Thursday, October 28

Traveled.

Have you ever had a little moment of clarity that was just so exciting you don't know how to express it? Well, far be it from me not to try. I mean, I'm the chick whose motto is pretty much:

"Oooh, I've had an emotion. Let me tell you about it!"

Really. I know how not cute that attribute can be. But, as indicated, this is my little arena for self-expression. So, to quote my Portuguese brother Emeril, "Get yourself one of those frozen things and get back here."

Once upon a time, I was a stunningly gorgeous and very young woman. One who had NO idea whatever that I was pretty or even smart. Technically, I knew I was smart – I’d seen my aptitude test results and knew my IQ – but I completely missed the joy of it, certainly. And I absolutely had no idea I was physically attractive. This is the most amazing phenomenon; I’m not alone in this situation, either. Over the last four years (in particular,) I’ve met a rack of fabulous, funny, brilliant, beautiful women who lived with the exact same self-perception that I did. [At this point, I’d like to recommend reading Reviving Ophelia, as it explains how all that odd self-perception is likely to have happened.]

But my point, and I really do have one, is that most of us have thankfully moved beyond the point where we see ourselves as “fat and/or ugly” and have stared seeing ourselves as valuable, sparkling, lovely, intelligent people. Some of us even think we’re mucho caliente! We are. But back to my clarity thing: I recently had the neatest flash of inspiration about how I knew I’d moved successfully into a different self-perception when I re-read some journals I’d written as a teenager and some poetry and an essay that I’d written in college.

The journals are from mission trips I participated in when I was 18 and 19 years old. Both the trips and the journals are some of my greatest treasures – the journals fall under the category of things I’d rescue from my burning house – and I’ve read them often over the last 16 years. Each time I’ve turned their pages, one of the strongest things that comes through to me is how insecure I was when I wrote it. And, until the most recent time, that insecurity has made me feel deeply, deeply sad for the girl who wrote them. She was lonely and so sure she would make a fool of herself that she wouldn’t even let loose in writing that was completely private.

This most recent time I read the journals, however, I just loved that girl! I felt almost like her mommy. I was proud of her for going on adventures to foreign countries and for being as brave as she could be. I remembered the love she showed to others, even while entirely unsure of herself. She was funny, even though she didn’t know it. She was smart, even though she wasn’t convinced of it. I loved her constant endeavor to communicate in a language in which she wasn’t fluent. I loved her for climbing up the side of a muddy mountain in Honduras to build things.

That girl was preparing for a life she knew nothing about, and she did it with abandon, even when she was too scared to write it down. I wanted to hug her and tell her how much she had to look forward to! And how strong she was going to be. And to put all of it down on the page so she could remember it even better when she was older.

Her words on the page were still insecure, and even lonely sometimes. But for some reason, that’s not what came through the most strongly, anymore. I know it’s because I’ve changed… the words are certainly the same ones that have been there for 16 or 17 years. I still saw myself as the same girl on some level, and while I grew up as her for a while, I’m not. She helped me become who I am now, and that’s why I love her so much. And why it’s wonderful to read her words now, and not sad at all.

Maybe this entry is just for me. I don’t know. But the clarity with which I’ve seen myself as a different person is so crystalline, I had to try to explain it. Same mom and dad. Same brother. More friends. More fat. More experience. And far, far more confidence. It was just a moment to let me know that I’d traveled. Covered some important ground: From fear to love. From insecure to at peace. From young to not-quite-as-young. From sadness to joy.

Vacillations will occur. But I’m pleased to say I’ve traveled.

Thank you for reading.

Additionally, if you’ve made it this far, you deserve a prize. I offer you the PandaCam from the San Diego Zoo. If pandas don’t make you smile just a little bit, at least, I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends. Hee-hee. http://www.sandiegozoo.org/pandas/pandacam/index.html

10 comments:

Madley said...

Thanks for that realization... I've kept all my writings since I was 19 or something two and have often felt like that young girl but still a loser. I'm gonna look at her (and me) differently now... thanks :)

(Looks like you got your blog roll up -- YAY!)

allie said...

i really hate that i spend all this time on makeup and you make me cry tears of joy ... i'm so proud that you call me friend and sister. i had a similar experience with journals when i read some old ones and realized they were about the other people in my life - and not about me. i can tell you what my boyfriend was wearing - but not how he made me feel - or what i made me feel .... isn't waking up and realizing your cosmic fabulosity great?

devilboss said...

That was just wonderful. It makes me

A. Love you even more.
B. Wish that I still had my journals
C. Wish I hadn't been drunk and or stoned so much when I was a teenager.
D. Wish I lived closer to you.
E. Wish you would write a book.

Paul said...

I am just learning so many new things about you my dear friend. Just remember how great you are, how beautiful you are, and how sweet and fun you are! You are the WOW and you really do ROCK as a friend. And... you are a Leo like me, so that is a bonus and completely Kewl!

Wendy said...

Hey, I want an adventure and a journal.....You are a one sweet hype ass chick!
psst..what does Vacillations mean?

Jackie said...

Hi--I will share something very crazy with you--That Emeril reference freaked me out because I was eating a Popsicle whilst I was reading this. Also I liked the Panda pictures. Also you sound like a very happy and content person. That is a loverly thing.

*L'ola said...

i get more and more proud of you every day, and more and more proud of myself because someone as amazing as you calls me not only friend but wife too. reviving ophelia is a must read for any female over the age of 13. i love that book. i was just talking about re-reading it the other day if i can track down my old copy. i still maintain that if we all knew how spectacularly beautiful we were then we'd be ruling the world by now, or at least some mid-sized westernized countries.

and i love you. that is all. but it's a lot.

allie said...

i'maneed you to update missy.

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