I'm the "perfect one" in that list from above...except I'm not really perfect...no 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 so...my 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) "Ummm...no...not 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 gym...my jeans...whatever...but that's not really the point of this...it'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...