Friday when I was telling him about my plans for Valentine's Day with my husband.

HIM: "I hate Valentine's Day. After three years together, my fiance is finally getting used to me not doing anything..."

ME: "I know...I DO find it dumb that we have a day where we are all under pressure to give gifts nd shower each other with affirmations of our love. It almost doesn't seem why do we have to do something every year on the same day...something that we should be doing..."

HIM: "...(interrupting) We should be doing it EVERY day!...not just once a year!"

After our conversation, I got to thinking about this.  I wondered, "Why is it that we feel the need to help those less fortunate at Christmas?  Why do we feel compelled to want to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving?  Why do we give gifts and affirm our love on Valentine's Day?  Why do holidays bring out the desire to do things that we should already be doing?  Why is it human nature to be stingy with compliments?  Why can't we just say it?  do it?  Why can't we train ourselves to be more giving in every way...all the time?"

Monday, February 9, 2009

...sOmEtHiN diFFeReNt aBoUt yOu...

I am one of six children...two boys and four girls. We don't have the MOST dysfunctional family...but there are some..."issues" from time to time. We have a little of everything between all of us...and we all definitely fall into roles. We have the crazy one (HER description of herself, not mine)...the hyper, funny one...the perfect one...the nice, quiet one that never asks for anything...the wild child...and the brainiac baby. Now obviously there's a lot more to each of us than just those brief descriptions...but I do think that it is so interesting how we tend to behave according to what is expected of us.

I'm the "perfect one" in that list from above...except I'm not really where near in fact.  I'm late all the time...I speak before I think...I worry too much...I eat too much sugar...etc etc etc...but I am married and have been for a long time.  I have 3 beautiful, smart kids.  My husband is successful...a partner at an investment fund.  I live in a big nice house, and I never ask for anything from anyone.  I almost always have my makeup just hair styled...matching jewelry... and nice clothes...including some sort of high heel and tight jeans.  I think really it's that I'm the most predictable...I have the most "traditional", conservative life. 

I guess I had forgotten just how much my friends and family have come to expect certain things from me...even down to the way I dress.  I went to my parents' house for our weekly Sunday dinner a few weeks ago.  As I stood by the dining room table preparing my kids plates, my two brothers were watching me (1 older and 1 younger).  A funny conversation ensued.

OLDER BRO:  "Hey C! (younger bro)  Do you notice something different about MC?"

YOUNGER BRO: (generally very quiet)  " really."

OLDER BRO:  "Look at her! There's something really different...unusual today..."

YOUNGER BRO:  blank stare

ME: (becoming paranoid)  "What?!?!  Y'all better not be makin fun of me!  Seriously!  Do I look weird?"

OLDER BRO:  "No..." (mischievous smile)  "Look at her C! 

YOUNGER BRO:  "I don't know....what?"

OLDER BRO:  "She's wearing loose pants!"

We all burst into laughter because it really is strange.  I just so happened to be wearing some "boyfriend style" loose jeans instead of my normal tight jeans.  I never wear them but I was wanting to be comfy and I just threw them on since we were just going to my Mom and Dad's house.  Everyone teases me about my tight pants...the ones I wear to the jeans...whatever...but that's not really the point of's really more of an illustration of a deeper concept.I just find it so interesting how we label and categorize people.  We want them to look and behave in a certain way...the way we know them.  It makes change difficult.  I think that's why it's hard for us to be happy for people when they lose weight or get a better job or get a makeover or anything that changes the way a person looks or feels about themselves.  I think it scares us.  We become comfortable with the persona we create for each person.  I also think that it causes us to step back and take a look at ourselves and wonder if there are things that we don't like about ourselves that we could improve...or even things that we hide because we are afraid how people will react if they know who we really are.

I'm stepping back...and I'm gonna look long and hard at the people I love in my life.  I'm gonna take the time to see past the labels and roles they play and find more.  Labels are just sticky distractions that keep us from seeing what's behind them.  I'm gonna start peelin em off of others and myself.  Who knows what I'll find...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

...aDriFt aT sEa...

"How can a few simple a public place...make me want to cry?  How can a person come into my life for such a short time and and leave such a lasting impression?  How can some of the people that I love so much...hurt me so bad?  How can I be so strong...yet so fragile?  How can I laugh on the outside when I'm sobbing on the inside?  How can I believe so deeply...and still have questions?"  

I have started about five different posts over the past week.  I have been unable to complete a single one.  I feel adrift at sea.  I cannot seem to convey the way I feel like I usually can.  I am distracted.  I feel blank...conflicted.  I'm not quite sure what the point of all this is, but these are the thoughts in my head that weigh heavy on my heart today.  I sometimes wonder if I am alone...I wonder, "Do other people have the kinds of thoughts I am having?".

I know I will be okay.  I wanna cry when I read certain words because those words touch my heart.  My life has been touched because I broke down walls and trusted.  I can be hurt because I have a heart...because I care.  I can be both strong and fragile because I'm working everyday to face my fears and become the strong person I want to be.  I laugh on the outside when I am sad on the inside because I WANT to be happy in spite of any struggles or hurt that I may encounter.  I can believe and question because that is what life is about.  I may feel adrift and conflicted...but I will be okay and I will find my way back to shore.