"You know what?"
"From now on, I won't care what others think of my shoes. I think, usually, I care about whether people like or don't like my shoes. But I'm done with that. If someone doesn't like my shoes, I'll say - 'Fu*k you. These are my shoes. I am wearing these shoes, and I like them. If you don't like them, don't look at them.' I'm going to rock my shoes and not care about what anyone thinks."
Of course I wasn't talking about shoes.
And that may have been an anticlimactic conversation to some, but not me.
For most of my life, I've posed, literally, at, like, every second. I was raised the ONLY biracial child in my entire city (besides two others who happened to be my sister and brother), and the city was a majorly racist one. (Thank goodness I got out of there!) I was always worried about what people thought and what they would say, and for good reason - people in backwoods Virginia LOVE to talk smack. Then, in college, my boyfriend was the president of his fraternity and there were appearances to keep. And in grad school I was the youngest girl around (plus the only health and fitness instructor in the program who regularly got asked if she had implants - the answer was no, and yes, I was thankful for my biracial heritage on THAT one), so I obviously had to live up to the hype.
During all of those years, the only time the real me would come out when I was alone, and quiet, and calm (which didn't happen often).
Then, I was the badass manizer who went around taking names for a year or so, until I met Terry and fell madly in love, unexpectedly, kicking and screaming a little to boot. So then I had the appearance to keep up of a girl who hates majorly on marriage, and who had just found out that a few things she'd said with complete confidence were dead wrong. That was a pill to take, fo sho.
And then there were other appearances to keep up because of the relationship, because of work, because of whatever reason my mind gave me.
But you know what? I'll tell you a secret. All that is straight up BS.
Somewhere in the past year I've found my real self emerging more than when I'm alone, quiet and calm. And that real self is nurturing, and confident, and intelligent, and, yes, emotional. And I ain't apologizing.
Young women in today's world have a rough time. Our parents modeled their lives for us, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, but they had no clue what they were doing either because their time was completely different from their parents'. And here we are again, on the same wheel, trying to make our way which is fundamentally different from our parents' (hello, economy) and, as women, we want to be sexy. And loved. And respected. And smart. And successful in business. And, and, and, you fill in the blank.
But, I have a suggestion. A suggestion that comes from personal experience of fighting and struggle and self-doubt and self-criticism. Oh, the criticism.
So, here it is.
Take a breath.
Be yourself, just for a moment, and see how it feels. Look around with new eyes - what is in your world, really? If your life were a movie, what would it be about? What do you think about most of the time? What do you worry about? What do you hope for?
Now, the big question-
Is that what you WANT to be thinking about, worrying about, and hoping for? In that perfect-self image you have in your mind that you are constantly aspiring to, are these the things that take up your movie?
If so, rock it, with no apologies.
But if not, notice. Then, make a new intention, wait, and watch. Miracles will happen to get you where you want to be. But you have to pay attention to see them.
Good luck. Let us know what happens. And rock the hell out of those shoes.
PS: Check out my brand new blog at www.rawkout.com!