Thursday, March 20, 2014

This One is for Me(me)

So my husband was not a fan of my last blog. Not because he didn't like the message, but because apparently husbands do not like it if their wives tell the world about their under-thingys. Who knew??

Of course, I want my husband to like everything I do--or at least not to dislike it--and I am a girl, so I cried. And when he asked me why I was crying, I said it was because he didn't like my blog. And nobody else did either. After a few more minutes of my pity talk, my husband hugged me and said, "You're right. No one really likes your blog the way you want them to, because it's your blog. And it's about you and your thoughts, and your kids, and your husband, and your life. And you don't tell anyone how to cook or workout or dress. And you don't post stupid pictures about cats."

I thought about what he said and about how he was right. (He usually is, but don't tell him I said so.) People may not like my blog, but I won't ever change it. However, that doesn't mean I can't have fun every once in a while with it. (After all, that's the beauty of this whole thing.) So I hope you like this one. And if you don't, it's okay, because this one is for me.

I remember the first night I decided to sit down and blog. (I've talked about this before, I know.) I was sitting around way too late watching Julie and Julia, and she said something along the lines of "I can write! I have thoughts!" I always laugh out loud at that way too loudly. It's a funny line, but I don't think it's supposed to be that funny. However, I always laugh because I cross-reference it in my mind with that movie Easy A, where the teacher is like:
"I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought...but I can assure you, they're not all diamonds. "Roman is having an OK day, and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof."

Comedy gold.

I had very young children at that time and craved adult conversation. I was on Facebook a lot. And let's be honest; Facebook blurbs aren't really conversations. So I would try to say actual things, and I would always get that stupid "read more" tab attached to my status updates which no one ever clicks on because we're all scrolling for stupid cat pictures. So in my sleepy stupor I thought to myself, "I have thoughts. I could write!" And so I did. I was pretty sure that my first post would be received like this:

But instead, it generated lots of positive feedback, so I kept writing. I am very green in terms of motherhood, marriage, religion, humanity...I am by no means an expert on any subject. I just write what I know. And it turns out I don't know a whole heck of a lot, so mostly I just write what I feel. Whether people love it or hate it is yet to be determined, but for some reason, people keep clicking on the link. It is possible that none of my actual friends are clicking on these links in which case,

(And it's okay if you are. If the blog title is any indicator, then you are in the right place.)

Whoever you are, thank you for allowing me to continue having adult conversations with myself.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't care whether or not my words resonated with other people. Lord knows I try to put up a big front.

But I have been (strangely) fortunate enough to know when my blogs are well received. And so when they aren't I am more like:

I didn't actually make this one. Best money on professional photos ever spent!

I have watched really talented people jump start all sorts of things all around me. Part of me wishes I could have one of those random success stories just doing something I love--Like when Julie writes for months with no following and then becomes a published writer. I wish that was my story.

But it's not my story. And it probably never will be.

Every now and then, I think about throwing in the towel. The blog was something I started on a whim that hasn't really done anything other than suck a few hours of my life out of every week. Or every other week. Or every other month. (Because as you know, I'm not all that consistent.) And about the time I resolve to give it up altogether, something deep inside of me goes like this:

And then I'm at it again--writing broken, run on sentences about something random that is totally impacting me at that moment and means absolutely nothing to anyone else...or something that someone else completely disagrees with.

Sorry, it's just that I am still butt-hurt about the last blog...

Never mind how there is a whole book in the Bible that references how God used a woman's physical beauty as a platform to save her people.

You're right, kids. I don't care.


Thanks. And I know :)

The thing is, it's okay if you don't like or relate to my blogs. Sometimes I don't like my blogs or relate to them anymore either. So I go back and edit them. Or sometimes, I outright change my mind and delete them. But now I finally get what this blog is all about. It's about a girl who is very green in terms of motherhood, marriage, religion, humanity...and her own personal evolution into womanhood.

And not that it's any of your business, but I decided not to wear the rubber boobies to the ball.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Feel Pretty

I have to be honest with you. I didn't really want to blog today.

I have two afternoons a week where every one is out of the house and I have time to myself to reflect, to work, to run around or to stay in, and to enjoy. I didn't get one of those days this week due to the nasty weather. And even if the weather had been nice, I was sick for the duration of the week and wouldn't have been able to get out and about anyway.

Well, today I got my "me" day. The sun is shining, and I am feeling halfway like a normal, incredibly stir crazy person with a list of 1,000 things that I want to get out and do. And I have to say, being inside of my house and staring at the computer screen didn't even crack my top 1,000.

So I decided that perhaps I wouldn't blog today. After all, this once a week thing is a gig I gave to myself and nobody would punish me (or be at all surprised) if I skipped one. So I got out and went for a run, came home and did some weight resistance to round out my workout, spent 45 minutes getting myself ready for the day, and shopped for rubber boob inserts and spanks to go with my gowns for some upcoming military balls.

...And then, inspiration struck. I sat down in my dark and quiet house and fired up the computer monitor so I could stare at it for the next hour, because dang it, I have something to say...

One of my most-read blogs that was not linked to an affiliate site was a post I had titled "Confessions of a Skinny Girl." In it, I discussed how empowering it was to recognize more than the number on a scale and to use food and exercise to improve the way your body functioned rather than the way it looked. And then today, on my only off day of the week, I used the time I should have spent recharging myself to hyper-focus on my outward appearance. And it made me feel so shallow.

I would lie to you and tell you that I don't know why I did that, but I do. I got a really bad haircut a couple weeks ago. And I have gray hair and a dry scalp. And no boobs. And two balls coming up where I have to be in a room with 300+ women in formal wear with good haircuts, and I want my Facebook selfies to look as good as theirs (which I have to say, is difficult, because I don't have a smart phone and you just don't look as cool standing in front of a mirror with your actual camera flashing at your side.)

But more seriously, it's because even when I feel like I look my best, I am still completely aware of my flaws.

Fortunately, I am a grown woman with a pretty healthy self-concept (even in spite of the above confessions.) Girls struggle with how they look. All girls. Young and old. But it doesn't have to be all-consuming---as it very well shouldn't. After all, beauty radiates from the inside out. And yet, our appearance is important to us, and to deny that it matters at all is a very dangerous step to take.

Being a mother to a young girl myself, I can't help but click on links about nurturing a strong self-image in our daughters. Maybe you've even read a couple of the more popular ones, like this one where a dad speaks to his daughter about common phrases found on magazines, or this one about the mom who uses 25 alternative compliments to beauty. Without a doubt, the points made in each of these articles are important. Without a doubt, focusing on our inner beauty is so much more important that obsessing about our outer beauty. Without a doubt, these are lessons that I want my daughter to learn.

However, caring about your appearance isn't a bad thing either. That's why I also want her to be aware of some other, more outward truths about physical beauty:

1. Your body is one of your most important assets.
Your spirit is invaluable. But this does not make your body worthless. In fact, the Bible says "our body is the temple of God." It is our gift from Him, and we should treat it with respect--regarding what we put into it, the work we ask out of it, and the way we let other people treat it.

2. Your body is worth your effort.
Sometimes we feel like we just have to accept the things we don't like about our bodies. Surely, not everything is an easy fix. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try. The Bible says that "physical exercise has some value." Is it more important than exercising your spirit? Not at all. But I find it interesting that a God who will tell me what is and isn't worthwhile at all will mention that this aspect of humanity "has some value." Why? Because He loves you and wants you to feel good about yourself, and exercise does that.

Which brings me to the last thing:
3. Your body is worth your time.
The way we look is by no means the complete package of who we are as person, but it is a part. With this in mind, it is not okay to spend every waking minute fussing over what we look like, but it is okay to spend some of our minutes.
It is okay to want to feel pretty! It is normal to want to feel like you look nice! It shows that you value yourself enough to present the right image. And it would be foolish to deny that the way we feel about how we look directly impacts the way we carry ourselves. Anyone who has ever had a bad hair day knows that your image affects your mood--and even more than my bad haircut, I don't want the world to see my bad attitude! Likewise, I want the feeling of joy and assuredness to be my outer reflections--not because I have great faith in myself, but in Him who made me.

Some days I feel pretty, and that doesn't make me a bad person. Some days, I feel so unsure about my outward appearance that I order rubber boobies and butt-lifting underpants, and I will spend an afternoon of my free time fussing with how I look and blogging about it--that doesn't make me a bad person either. And long as I don't let those feelings define me, that doesn't make me shallow. That just makes me a girl...

And I pity any girl that isn't me tonight. lalalalala lala lalala
(Sorry. I can never resist a good sing along.)

BUT TRULY, here's hoping my friends feel beautiful today---inside and out!!