Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Gift of Listening to Your Soul



...and that would just about sum up my day.

*Sigh*

You know you have put too much expectation on something when you walk into a hair salon you have never entered...introduced yourself to a stylist you have never met...and promptly announce..."I believe I might throw up."....and "Hello. So nice to meet you too. The code to the bathroom is #$^%."

I am a "wonder" at first impressions. :)))

Let me digress...

I am a reformed banker which is to say that I have spent the bulk of my career in banking and finance, and now that I am not...well, I feel "reformed"...read that as FREE. :)  So...to say that I took the appearance part of being in a very conservative (read that as stiff and boring) profession seriously would be a gross understatement. I mean, I wore full pantyhose until my final day. Yup...I am the one woman on the planet that still buys pantyhose. :))) I never felt that I could get away with (not forbidden...simply frowned upon...possibly only in my head) painted nails, crazy hairstyles, crazy dress.

As Jon would say, "Aunt Heather you ARE a hippie."....and he has always known that, but now I reflect it externally. :)

It has been a gradual progression into finding my way back to me. And who the hell might I be? I have been asking myself for the past seven months. I have been in the same career for nearly two decades. I have acted responsible....reasonably so....made relatively "safe" choices. Relatively. I am average, normal, bland (read that as responsible and BORING).

Right?!

As you begin to peel back, tear down, unhinge the reinforced, triple-ply walls around your heart...a funny thing starts happening...you start seeing yourself through different eyes. New eyes. It is liberating.

My work wardrobe is so dramatically different these days that it quite simply...Takes. My. Breath. I have NEVER been so happy about clothing. Which is saying something since I am NOT a fashionista...by even a small stretch. During the winter months of January and February this year, I wore cowboy boots Every. Day. to work. Every. Day. *Aaaahhhh*  Right before Haiti, I went deeper...I got my nails (hands and feet) painted black. #63 Black Onyx by Opi (Shellac) to be exact, and I don't know who was grinning bigger...me, as they put it on....or the girl applying it who I believe was using that color for the first time and really didn't think it was going to look good. It did...at least I think so. I love it. LOVE it. The kids in Haiti loved it too. They were fascinated on how and why this blanc's fingers were black. Last week, I went back and had them do it again. As I said to my Sis, I may never go back to Opi Bubble Bath on my nails (my staple for every bit of 20 years). *Sigh*

So back to this morning....I had been pondering on it for awhile...maybe it was time to do something extreme with my hair. I had been pinning ombre pics for over a year. Could I do it? Would I do it? I threw out some smoke signals...and I got a nibble....an ombre expert here in Little Rock. Hmmm.....I was intrigued. I made some calls, set up an appt., sent some pics I had been pinning, and then I waited. The last couple of weeks have dragged by as I waited for my appt this morning....lots of giddy anticipation. So much so that by the time I arrived at the salon this morning, I had quite literally resisted tweeting about the whole experience...recognizing that I had quite literally lost my marbles....and just get in there and sit down FOR THE LOVE OF PETE.

So what happened?

Well, I didn't get sick. I talked the girl's ear off about me trying to be brave and do new things and not be such a stiff...yada yada yada. I only hope I tipped enough to compensate her for my therapy session she threw in for free. *Sigh*

So...who has figured out that this isn't about my clothes, my nails, or my hair?

Yeah....it took me a moment too. *Sigh*

We get lost in this world. We get lost trying to be what we think we want. Trying to be who we think others want. Some of us think about what God wants, but too often if it doesn't reconcile with what we or others want....we shove that aside....and him.

We are so busy doing the right thing. We lose sight of what the right thing is. We lose sight of our hearts...of the essence of who we are....who we could be....who we were intended be.

I have done all of these things...in spades.

I have been so lost at times in other's expectations that it wasn't simply that my own got lost for a time...Mine got buried, destroyed, obliterated. There are a whole slew of wounds that come from others.  None of those can compare with the wounds we give ourselves. We are numb. I am numb.

Who am I?

Does anybody else struggle when they have to write the brief bios for social media sites??? Who am I? Give me an easier question...I beg of you. :)

More accurate would be, "This is who I want to be when I grow up." :)

I digress....

It is quite the journey moving from who you thought you were supposed to be...to who you want to be...to who God wants you to be. I spent a lot of time in the beginning trying to find the overlap, the safe spots, what I could understand (read that as control). I am slowly working into the "I don't give a flying fig."..as long as it is what God wants. Let me just say this in full honesty...He and I are at battle over it. Battle. To the point that black nail polish, ombre hair, and wearing converse sneakers w/a maxi skirt at the office feel DANGEROUS....to my heart. And yes I understand how ridiculous that sounds....and yes I know I need help. :)))  He is using everything to teach me the lessons I so desperately need to learn...and he isn't above or below using nail polish and hair color to make his point.

*Sigh*

I need a respite after that...*Sigh*

Quote by Brene Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection (very highly recommend!) and Daring Greatly.







I have stressed this to my niece and nephews for years...yet here I am learning this very lesson anew. E.E. Cummings nailed it, and then Brene Brown perfected it. I am working very hard to "own" my story. Who are we kidding??? I am trying to figure out my story...write my story (read that as document the battles)...and Be more me than I have ever been. It isn't easy. It isn't pretty. It isn't necessarily fun. It is though..necessary, worth it (Lord please say it is.), and my personal journey to true honest-to-goodness deep, fulfilling happiness.

I have a friend who is working through similar battles and we spend time weekly encouraging each other in this journey. Over some Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken this week, I described to her how I feel like my life has been a giant waffle where the areas of my life fit neatly in their own individual square and who I am in each square changes depending on the area of my life it represents. (Say that ten times fast.) No wonder I am exhausted?!?! :))) So what I explained to her was that I am trying to merge all of those squares into one beautiful patchwork quilt (envision my fingers coming together in front of me and then lacing...because if you know me, you know I talk with my hands). :)) I want to Be. One. Person. All. The. Time. I kid you not, she looked at me with tears in her eyes, and said, "I want that too."

We are not alone my mighty tribe. There are a multitude of us out there who have lost our way. We are weary. Our story got jumbled, lost, hijacked. It is time to own our stories. Own who we are. What we are. Be. Ourselves.

I don't know what any of this looks or feels like to anyone else, but my goal is to be real, authentic, and brutally honest with my journey from no mans land to myself. So far it has been equal parts funny, sad, and bewildering. Yup...that sounds about right. :))) It is a journey.


I'm listening...

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)