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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Help! I Need Somebody!

I have a confession to make: I need validation.

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It’s not very modern, but it is very honest. Sure, lots of people will think that’s weak of me to say, but it’s true. It’s an innate human quality that cannot be over looked or ever totally snuffed out. It’s in our DNA. From birth we need to have some form of validation; we need to know that someone understands our emotions, our feelings, our needs, so they can meet them for us when we are incapable of doing so ourselves.

Please stop trying to kid yourself, that doesn’t just go away. It’s okay to need to feel validated. Quite honestly, I sit on my computer or check my phone to see if anyone has liked my posts or commented way too often, but that’s because your opinion of me does matter. Why is it that we so regularly try to pretend that we don’t care what others think?

I’m guilty of doing that myself, I must admit.

In my late teen years, I pretended I didn’t give a crap about anyone’s opinions of me, but I was lying to myself. It’s like when you’re telling yourself you’re choosing to be celibate because you haven’t gotten any in a while. Well friends, slap the sign on my forehead because I’m open for business.

I. Do. Care.

We all do. It’s okay to admit that to yourself even if you can’t tell your friends. But guess what! If you can’t tell them, it’s because you need the validation and want them to like you, and that’s okay. That’s the whole damn point of this rambling post. We all need people to validate us, to make us feel like we have something to say that’s worth listening to.

I am lucky enough to have someone that I can talk to and know that he’s listening even if he isn’t responding. Sometimes you need to have that little monologue and just get your thoughts out, but it’s so important to be able to share them with someone else; it makes it feel real. It makes it feel like they actually matter.

I think we’ve all had that experience when we’re trying to tell someone something that you’re super excited about but no one is listening and you just give up about halfway through; it makes you feel a bit like crap. We’ve all been there and if you haven’t, then you’ve got some pretty bomb ass friends.  Tell them to call me because I need that in my life.

So, friends, do your best. Let people know that their thoughts, feelings, and ideas matter to you. Make sure they feel listened to. We all just want to figure out our own mind and sometimes, in order to do so,  we have to share with others. Validate others and they will in turn validate you. Listen up and actually give them the time of day, because maybe no one else has before. There’s a first for everything, so be that first for them.

-LP

P.S. If the title of this post reminded you of The Beatles, here’s the song you’re looking for.