it drives my friend crazy that i rarely smile with an open mouth in pictures. in fact, if i ever want his attention, all i have to do is post a picture of myself with a big toothy grin. he’ll stop whatever he’s doing to point it out and praise me.
until he brought it up, i never really thought about it. i don’t smile close-lipped for any real reason. maybe i got into the habit of hiding my teeth because i spent so many years with crooked ones.
but with all of the things we do in the name of making ourselves appear more attractive on the outside, where do our souls fall into the fold?
i have evolved so much since my 20s and 30s. i feel like i’ve been on the cusp of really knowing myself about 100 different times.
i feel particularly close to me when i’m sweating my ass off in hot yoga.
sitting on a beach with my toes in the sand.
watching the sunrise/sunset.
working at a job that fulfills me.
wrapped in the arms of someone i love.
but when those moments pass, (as they tend to do), i feel like i’m so far on the outside, i’ll never fully be where i’m supposed to.
for years i relied on others to make me feel whole. talk about pressure on the other person!
i suck at meditating, so when i fail at it, i think: that’s it. never finding myself. *throws in towel*
i get a haircut, a manicure, a massage. all lovely treats that provide a 5 minute fix but don’t ultimately do anything for the inner me.
the thing is, i’ll never stop doing that external stuff, but i’ve come to the realization that what makes me feel most whole and complete are usually the most simple things.
i pay it forward.
i hold the door for people.
i look strangers in the face and smile (even when i’m grumpy).
i try really hard to ask ‘how are you’, even when i’m in a hurry.
i eat candy. lots of it.
i do yoga. (i’m not particularly good or particularly bendy but i do it and i like it)
i try to say yes more often than no.
but i would say the biggest inner makeover i give myself and when i feel like i’m right at home with who i am, is when i let myself off the hook.
i simply can’t be all the things all the time. i’m never going to be the best mom on the block or the prettiest girl in school and i’ll never get back all the years i spent worrying about any of that stuff and at the end of the day, we all know that none of it matters anyway.
it’s easy to preach, and harder to practice. but i’m desperately trying to be content with this version of complete.
it has taken me 4 decades to get to know myself. and i know i’m not fully there yet.
but pausing every now and then to really allow myself to just be me, is one of the kindest things i can afford myself.