How I Feel Pretty

I have a whole blog dedicated to being so “pretty” that bad things can’t affect me. In case you’ve read everything on my site and still wondered what tha hell is going on here, that’s the tongue-in-cheek intent behind the space I take up on the “internets”. But there are many, many days that leave me not feeling so pretty.

I’ve allowed years of my life to pass by me while I live in a fog on autopilot so that I don’t have to feel. Sometimes life’s shat gets stuck on my shoe and I can’t get it off. Now, maybe I’m off base here, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I’m not alone in this. So how do we get our mojo back once the fog lifts and we wake up?

As a girl I dreamed of growing up so that I could BECOME THE BEST EVERYTHING AND THE WORLD WOULD REALIZE MY GREATNESS. I was totally unprepared for the infinite number of reinventions that we have to go through as women. We’re constantly having to adapt and change and it seems like as soon as we get one situation under control and feel comfortable with ourselves relative to our surroundings, life snatches the rug from under our feet. We’re left crying on the bathroom floor one month away from being homeless and destitute and trying to figure out our next move without having to call our parents AGAIN to bail us out.

When I was a flight attendant, the saying went that all of the best flight attendants are “fluid and flexible”. In that world you have to be. Schedules are constantly changing, you’re part of one team and perfectly in synch only to have someone on another crew call out so guess what- you’re now on that crew. And you’re responsible for the safety of hundreds of people, several times a day, that you’ve never met. I was totally unaware at the time how applicable this is in every day life.

College was the first time I’d really ever been away from home. I had a really hard time adjusting mentally. I was a total stranger to myself. I had no idea how great I was at being me so I tried to control EVERYTHING. I think my entire freshman year was spent in a fog grasping at straws that kept slipping through my fingers. I’d lost my granddad to cancer, my family was experiencing issues that I couldn’t fix, and I was torn between being able to make my own decisions and not wanting to let anyone down. But slowly I learned to navigate.

By the end of college I had it all figured out. I was confident. I felt comfortable in my own skin. I remember the cruise I went on with my roommates for spring break (which also happened to be my 21st birthday). It was seven days of fun with my best friends. And for seven whole days I felt pretty. Because I was happy. I look back at pictures and I’m so nostalgic for that experience. The ship was old, our rooms were small, but we didn’t care! We were having too much fun to worry about that. It was my first time on an airplane. My first time on a ship. My first time on a tropical island. I felt so free and happy.

It feels like every time I can say “I feel pretty” it follows that same pattern of feeling free and confident. And it usually follows a time I’ve conquered a “first”. My first tattoo, moving to Italy by myself, realizing I was making a life for my daughter and me, coaching little cheerleaders and hearing them laugh and have fun, all of these things that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do but I did! And it’s realizing those milestones that I never thought I could do that make me feel pretty. It’s bigger than superficial attractiveness. It’s a feeling. It’s a feeling that tells me I’m more capable than I ever thought possible.

If I’m being honest, I haven’t felt pretty for a while now. I’ve been in a fog. I feel out of control. It’s all my doing. I’ve lost my voice. I’ve lost command of my life. It happens. When you become a mom and a wife and an employee and a boss and a mortgage payer, and a loan payer, and the kids want to play sports and go on field trips, and have growth spurts so you have to buy new clothes again for the child that just outgrew everything last month, and everything else that goes with living, it’s easy to flip the switch to autopilot and let yourself glide through the motions of life with no purposeful intentions to guide your plane to the destination you want.

But then you wake up one day and you itch for something different {hopefully it’s not THAT itch}. You may not know what you need or how to get it. You just now that where you are isn’t where you want to be. It’s time to stretch. Get fluid and flexible again. It’s time to rebrand yourself and get out there.  And remember that it isn’t going to happen all at once.

So, I’m off to put my big girl panties on and make a plan. It just takes one step. No more excuses.

How many times have YOU had to rebrand yourself? Lost count? Me, too.

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5 thoughts on “How I Feel Pretty

  1. Oh my gosh, I am feeling this way…wanting to rebrand myself because I feel like my identity has stagnated and I’ve been living on autopilot, or worse, some days…just reacting to everything that comes at me. I used to write a lot and train in Krav Maga and kickboxing. Those things were a huge part of who I was, and I’ve realized that when I push myself intellectually and physically, I feel so alive and in control of myself, even if I can’t control the world around me. So, now, I’m headed back to train, and to map out a plan for my blog! Thanks for posting. It’s good to know I am not alone!

    • Omg! I’ve been wanting to start Krav Maga! There’s a studio by my house. I just need to take the first step. I totally agree about pushing yourself physically and mentally. It’s what I’m missing. Good luck mapping out your blog! I can’t wait to read!!

  2. For me, a lot of these ebbs and flows are tied into time of year. I’m happier and “feel prettier” in the warm summer months and am restless and less content in the winter. But whatever it is that keeps us pushing forward is ultimately a good thing.

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