Saturday, December 7, 2013

I am What I am

If a flame from my past were to run into me at the mall, they would be completely justified in thinking that they 'dodged a bullet' as they would most likely think to themselves, "Gee ... she has sure let herself go!"

I'm going through a phase right now. I hate to say it, but I'm kind of liking it. It is akin to the six week recovery period that I had after my hernia surgery. I didn't have to leave the house to go to my Saturday job and I cancelled all of my dance classes during that period. I didn't have to go anywhere so I took advantage of that time and went through the growing pains of letting my hair grow out (I must have been in dire need of a hair cut before the surgery).

At the end of that metamorphosis, I came out with a new hair style and a completely different look on life. I felt ... happy.

Since that time, I spent three years 'out in the public eye'. I went to school. I worked outside of my home. I kept my foot in the door at the dance studio. I took part in a dance competition and went on the Vacation of a Lifetime. I had to keep up appearances.

My last dance lesson was June 27 of this year. My last (failed) attempt at 'hair and nail' maintenance was July 27.

My hair was nothing short of a disaster (made worse by a follow up hair cut which has taken four months for my bangs to finally reach my eyebrows again). My pedicure was a waste of time (my feet felt like sandpaper within days and the nail polish started peeling off almost immediately).

It was some time in and around that point that I was completely and totally relieved that I didn't dance any more. It took such great energy to maintain that 'dance look'. The one where it looked like I actually took some time to look in a mirror before I walked out the door.

I shed that image with such flair. I couldn't help but compare this freedom with the pains that I went to, to take on a completely fake persona to attend a dance competition. Fake nails, eyelash extensions, spray tan, bold cherry-red hair, a high maintenance hair cut, with excessive bling and dance costumes to complete the look. When a friend-from-another-lifetime-ago commented on my pictures from this competition, I replied that "The only thing genuine about me in those pictures was the smile ..."

I am not a high maintenance kind of girl. I think it is loads of fun to dress up and I miss those 'Cinderella days' of dance showcases just a little bit. I'm glad I did it. I am grateful that I have proof (pictures) that I lived that life of glitz and glam. But most of all ... it is that smile within those pictures that I am happiest to see.

I gave up hair and make-up a little while ago. The growing out process of a bad hair cut is not fun. I have utilized bobby pins and have had 'hair days' that would make my mother shudder. I can't help but think of the comments that she has made about her 85+ year old sisters' hair at times (something to the effect of) "Doesn't she look in a mirror?" and the comment that they should do something to flatter their appearance.

I totally agree on one level. A person's hair is one of the first things that you notice. It doesn't have to be glamorous but I think that having hair that doesn't stand out in a negative way is probably a direction that I want to take. But I couldn't help but defend my aunts "Who goes out and gets their hair done to attend a funeral?" and "Maybe you saw them just before an upcoming hair appointment ..." or maybe they were simply growing out a bad hair cut!

I have to leave the house today.

I added some eye liner, eyebrow pencil and bronzer to my morning look. I looked at my hair and shuddered. I placed a few unruly pieces of hair where I wanted them to be and bobby-pinned them in place. And I thought "Good enough" (my hair has finally grown out of one bad phase and the next is probably due around the next time I wash my hair).

My question is: Do I care ... enough?

I had a dream that My Sister quietly whispered in my ear that I should 'suck in my gut' (those weren't her words but it is the most succinct way that I can retell what my sister told me in my post-dream state) because it looked like my stomach was protruding and my rear was sticking out. Yes. I weigh a lot more than I did in those 'dance pictures' in addition to the bad hair and no make up.

I wish that I had a more flattering wardrobe. I need to touch up my roots. My nails need to be filed down. I should treat myself to a do-it-yourself pedicure. I need to maintain 'what I have' but all in all? I am quite content to go with the "I am what I am".

"I am what I am 
I don't want praise I don't want pity 
I bang my own drum 
Some think it's noise I think it's pretty 
And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle 
Why not see things from a different angle 
Your life is a sham 
Till you can shout out I am what I am"
Lyrics (in part) "I am What I am" ~ Gloria Gaynor

The one accessory that needs work is my smile. It has been the one item missing from my current look that I know I need to find again. I think it is here some where ... 

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