When my oldest son was in the third grade, he came down the stairs one afternoon as I was getting dressed to go to his PTA meeting. Out of the mouths of babes..right? He looked at me with a sort of puppy dog look and said, “Mom, when you go to the PTA meeting tonight, can you look like the other Moms?” Having not a clue what he meant while the shame was already rolling in like evening fog in San Francisco, I somehow managed to eek out, “What do you mean, look like other Moms?” After just a second of noodling that around, he said very clearly, “You know, like wear lipstick.”
I have always thought of myself as a “natural” kind of woman. Not necessarily the one that let’s her hair remain its natural color, mind you. Nobody wants me to do that! It was more the LL Bean kind of natural…a little bit of color, but mostly thriving in comfort. I feel at home in my hiking boots, some jeans and a comfortable soft tee. If you see me looking a bit more glam, we have found ourselves at the same wedding!
When I moved to San Francisco about four years ago, every day I would hear myself saying, “I am not a city person…”. One day, I realized something…that every time we say we are NOT something, a door of possibility closes. Those kinds of statements define us in a narrow way and reflect only where we have been, who we have been, and what we have experienced. They say nothing of what is yet undiscovered in us. I get goosebumps just writing that because I know how incredibly exciting it is to find out things about ourselves we never ever would have known had we not been at times forced into circumstances beyond our control. That is where the growth happens.
Watch your mind as you go through your day today. How many times are you saying THIS is me, THIS isn’t. Could be shopping for clothes, looking at where you want to go in your career, or whether you wear lipstick or paint your nails purple. There is a lot yet to learn about who you are.
PS…I did put on lipstick, and a dress instead of jeans for that PTA meeting and guess what happened?
My son took one look at me and said, “Mom, I like you better the way you are.”