Yesterday I learned that I don’t know everything. I know! It was a shock to me also! When I was young, I used to envy the grownups who knew everything – or so they would have had us believe. You probably heard the same phrase I did. When you asked unanswerable questions like, “why?” you were told, “because I say so.” This was followed with “you’ll understand some day.” When? “When you’re older.”
Am I the only one still waiting for that “older” day? Because there sure are a lot of unanswered questions! Still a lot of “whys” and no mom around anymore (☹) to reassure me that I will understand “someday.”
What I need to realize is, that I already know the answers. At least I understand the answers to my own questions. Questions like “why can’t I wear makeup?” was an easy answer. Mascara, it turns out, makes my eyes water! But that was an easy, obvious answer.
The harder questions for me, are the ones where I feel I have no expertise. Ones about how to present myself in public, for example. Anyone who knows me would laugh at this statement, I’m sure. Friends see me as outgoing to the point of being outrageous and laugh when I say I’m an introvert. Don’t they know? The easiest place to hide is in plain sight. And the confident shell I wear is actually a pretty thin veneer.
It takes very little to shake my eternally shaky self-confidence. A helpful acquaintance, inquiring what I’m planning to wear to my first-ever, me-as-the-sole-attraction, book signing. As if that fact alone weren’t enough to turn my leg to jelly! The helpful woman went on to suggest some places where I might buy clothes and get my hair and makeup done. I blame this on the fact that, when we met, I was dressed in my usual jeans and t-shirt, sans makeup, my hair hanging loose, pushed back from my face by my glasses, which I wore on top of my head. In other words – my usual look!
Suddenly I was questioning my ability to dress myself. And nodding gratefully as the woman reeled off suggestions. The fact that this woman and I had just met didn’t enter my mind – and in a dentist’s office, of all places, where I was just there as moral support for my husband. It wasn’t as if I were there to make an impression. But I do tend to forget, if you go out in public, you are putting yourself on display for people to judge. I’d gotten too used to working at home, where every day was casual day!
It was only when I was safely back home, that I was able to mull over the whole event. And, while I was grateful to the helpful stranger, I also realized – it’s okay to be me. I am not a person who wears makeup. Never have been, never will be. As for the clothes, while I appreciated the suggestions, the style she was advocating is not for me. And that’s okay.
Because it has finally dawned on me that it’s okay to be “me.” I don’t need to dress the part of what other people think an author looks like. I simply need to dress as “Donna Wylie, Author.” Like it or not, that’s who I am. Looks like I’ve finally gotten old enough to “understand”… hope you’re watching, Mom.
I like me
All those struggles to be free
Brought me where I want to be
To the place where finally
I like me