I Think I Grew Into My Beauty

I Think I Grew Into My Beauty

I think I grew into my beauty!

It wasn’t a sudden reality. It wasn’t a epiphany after searching.

It was small realizations, found over time.

I was never the girl who looked in the mirror and picked herself apart, but I also wasn’t the girl who confidently acknowledged with a smile and a head nod a known beauty. I was unfortunately indifferent. I wouldn’t have called myself ugly and I wouldn’t have called myself beautiful.

I simply didn’t consider myself at all.

But now, I’m learning to appreciate my beauty.

I wake up and I love that even on a “bad hair day” my hair rarely looks bad. I love that I can curl it, straighten it, pull it up or wear it down. It’s extremely unpredictable and I find that endearing.

I love that my fingernails are automatically shaped the way I like them and they grow fast. But, they are also a dead give away for my level of stress. The chaos of my life is measured by the length of my fingernails.

I love that my eyes are the same color as my mom’s, a shade of green that changes according to what outfit I’m wearing. I love the small lines surrounding them that show the amount of laughter I’ve experienced in life.

And, skin! How can I express enough thanks to the family for my skin? A few wrinkles in my forehead, but my skin allows me to get away with the age I feel, rather than the age I am. It allowed my junior high embarrassment to be isolated to awkwardness and incoordination, rather than what someone would notice right away. And my pink cheeks I use to hate for giving away that embarrassment, I now adore because it’s often accompanied by a shy smile and an unnecessary compliment.

What was once ignored or hated, has now become what makes me beautiful.

Recognizing these small marks of beauty in myself, has changed the way I perceive other people. I intentional start looking for the beauty in them, past the facades, the masks, the coverings.

Imperfections are no longer flaws to camouflaged, but character telling us a story and my story of beauty is just beginning.

I Hate Dating’s Guts!

Ah, that word. The word that creates anxiety, excitement, apprehension, optimism just by its mere existence.

This week I found myself preparing for “the word.” I did what every girl is suppose to do. I asked what I should wear, how I should fix my hair, clarified I was meeting at a neutral location, and reinforced that I would call with information.

I should have rushed home. I knew this in my mind but found myself instead “mosying” home. After reading too long, I realized I may not have left as much time to get ready as I hoped. I should have got anxious, but instead caught myself shrugging my shoulders and just getting to work. The result, great hair that I will never accomplish again, no matter how much I practice or try.

I started up the stairs, only to drop my phone. Since this isn’t the first time, I no longer have a back so the battery flew out. As I reach down to save it, my purse somehow falls off of my shoulder and flies back down the stairs. Oh wait…it gets better. It wasn’t zipped! So, all of my belongings are now upended and spread out all the way down the stairs.

I sigh and start putting myself back together again. This should clearly create anxiety, right? But I’m still not.

I finally make it to my car and head down the street. But wait, what is that I see; flashing red lights behind me. They must surely be receiving a call, since I’m going all of 30 miles an hour. I pull slowly over thinking he will go around me. No such luck! Apparently, you can be pulled over for the light on your license plate going out!

Here’s the best part. Remember how my purse blew up, well now I’m pulled over and my license and insurance card is nowhere to be found! I think, with all of the chaos, the police officer was sorry he pulled me over. He fixed me up and then let me go on my way.

Still no anxiety. A slight head nod, but no anxiety.

That was when it dawned on me. The phrase “it’s not you, it’s me,” was me. It wasn’t an excuse, or said to soften a blow. It really was me. The date and The Date was fine. That wasn’t the problem.
The problem is that I have somehow created a expectation, a dynamic, that may be unfair and unrealistic. You then have to choose between being disappointed or being the disappointment. We over analyze and put up unintentional stumbling blocks: Do I have enough time? Can I be enough? Will he be understanding and thoughtful? Stumbling block after internal stumbling block!

The best defense, indifference.

I shared this story and profound insight with my sister and her response was, “I hate dating’s guts!”

I guess that sums it up.

Now That the Superbowl is Over

Last week was one of the greatest events of the year…the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl use to be surrounded with parties, lots of bad for you food, and a healthy competition between whose team is best. Although I have to admit, I know very little about football, I always loved this day.

But this year was different.

Working with an anti-trafficking organization, there are certain expectations, rules, and new understanding. And the Super Bowl…well that has taken on a new idea. My newsfeeds starting blowing up with articles surrounding the topic of The Super Bowl and trafficking. Everyone wanted to talk about it, each person having their own opinion, sometimes an opinion that lacked understanding.

So, I rebelled. I internally became passive-aggressive. I can give you a million reason why, some completely illogical, but here are a few:

I was angry that suddenly everyone was “aware” and it became their cause.

I was angry because I knew once it was over, or in this case once everyone watched Bruno Mars, everyone would forget about the “cause.”

I was angry because we’ll spend hundreds of dollars on parties and events, but I have to worry about how fund the “cause.”

But, mainly, I was angry because instead of talking about trafficking, we were talking about who’s right – The Super Bowl is the biggest event for trafficking vs. it’s a myth that the Super Bowl is the biggest event.

So…I was angry, in that keep it secret in the back of your mind way. And, I responded by ignoring it, avoiding it, pretending it wasn’t happening.

But, my world was shaken to reality on Friday. A call forced me to wake-up from my passive(externally)-aggressive(internally) stance, and respond.

I received a call from someone who had “heard about us” and didn’t know what else to do. A woman had been picked up in New York and was now needing safety and shelter. A family member had a friend who had a … you get the point…that said they should call us and maybe we could help.

I found myself in what appeared to be an impossible situation, working with several different states, several different agencies, hoping to find the right fit.

That wasn’t the real lesson, though. As we were working with this family, a few things were reinforced:

First, because of all the awareness that was going on surrounding The Super Bowl, law enforcement viewed situations differently. Instead of assuming, they asked questions and immediately was able to recognize as trafficking. They got her help quickly, contacted her family, and provided her with safety. Would they have responded differently without the awareness? I can’t speculate, but I know it can’t hurt.

Second, although, I can’t tell you what the statistics are surrounding how many more cases there are, etc. I can tell you in this case she was recruited for a specific purpose. It may be just one isolated situation, but for me it’s reason enough to take notice.

Finally, although I know it’s happening everywhere, all the time, what bothers me about sporting events (or any other big draw) is that it is being sold as part of the experience. People have become a commodity to buy, along with jersey’s, hats, and banners. It sounds so shocking and disturbing, yet it doesn’t hinder it.

So, I can know longer set idly by. I can’t let indifference, or passive-aggressiveness take over.

I have to respond, because this one girl was worth it!