The truth? I’ve been avoiding this blog. The list of things I have done instead of clicking “Publish” is endless and a little bit concerning.

This space scares me. It’s a summary of a girl I used to be, or at least the girl I thought I was and the life that went with it. A good life, just not the right one. A life that, sometimes, I have to convince myself even existed; full of memories that can only be relived in a fuzzy, unsure way. The transition from that life to this one was not smooth or fluid; it was full of sharp edges that other people as well as myself always seemed to catch the end of.

To put it simply, the words on this blog remind me of my most intense battle: being me.

Every syllable of this blog prior to 2015 was dedicated to convincing anyone who might stumble across my words that everything, my whole life, was packaged up neatly with a pretty little bow.

A couple of months ago, I broke my nose. Maybe this seems like a random transition, but stay with me here.

Once the shock and hilarity of the whole situation had passed I was left with one swollen, slightly crooked nose and two very black eyes. I couldn’t do anything to cover it up, to make my face look like my face. Not to mention, just touching the area was extremely painful. So, for two weeks my face was void of all makeup – for anyone who knows me this is a major adjustment on its own – and it was bruised black & blue and then a sickly yellowish green before slowly disappearing, leaving my face as it found it. Those two weeks were…different. When I went out in public, people stared and not in a good way. I avoided mirrors. I was being beyond pouty and vain about something that would eventually heal, a temporary injury with the full knowledge that there are people out there dealing with horrendous illnesses and terrible battles. That only made me feel more miserable. To put it simply, I didn’t handle it very well. Being stripped away of my image, of what I looked like without all of those things I relied on daily to “fix” my flaws.

But, my fiance came home every day and hugged me, kissed me and assured me I was still the love of his life. My friends were sympathetic but reminded me it would heal and told me, even if it was a white lie, that I was still beautiful. My family laughed at a situation that could only happen to me and made me laugh about it too.

I guess what I am trying to say is, this is what life was like for me for a really long time. That package, with the pretty little bow, was ripped open. And all of the mess, uncertainty, ugliness and disappointment was released from inside and I walked around with two very, very (figurative) black eyes. A lot of people didn’t like the unpackaged, less pretty version of my life and so they left – but I found it much less exhausting to be me, at both my best and my worst. Being a mess was a lot easier than pretending that I wasn’t one.

I owe a lot of that transition to Travis, my now fiance, the very first person in my life to see me completely – all of the good and every bit of the bad – and love me anyway. Also, a family, who I spent so many exhausting years trying to convince I had it all together…that I was a success….a rock – the person they could count on, they still loved me when they found out the truth. I make mistakes, lots of them. I think, maybe, they even loved me more. And the friends this transition brought into my life have been an epic blessing – its no longer a competition, a race, a battle to be the happiest, prettiest, most successful – instead its a circle of support, we all want each other to make it.

I’m going to come back to this blog, but this time, I’m going to make sure it is a reflection of who I am – not who I think other people want me to be.

It took 28 (almost 29) years to get here, to realize its okay to be a lot of sunshine mixed with a little bit of hurricane, to spend an entire day at home without ever actually putting on a pair of pants, to cry when things are sad or happy or overwhelming or for no good reason because….hormones, to eat an entire box of Mac n Cheese by myself and still have room for dessert. People will still love me if I forget to send a thank you note, a birthday card or I have to say no to a favor that was asked of me. It’s okay to miss a workout or not feel like doing that load of laundry or to keep the bed unmade for an entire week. The little snort at the end of my laugh is cute not embarrassing and if I want to wear something the rest of the world has deemed “out of style” I’m going to wear it, because I like it. Most of all, its okay to know what you want and its okay to do whatever you have to do to get it. I’ve learned to trust myself, to trust that I know what is best for me; you know when you have settled into the right life, with the right people because the littlest things bring happiness.

Waking up next to the person you love – knowing you’re the reason for the smile on their face, chatting openly and unabashedly with your best friends about some of those most embarrassing topics, a freshly mowed lawn, a perfectly cooked scallop, the love of a little boy who asks for nothing but some love back, folding clothes, drinking coffee, the flutter in my heart hearing the garage door open at the end of the day and knowing he’s home. This is life, this is contentment, this is me.

 

 

 

  • Barbara

    Wow!!!! It made my heart sing to read this AWESOME summary of one of the most precious young women I have ever had the honor of meeting. To “hear” you acknowledge that you are beautiful. . . .with or without makeup. . . .that you are just enough & that you will be who you are. “This is who I am & this is who I bring!” You may be 28 going on 29 however many will be 82 or 92 & not know what or who they are. You go Girl! May you never forget that you are just enough 😉 Just know that the God of our understanding was smiling as you wrote those words & He now has a quiet heart that you are so accepting of the Beauty He created . . . YOU!!
    Blessings your way Ms Hayley. Barbara