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.

Special Days

I love celebrating “special days” with people. I think there is no better way for relationships to grow, no better to see someone as they really are, and no better way to show love.

I cherish watching teens from my youth groups graduate. Not necessarily because of the ceremony (let’s face it after the first five minutes I’m done), but because I like watching their faces as they walk in, all bright and excited. And I like comparing that face to when they walk out, it’s still bright but now mixed with a hint of sadness, relief, and “what now.”

I can’t wait to plan birthdays with people. Whether it’s going out to eat or hosting a grand theme party, my heart is so excited when the other person realizes just how special they are because you took them out to their favorite meal, found the most thoughtful or clever gift, or were the first one to wish them Happy Birthday.

I love “special days.” But, my favorite “special day” is weddings. I love the beauty of what that day represents. Perhaps, it’s because I witnessed a truly wonderful marriage between my parents. Or maybe, it’s because I could almost compete with Katherine Heigel in 27 Dresses. I just love that it is a special day between two people and they let us be a part of it.

I also like that it is the one “special day” that has months of celebration tied to it. You get to help pick out the dress, try many different types of cake (which is why some people got to the wedding to begin with), and you spend many girls night setting around planning the perfect day.

When you’re realy lucky, you get to participate in parties, and by parties I mean Bridal Showers and of course the Bachorlette Party. I’m not the most hip on showers, mainly because I’m not a big, hokey game person. But, if I get to plan them that all changes.

Bachorlette parties, however, I love and this weekend I was able to attend D’s. I had no idea what I was in for. Her request was to go to dinner and then Wild Country. As I began to ask around, the faces of the people I asked gave a lot away. Some people love Wild Country and it showed. Others weren’t so convincing.

Regardless, we all decked out (in very different styles, I might add) and began the journey. Pulling up, I couldn’t help but smile. In my wildest imaginations, I wouldn’t have pictured it. We walked in and it was pretty obvious who the regulars were and who the Wild Country Virgins were (their words, not mine).

I was quickly introduced to a whole new world. There were people of all ages line-dancing their hearts out. You would be in mid-conversation with someone and suddenly their “jam” would come on and they would be gone. My conversation was cut short by “She Thinks My Tractors Sexy” (I seriously couldn’t make that up if I tried). A gentlemen also attempted to introduce me to their version of speed dating, also know as the barn dance. I was definitely speeding but not in the direction of the dance floor.

All in all, I have to say I had a blast. I loved that they had both a DJ and live music. I loved that they mixed the genres of music. I loved that the people were genuinely nice.

But, my favorite part of the evening was seeing D in her element. She was excited and truly enjoying herself. She taught us dances and we had some great conversations (I’m just going to say, you’re welcome W) on the patio. I enjoyed watching her and her sister T banter back and forth and watching her dance with her bridesmaids.

D, I know you are getting ready to start a new time in your life. I’m so excited to be a small part of it.

True Beauty!

True Beauty!

So…throughout several previous posts I’ve had the concept of what is true authenticity and beauty seem to interweave within them. It has continually been spiraling through my head, because I am innately aware of both the darkness and deception around me, as well as the light and beauty. I see bursts of both randomly throughout this time in my life.

The struggle is that it is so easy to focus on the things and people that pull us down, rather than those things that inspire and empower us. Surprisingly, when we watch for them, inspiration and beauty are all around us. They come out in experiences, new places or adventures, and especially in the people around us.

Laura, is one of those people. In the year I’ve known her, she has taught me about what true beauty is. What I find so beautiful about her, is that she feels and experiences things to a great depth, and not just her emotions, but also in her freedom and spontaneity.

A few weeks ago, we were discussing what beauty is and Laura said something that completely rocked my thought process. She said there is even beauty in just being able to experience our emotions, even those feelings we wish we could ignore or forget. There is beauty in those raw emotions, just because we get to live them (this is very much a summary, I’m still processing all the other amazing things she said).

You can see why I’ve had to process, and reprocess, and process again. I had to reevaluate how I viewed anger, hurt and heartache. I had to search through the darkness and try to see the beauty.

Here’s what I came too:

I think I’m discovering that heartache and beauty often walk a parallel line next to each other. Sometimes, heartache stems from being drawn to something beautiful, but sometimes, if we are watching for it, something beautiful can be drawn from our heartache.

I wish I was insightful enough to hold this idea close, to remember that heartache, trauma, hurt, pain, will eventually lead to strength, understanding, courage.

But, I’m not.

I’ll get caught up.

I’ll forget.

That is why Laura is so important in my life. She’ll remind me, often when it’s not even intentional, because it’s who she is. She’ll continually remind to search out beauty and see it in new ways. And, when you can’t find it, create it.

So, here’s the important question; who’s showing you authenticity, beauty? Who is inspiring and empowering you to be a better version of yourself?

Tell me about them!