‘You look great!’ someone hollered at me as I entered the office today.
‘Hey… you look different. It’s nice,’ someone else said.
‘Ah! I didn’t recognize you!’ another yelped, before laughing.
Five similar comments later, I decided to walk to the ladies to check myself out in the mirror. I looked hard. I didn’t see anything different. What was going on?! I turned away and walked out, only to bump into more friends.
‘I like how you look today, you should wear more dresses,’ one of them said.
‘Yeah! You look really pretty today…’
‘But… I always dress like this,’ I answered. All this attention was weird, but nice. I didn’t quite understand what was going on though.
‘Hey, do you notice anything different in me today?’ I asked the Mother as we traveled home together. I couldn’t help it. The narcissistic side of me was curious.
‘You look good,’ she said.
‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Is it what I’m wearing? Is it my hair?’
‘No, I don’t think so,’ she answered. ‘I think… it’s because you’re contented. You’ve been paying more attention to yourself and it shows.’
‘I always take special care to dress well,’ I wasn’t satisfied with her answer.
‘It’s not what you’re wearing,’ she thought for a while, ‘It’s what’s going on inside you. You are feeling beautiful inside because you’ve been doing more things for your personal satisfaction. In the past few weeks, you finally did things that matter to you, that you were dreaming of doing, for ages.’
Wow. You mean it shows?
‘Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.’
– Markus Zusak
In keeping with my resolution to get new running clothes, I headed to Nike and purchased a top, a pair of shorts and some socks. Not particularly glamorous but it made me happy to know that I was starting to get committed to new things.
‘I’m sorry I can’t give you a discount because you aren’t a member,’ the salesperson said. ‘But your purchases have entitled you for free registration to a women-only 10km run held at the end of July.’
‘I just checked that run out, they said that registration closed almost two months ago,’ I answered.
‘Yeah, but we have reserved slots. You want it?’ she smiled.
‘I do!’ I was ecstatic. Earlier on today, I’d been browsing the running calendar and was slightly disappointed that I’d missed the July race. 10km is something achievable and a good motivation for me to work harder in the coming weeks. To find out that I could still enter that run just sealed my day with a kiss.
This will be my first official run and I’ll be going alone. Which is fine with me.
It’s funny because this has been a great year of firsts for me… and all the firsts that I’ve been doing, I went at it alone. Don’t pity me. I like it this way. Honestly. It’s not because I feel sorry for myself and think that no one will be there for me. It’s not because I fear mockery… okay, that is a lie.
Perhaps, I want to do these things on my own as I don’t want to face their why-in-the-world-would-you-do-something-like-that look. There is insecurity. Maybe I’m not good enough? Am I making a mistake? But that is a fear I want to conquer.
I appreciate the friends who turned up in support of certain things I did, friends who cheered me on from the sidelines of life. They made my moments more meaningful because I didn’t ask them to be there. They just turned up and surprised me with their care.
But doing things on my own affirms my belief that the outrageous choices I’ve made this year, were decisions influenced by no one else’s opinion but mine. I need that.
I am purposefully jumping off cliffs – edges of fear that once held me ransom to man’s opinions.
I like entering each new adventure where no one knows me, where for once, I am a stranger. It’s a place where no one has placed expectations on me and if I fail or make a mistake… I do it on my own.
It’s a strange, beautiful high.
‘The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.’
– Albert Einstein
The girl with lines is slowly filling out her spaces with beautiful experiences.
The girl with sharp edges smiles as she conquers her dark, hollow spaces.
The girl who stood alone now walks, firm-footed in unknown lands.
The girl with lines gives the Dream Maker her future plans…
Make it good, dear Lord, make it good.