I Crave the Breeze

I’ve noticed as we grow, we try to tame the wild parts of ourselves.

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I realized this fact, yet again, as I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning, running my fingers through the halo of messy brown hair framing my bare face. At 15, I let the curls do their thing, but now I wake up early to smooth them into a more respectable form; I spend 10 minutes applying makeup to this face in order to “accentuate my features.” I spend a majority of my morning trying to transform into a version of myself that I’ve somehow grown into.

Why is it that as we age we feel the need to be tame? Is that just me? Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels like I’ve let go the colorful and crazy pieces of themselves. I was so eager to grow up; I wanted to have the freedom that came along with adulthood, but I didn’t realize how much would change and how quickly. I can’t stay up on the phone until 6 am and roll out of bed at 7 for work without looking and feeling like a zombie. It’s no longer “appropriate” to wear bright blue nail polish and 5 friendship bracelets on one wrist. I can’t even remember the last time I spent an entire day dancing around and eating chips by the handful without a care in the world. When did I last run for fun and not exercise? When’s the last time I spent the entire day in bed with a book and didn’t feel guilty about it? I still remember illegally piercing my cartilage at 15 and hiding it from my mother; over a year ago, I removed that little token of defiance. I think it’s time to put it back in.

But, now I actually separate my wash into lights and darks. I know how to properly iron a pair of trousers and tie the perfect Windsor knot (thanks dad!). I have to file taxes and pay bills. I realize how expensive gas is and why people complain about utilities; I can hold my own in debates about politics, religion, and culture, but truth is, I still know more about Harry Potter than I’d like to admit. I still toy with the idea of painting my toenails blue and when I’m feeling extra saucy I wear an anklet in the summer. Crazy, I know. I just wish I had realized how quickly life goes by; my dad always said that once you leave high school, time flies by. I always laughed at the thought, but as I walked across the stage at my high school commencements, I realized that I was closing another chapter and moving to the next.

On thanksgiving morning, I looked at myself in the mirror before walking out the door. I turned my head from left to right, pushed a strand of perfectly straightened, short, brown hair behind my ear, and looked into my spectacle framed eyes. I sighed when I realized that I’m no longer seventeen. Now let me explain; I don’t feel old, but I just caught a glimpse at myself and I look so different. I have faint wrinkles around my eyes when I smile and I wear diamond studs, glasses, and I do my hair and makeup each day. I don’t recognize myself. When I think about what I look like, I still imagine myself at seventeen. I still imagine the long wavy brown hair and the young, innocent chocolate eyes I once had. I don’t know when life morphed into this entirely new chapter, but the page turned so quickly, I must not have had the chance to notice this time.

-LP

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One of these Days, I’ll Get it Right

I used to take everything so personally.

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I’ve learned to ┬ájust let all the crap that comes my way roll off my back. For instance; today at work, my boss told me he wanted to hit me in the head with a baseball bat for making a simple, easy to fix, mistake that I, a brand spanking new employee, had never even been talked to about before or taught. The old version of myself would have probably cried on my drive home from work, but not today. I’ve learned to let that crap go. I’m honestly more annoyed than upset by it and even with that, it’s like minuscule compared to how I would have felt like a month ago. I’m home and I’m happy. It’s crazy to think about where my life was just a short while ago; I guess it goes to show that when you’ve got joy in your life, even shit doesn’t smell so bad.

When I was younger, I was that optimistic person who wasn’t afraid to take risks; as I grew, I got scared. Instead of having someone to push me to be brave and to be myself, I had someone who babied me and told me to basically run from what was scaring me; it’s definitely not what I needed, but I took that advice anyway. It took me a long time to get to a place in which I could appreciate someone showing me a bit of tough love. I’m insanely grateful for the people who give that to me; truly. I’m the kind of person who might complain about something, but I get more from the experience when I’m basically told to suck it up and move forward than when I’m sympathized with.

I’m a tough love kind of person; I can dish it and I’m thankful that I can take it. I like that constructive criticism because it gives me a chance to grow. So when someone comes to you and tells you about all the things you’ve done wrong, take that as a chance to become better. Did your essay turn out horribly? I guess you should that editorial process my boyfriend keeps talking about. (I hear it’s helpful.) Are your fingers fumbling around the strings of your guitar? Practice. Does your painting look muddy and lackluster? Pay attention next time and be deliberate with those strokes. Learn from what you’ve done and what people think about your work.

But, remember to take it all with a grain of salt; sometimes people just wanna be dicks. It’s cool. Let them be jerks and then let that crap go. Who cares what they think if they’re only expressing an “opinion” to be hurtful? I sure as hell don’t. They’re lame lint lickers anyway! Anyway, stay positive and stay true to yourself. If you’re like me and you just love to write, spit it out, and see what people think without revising it all that much; then do it. Even if your boyfriend keeps singing that sweet song that the editorial process is part of being “professional;” darlin’, please. I’m too young for that speak. I’m going to make an attempt to grow up someday soon, but we both know it’s going to take a bit of work on my side and patience on yours.

The moral of the story is: if crap comes your way, let it go, but appreciate the fact that it did and learn from it. Life is nothing but a whole lot of trial and error.

Keep on tryin’.

-LP