My Brown Eyed Girl
I went out of town last Saturday to attend the first Nebraska Husker football game of the season. It was an adult only day trip that was filled with good friends, laughs and WAY too much good cheer. Haha! My kids spent the day with my parents. That evening as I was on my way home following the Husker's victory (and our victory celebration), my daughter started sending me pictures that she was finding in my parent's keepsake boxes. I was kind of loving the fact that she was taking a stroll down memory lane with my mom and dad. She was sending me snapshots of the pictures she was finding. Some were of when she was a baby and me a young mom. Some were of me as a baby or the unfortunate middle school picture. The comments she was making about how silly we all looked touched my heart. When I got to the house to pick the kids up, I took a minute to look through the pile of pictures she had explored. One stood out to me. It was my 1st grade school picture. This is going to sound crazy, but I just had a moment where I felt emotions that I couldn't quite pinpoint at the moment, but I just felt overwhelmed to say the least. So I took the picture home with me. I kept it on my dresser for a day or two and then I taped inside my leather bound planner (yes, I still carry a planner around. Don't make fun. I love it. It's my thing). This picture reminded me of something I had read on social media probably a few years ago now. It said something like "remember that little girl inside? She's still there..."...something like that. The point of it was to realize that there is a little girl still in each of us and not to forget about her or keep her hidden. Looking at my little face, brown eyes and smile, I got tears in my eyes and I'm honestly getting them as I write this. I've been so damn hard on that little girl. Unfairly so. She is a beautiful human being and deserving of love, happiness and peace. She is playful, yet smart and driven. She is a girl's girl, but a tomboy in her own right. She loves laughter, dancing, and going after life and her goals with passion. She is picky about who she lets in, but feeling connected with the right people in her life makes her heart feel like it could explode. She doesn't settle and feels like having high expectations is a strength, not a weakness. When I look at her, I see nothing but beauty, strength, determination, kindness, intelligence and grace. I want to be her. I want to honor her. So why is it so hard for me now, to look in the mirror and acknowledge that I am her?
It's safe to say that life has a way of changing us. Traumas take away our innocence. Other people's insecurities and shortcomings have a way of projecting onto us because we let them. Even more abundantly, we let other people's misconceptions of us become our inner dialogue and what we internalize as our persona. Why the hell do we do this? I am not my illness. I am not my scars. I am not one of my failed relationships. I am not the mistakes I have made, nor am I the failure that society would have me think that I am if I haven't achieved certain goals in a certain time frame. I am this vibrant little girl and so much more. I am brave. I am strong. I am a mother fucking warrior. I hold a lot in, but I also wear my heart on my sleeve. I remember when I was little, wondering what I would be like when I was older. I was hoping for a job maybe in Paris and that I would look something like Brooke Shields! ha! While that hasn't happened, I have done some things that I am proud of. Hell, I have dealt with and have overcome things that I'm really proud of. Here I am today, making a promise to this little girl.... I promise to embrace and to honor everything that she was, all that I am now and keep striving to make us both proud and more importantly happy in the future. I think if she and I were to sit down on a bench together today, we would be enamored with each other. We would fill each other's hearts and minds with the kind of support, sensitivity and understanding that each of us should be able to do for ourselves. We would make each other feel unequivocally loved.
At my Yoga class last night, it was the most ironic theme. My fearless yoga leader (and honestly soul sister, because we are connected in a way that is almost eerie! Right Carm?!?) had us go back in time. The music was all 80's tunes and we had to imagine a time when were were blissfully happy. We were to think about what we were doing during this decade. She knew nothing of my picture that I had recently encountered or the fact that the back of this picture read "1984". Like I said..eerie! We spent the hour internalizing the joy and easiness of a life filled with laughter and carefree, happy moments. During this hour of reflection, the mindset of my 1st grade self and my inner dialogue as a mature, grown woman finally matched. I realized I need to embrace who I am and talk to myself the same way I would talk to that little girl if she was on the bench next to me. I deserve that. She deserves that. No more criticizing my body or my looks. No more you can't do that or you don't deserve it. I would never limit her like that! No more attention to what will people say or think. Forget it. It's between me and this little girl. I don't know how much time I have left on this planet, but what I do know is that I'm making it my priority to take as much care of this little girl and this woman that I am as much as I can. I'm here to lift us both higher and take on the world together. After our Yoga class I shared my story with my instructor. My dear friend and fearless leader gave me the greatest advice and bit of encouragement last night. She said..." Love and live for that little girl".... Moving forward, I am here to do just that. I hope you all will love and live for the the little spirit that is inside each of you. -M