Monday, April 23, 2012

Full Circle

retro me

I was going through several boxes of photographs the other day, looking for a picture to use in another post, and I found this snapshot of myself, taken more than a few years ago.  Those sunglasses!

I remember how much I hated my hair at the time.  I always felt like I had an unruly octopus on my head.  And I also remember my attempts to tame my hair, with blow dryers and hairspray, short haircuts and wind tunnel tested gel.

Last fall, I decided to quit fighting my hair and embrace it for what it is.  I gave up all of my attempts to make it look like I thought it should look, and now, it pretty much looks like a slightly shorter version of my hair in the picture.  And I’m ok with that.

I’ve come full circle-learning to live with the very thing I hated in the beginning.  And not only live with, but love too.  That’s some octopus, after all.

I’m trying to apply the same strategy to my life.  I know when I was in my late 20’s, I started to dwell on certain personality traits that I did not like in myself and wished to change.  For instance, I’m fairly introverted, I’m not much of a risk taker, or a “mover and shaker,”  I don’t always speak up for myself when I should, and so on.  When I would compare myself to women who had those qualities that I lacked, I fell short, and the old self esteem would take a nose dive.

But I want to come full circle with myself, and I think I am finally getting there.  Embracing my quirks and learning to appreciate the qualities that make me, well, me. 

Embracing who we are-and our strengths and weaknesses, is something we all deserve to do.  I think part of the reason I’ve decided to try harder to appreciate myself is that I have a daughter who is now 16, and I don’t want her to ever feel that who she is isn’t good enough.

So, in conclusion to my little pep talk today, I ask you: Where are you in your journey?  I’m hoping for a lot of full circles.


  1. It's funny how our journeys might change as we go, but right now I'm exactly where I want to be, as a published author. I think a lot of good comes with making certain decisions and really owning them. That sense of ownership and identity carries over into much that we do.

  2. It's funny, but before I read what you wrote I saw the picture and my first thought was - I love her curls!

    It's hard not to be too self-critical. I'm definitely guilty, and it doesn't help that there are those in life who add their own criticism, which makes it worse. You know what I mean!

  3. Joanne-very well said!

    Lisa-thanks! It is hard, isn't it-and I know what you mean, too. We need to learn to ignore those voice-they are so wrong, dear friend:)

  4. That is some octopus! Which is why I'm happy to hear you're rocking it again. Carefree curls trump helmet head any day :)

    It was interesting to hear you talk about the way you felt in your late twenties. So many people assume that that's the best time of everyone's life, but that's seldom the case. I'm glad to hear that becoming comfortable in your own skin comes with age (especially as I start my thirties!)

    By the way, thanks for the tip. I took a quick look, and it seems really cool.

  5. Tracy-it's so ironic to me that I could have had carefree hair all these years and all I did was work so hard to make it be something it wasn't!

    I think accepting oneself does get easier as you get older. I may not have become the person I thought I needed to be back then, but I LIKE the person I am now, if that makes sense.

    And-I really think you should try the prompts. They are fun, and I bet you would come up with some amazing writing, too:) The next one should come out either Wed. or Thur.

  6. I L♥Ve your hair!!!! You could give me half and you would still have plenty!! ha ha ..
    age "wisens" us doesn't it (I know probably not a word but it should be)
    as of today I can give 46 years worth.. I used to think that was old but not really is it?? .. well it is old enough to not worry about what we can't change and change what we can, huh! ♥♥

  7. Lisa, that is so funny! Now, which half would you like, LOL!!

    Seriously, what you said is so wise and so true:) xx

  8. I love your hair! It's curly and bouncy and full of life while mine, when it dries naturally, tends to be frizzy and just plain bleh. LOL.

    I am trying to accept that I will not have the figure of my college-aged self and that this is OK. Since my daughter is also at that age where she is starting to be self-conscious of how she looks, I don't want her to see me constantly obsessing over my weight. Not healthy. However, I do want her to see her mother striving to live a health lifestyle with exercise and good nutrition.

  9. Melissa-I've reached that conclusion too. I think when it comes to being good role models, we have to decide what is best for our daughters, and being obsessed about thinness, or outward appearance in general is definitely not good. So far, I think you and I have done a good job on that score.

    My hair can do the frizz thing too-when there is a lot of static in the air, it drives me crazy! I look like Cousin It from Adams Family;)

  10. Well first of all, I think you look adorable in this pic. And I love the hair. (I have a thing for full hair.)

    I feel like I am making progress in this area all the time: learning to love myself.

  11. Thanks Tina! And I think you are right-self love is a process. Most women I know have had to work to get to the point where they accept themselves for who they are. For most of us, it's something we are never finished learning how to do either:)

  12. Oh Valerie, you and I would have such great chats over some of your rhubard bread and tea. I too am embracing me - not the me I want to create but the me that I am. I have been back to a great book I've been reading off and on for about 8 years called Where ever you go there you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's excellent and one of those books you will rely on for a lifetime. Hugs to you for being such an authentic beautiful person.