Self examination and contemplation are odd things. While seemingly self-indulgent, I think that they may be among the more selfless things to do. We (and by we, I mean me) carry so much baggage into each day, there is often not enough room for those we love. Since I started this process, I am a little more in my skin and a little more okay with it. (Proof of this is provided by the posting of my cooking picture -- what was with my hair??? I have no good answer.) I am the girl that always feels stared at when I walk into a room. While I'm admittedly as wacky and weird as a David Lynch film, I am naturally very shy and never do well in social situations involving more than my closest friends.
For years, my husband has tried to tell me that this is my form of vanity and I have responded intelligently with "what?" and "huh?". "How can I be vain?" I'd ask. "I don't like looking at myself...etc., etc.," And he would answer, "If you really think that the biggest thing they have to worry about is your bad hair, you're crazy. That's vanity!" (My husband would like to interject here to say that he would never be so stupid as to use the phrase 'bad hair' to describe me, but really, you get the point).
He's right, though. I see that. How many hours of life have I lost worried about such superficial things? I still have trouble looking at my wedding pictures (literally my third happiest day!) because it was 1994 and I had not learned the art of the eyebrow yet. It's not easy for me and it's aggravated by choosing a career field wherein you're scrutinized head to toe and beauty is at an unholy premium. Nonetheless, I am working on letting go a little each day.
Today I let go of getting my baby-fine hair cut into wings despite all of my mother's advisement. I let go of having to wear Levi's from the Gap when neither of those were cool brands and everyone else had Gloria Vanderbilt and Calvin Klein written on their rears. I let go the time my newly permed hair turned algae green from swimming while on vacation. There is a million more. I haven't even entered the Reagan era but a girl can only let go of so much at one time. (We haven't yet begun to deal with braces worn until a week before my 16th birthday!) These "vanities" become like finely polished jewels we keep in a box and pull out regularly to admire. I just gave away three. I might feel naked if I do much more.
Most importantly, however, as I "give away" these jewels is that I do not bequeath them to my daughter. That's one of the reasons I work at this every day. (See how I did that? Brought it all full circle? You didn't think I could do it, did you? Pretty impressive if I don't say so myself. And yes, since it's my blog, I get to say so myself!)