Bone Beauty

Dear Ladies,

Let’s have us a little chat.

We, and society, are constantly judging us, labeling us fat, thin, short, heavy, and a billion other terms but it’s all a ruse and uselessly pain inducing. So we all seem to have a love/hate relationship with our reflections.

Distorted self images.

Growing up, I never cared much for clothes, fashion, hair, or make-up, all the important “feminine” things in life. So I was labeled a tomboy, masculine, or butch.

It didn’t bother me too much though, because I knew what I was and who I was. My outside was only that; a shell that housed my true self and if people were willing to judge me against their own insecurities then there was nothing I could do about it since I couldn’t control what others thought or did.

Fast forward to now. I’ve actually taken more care when choosing my clothing, not that I’m drooling over what’s the latest and greatest, but I have a decent clothes that are classic and of good quality. The most important thing about them, is that I like them and I like the way I feel when I don them. So I get more complements on what I wear now that I have ever before in my life.

This ratcheting up of complements isn’t because I’m stick thin and constantly worrying about getting soft around the middle. I’m currently at my heaviest I’ve ever been but I sometimes I catch my reflection in the mirror and realize that my hair is just perfect today or that my outfit is very flattering.

I know I hear people thinking, well that’s natural. Well for me it’s not. I normally don’t even register how my hair looks until 4 hours into my day. I mean I brush it out wet (shh don’t tell my hair stylist, she’d try to ban me from doing so) when I leave the house but that’s it.

When I get dressed 9 out of 10 times, these are my 3 questions that need to be answered when picking out an outfit in the morning:

  • Is it clean?
  • Did I already wear this this week?
  • Can I wear comfortable shoes with this?

That’s it. I only wear make-up if I know I’m meeting people for the first time. (What can I say, 1st impressions matter but after that . . . only if I know I have to be in pictures.) I blow dry my hair and actually put product in, oh, about once ever other month so it’s not like I’m doing all the fluffing and decorating of my body we traditionally see women do to get complements.

I think my biggest strength in getting complements is that I’m not looking for them.

Do I love to get them? Hell, yeah I do.

But when people give them to me it’s because they truly mean it and aren’t buttering me up for any favors or benefits. Plus, my inner self worth isn’t dependent on these kudos, they only enhance my beauty instead of being my addiction that I must have to validate my breathing.

We all know women, or are those women, who without those repeated external praises feel lackluster and dingy.

Have heart and know you are the most beautiful creature ever to land on this Earth.

How can I be certain of this? Because there is beauty in every soul. We are perfect – quirks, wrinkles, and cellulite and all.

Let’s talk a little about “wrinkles.”

I’m what I like to call a thinker; when I’m contemplating, plotting, or reading, I apparently furrow my brow in concentration so I have the dreaded 11s lines. For those of you who don’t know what they are (heck I was blissfully unaware until I was informed I had them by a well-meaning colleague), they are the vertical lines between your eyebrows. So since I was informed about them, I guess I have them. I also have smile lines beginning to form.

Shouldn’t I agonize about these “imperfections” that mar my face? Society, ads, and other women say yes.

But how can I lambaste these creases that carry 32 years of joy and pondering?

The big they (again society and other women) believe that I should fill them in, plaster over them, and not take pride in the happiness nor the deep reflective thoughts that I’ve expressed in the world. Sorry world, that just ain’t going to happen.

You can call me names and slap we around with slanderous terms trying to make me believe that jail-bait beauty is the highest peak of beauty. Well, that’s not how I see it.

How can people believe that youths, who don’t know who they are and are constantly bowing to the peer pressure of other like wise clueless peer group and modeling who they think society is pretty, hold a spark of the brilliance of beauty to a fully-grounded woman who knows a bit about how the world works and is willing to keep her own rules about how to express herself? Is it delusions that make us negate “older” or “mature” beauty?

How many of you cringed reading those words of older and mature beauty? Stop it. Seriously. Quit buying into society’s joke of that you’re beauty wanes by your early 20s.

Vintage beauty, is the term I prefer.

It’s a beauty that starts in your soul and permeates each cell and pore until it bursts out for the outside world to see. I think that’s why many people love French beauties (or at least the culture depiction), they don’t care what others think of them, they wear what they want, when they want because it pleases them. That’s it, no other motivation is needed & if you don’t like it well they don’t care.

Close your eyes and imagine, that each line, pound, and divot that is on your body are really beauty marks. Is there a reason why you have it? I’ve already explained why I appreciate my wrinkles but what about those few extra pounds? I know there aren’t many women who are content with, dare I say it, being fluffier. Heck I know I struggle with my newly found pounds. But I keep reminding myself that I am grateful that I am well fed and without this extra weight, I’d be a glorified clothes hanger.
Plus, I know that my weight is my decision. I could get up and exercise but I choose not to so until I’m willing to make a different decision, it is what it is. It’s not guilt talking; it’s an acknowledgement that I’m not really ready to change, just yet.

I know it sounds cliche but it all boils down to how do you treat yourself? Do you believe that you have worth & are beautiful? And if someone says something contrary to your truth, of how glorious & dazzling you truly are, know that it’s your choice to believe them or let the comment fall out of your mind without a second thought.

When you feel alone, withered, and without grace, know that you are the embodiment of love and house within your fleshy shell the most precious flame of the gods. And your body is perfect just as you are right now. Nothing is wrong with you.

You are loved deeply.

You are perfection reflected.

Know it is true. And so it is.

I’m glad we could have this little chat. I feel better, I hope you do too.

With a pep in my step & love for all you vintage beauties,
Melissa

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Can You Understand Me?

I’m a native English speaker but there are days when nothing but the verb is coherent in other people’s sentences. Even when I was in high school, I didn’t really like using super new slang when I talked. It wasn’t that I was resisting being like everyone else. My desire when I tried to communicate was that no one needed a secret code book to understand what I was trying to say.

a bullhorn

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now with the online games/hackers who use L33t speak, pop culture, and texting shortcuts, I’m screwed because I don’t have the same lexicon as everyone else it seems. For example, I posted on my Facebook page about how my wireless cut out but I was still listening to Pandora. Someone wrote the comments, “Buffering FTW!”

I stared at in and thought, are they dyslectic because I know WTF, mate but that is not appropriate for a response. (see if somehow I’m slightly more hip that you & you haven’t seen it yet)

My friend looks over, sees my befuddled face, reads the text, and explains, “For The Win, Melissa.”

Right, isn’t that just obvious?

Seriously, an acronym for 9 letters and 2 spaces? Are people wanted to be misunderstood? That’s why I am always on the look out for a better word to use that fits like the last puzzle piece when I talk. Maybe I’m retro in how I talk and but the meaning of word you can’t understand in my sentence, can be found in the dictionary and not some vague cultural reference that only the few plugged in people will get.

I guess my quest for a better word will leave me with a constant I-think-that-was-English face when speaking to those who don’t want to enrich their vocabulary with words that actually exist.

Adieu,
Melissa

Perfection Devil

Nothing like waking up on a Tuesday (or for most people Monday) and realize that your to-do list never was culled. Oh, no, when you weren’t looking the dang thing bred like rabbits. Now with my 40 hour work week starting, I don’t have time to chase down the fury little rodents and get stuff done.

Yet in my defense, you perfectionist ego self that is nagging at me, I managed to finish reading three great books. So I may not have got more words on my work in progress done but I’ll get to it. Maybe this weekend was to allow me to take time away from the story so I can come back refreshed and ready to make the story move.

I know I am very hard on myself so I’m cultivating ways to let myself off the hook about my own personal deadlines. Though that may be my wish, every time I say something about being “nice” to myself or to “cut” myself some slack, in my ears all I can hear is a little dark voice telling me that I’m copping out, I’m lying to myself, and that I’m a hypocrite since I push others to complete their goals by sticking with them.

I must be gentle with myself because I need to keep me filled up with hope, love, and joy for me so I can overflow such sentiments to those I see, speak, and interact with every day. Deep in my heart that rings true. Because that is how I want to be treated and if I can’t stomach giving those responses to me, how do I plan on receiving the same things from others?

Sparkles and Love,

Me~lissa

 

 

One Sixth

Here we are at the cusp of March. One-sixth of the year is up and how goes your New Year’s Resolutions? I dislike the word resolution when it comes to goals.

Every New Year before the ball drops people write down a list of things they want to change about their life. Articles spew around the internet and people flap their lips about resolutions yet nothing changes.

Let’s go down the etymology rabbit hole with the word, resolution.

Resolution:

  • early 15c., “a breaking into parts,” from Latin resolutionem (nom. resolutio)
  • “process of reducing things into simpler forms”
  • Originally sense of “solving” (as of mathematical problems) first recorded 1540s,
  • that of “holding firmly” (in resolute) 1530s, and
  • that of “decision or expression of a meeting” is from c.1600.

(Thank you, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=resolution).

Today, when people say they are making resolutions they seem to be anything but resolute.

Here’s what normally happens:

“They” say, “I really want to lose weight. So I’ll eat healther.”

After, if they’re lucky, two weeks, they are back to their old junk food slinging ways. Why because they didn’t break it down into pieces, know what eating healthier really looks like, and there is no real reason why they should change their trothlike ways.

Here’s what one of the things on my January 1 list looks like.

Send completed manuscript out to at least 50 literary agents. Most people would have written: I want a literary agent. Or worst yet they could have said, “I want my book to be published”.

One I have control over, the first, and the other I have not say in, the second. This distinction between what I can and can’t do is paramount. Because I keep this in mind I’m more likely to keep up with my goals for longer.

That takes care of the how to write it up but what about the other stuff on how to actually make a resolution into reality.

I love goals. They motivate me. They push me. Why? Because I check in with them on at least a weekly basis. If my goal is to write two full length novels at approximately 65,000 words I know I need to write 10,833 words a month or more to reach that goal. So at the beginning of each week my goal is to write 2,708 words a week or better. Why do I keep adding the “or better” after each goal? Because I know that there will be weeks and months where I don’t make the original “perfect” target number. On those times, I acknowledge that I didn’t make it and revise my plan. Which is fine. I’m still on the path of achieving my dream. I’m just taste testing and adjusting the amount of salt to go in the magic I-will-finish-it sauce of success.

But that’s part of my ability to keep true to at least a few of my resolutions (at least so far this year) is that I revisit and revise my timeline. And I allow it to be alright that I don’t get that magic number every time I have a check up. I made the rules and I can take a day off if I want to but I try to make it the exception and not the rule otherwise I’ll never complete anything.

So how are you doing this year on your yearly goals? It’s never to late to dust them off and begin again. You still have over 83% of the year left to work on them.

If you are keeping your resolutions, what’s your secret ingredient? How do you keep focused? Any sage advice for the rest of us.

To achieving my dreams,

Me~lissa

Made of Rubber

Day-to-day life can wear one down. We have to-do lists pages long. Cars break, loved ones disappoint us, and yet we find the ability to put one foot in front of the other. Where do we get this bounce back muscle? Can we improve our “get over it” instinct?

One of the best ways to help me keep going when the lights feel dim and I’m stumbling, is gratitude. Even when I’m at the bottom, I can normally muster up one thing that I can feel good about. Granted, while wallowing in my mud bath I may get angry at that notion that there’s something to be grateful for but I just repeat it over and over again. In that sliver of time, the light shines on me and I feel a little bit better.

So it is important to find that little bounce in your step, that can remind you that this too shall pass. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, or dare to find a little smile hiding around you waiting to be found.

Score I totally found silly string,

Melissa