August 30, 2012

sorry I'm not sorry

If you have been reading my blog for longer than about six minutes, you will know already that I harp on being free a whole lot. And truth. And vulnerability and love and liking what you like and such. Sue me. I love talking about freedom.

I used to babysit for a little girl who wore the poofiest, sparkliest dresses I have ever seen in my life every. single. day. She was four and loved poof so much that when she got in trouble, her punishment would be to wear pants to preschool. It may sound excessive, her love of glitz and glam, and honestly it may be a little. But I feel like if the kid loves feeling like a princess, why shouldn't she wear tulle every single day? That's what I love about little kids. They're just who they are. They don't have a choice in the matter, really, because they haven't yet learned what shame is or what it means to be socially acceptable. Children bring themselves without apology and without disclaimers and regardless of consequences. And sure, as adults sometimes it's probably for the best that we have a censor for our thoughts and know that tulle is not appropriate for all occasions, but even still, I think there is something to be learned about freedom from the little nuggets.

I used to think freedom was something you had to work for. I'd think, "one day, when I get free..." and then dream wistfully about all the things I would do. But one day I realized something fabulous - freedom isn't something I have to get, it's something I have to accept. I'm already free and that has nothing at all to do with me. My little epiphany opened up a lot of opportunities that I didn't have before, and for someone who spent quite a little stitch of time pretty caught up in what everyone else thought, this last couple years figuring this out has been pretty fun. From having the courage to say hard or vulnerable things to just believing I could be a person who wears red lipstick and does Zumba all the time, it's been interesting to say the least. And thankfully along the way I have had people in my life who are also free. Who encourage me in my freedom even when it looks like dying my hair blue for a minute or getting a tattoo or singing excessive amounts of karaoke or wearing electric blue shoes and doing the running-man all the time. We are learning how to live freely together and it is a wonderful thing. We're living free and taking everybody with us.

This is what, I've recently decided, I am most drawn to in a person - I like people who are unapologetic. Free. What I'm attracted to, what draws me in, what makes me want to spend moments and hours and days together, is that you are what you are and you make no apology for that. I don't mean unapologetic as in people who don't apologize for being jerks, or spilling beer down your back in a bar, or who say mean things and then get all, "what, I'm just being honest!" on you. Not them. Those people are not who I am drawn to. Those people I want to punch in the neck a little bit.

I'm drawn to people who sing loudly and snort when they laugh and have messy lives. I'm also drawn to people who are quiet, who don't say much, who are so sweet it makes my teeth hurt. The thing that I find attractive isn't what they're like or not like. Not that they are loud or fun or exciting or cool or whatever else. Not that they're nice or good looking or extra-smart [though, those are what you might call perks]. No, it's not those things that make me want to be around you and soak you in. It's that you are whatever things you are, honestly and genuinely and real-ly, and you are unapologetic about it. I'm talking about saying hard truths and doing the right thing and being who you were made to me, unflinchingly. It's really hard, I'll give you that, but it's absolutely not impossible. You'll do some weird stuff not everyone will like and your hairdresser might get mad when she has to spend hours trying to get the blue out, but it'll be more than worth it.

The most beautiful kind of person I can think of is the kind who is free. The kind who lives freely, like a princess in a full tulle skirt on a Tuesday. It's not that you'll never have a bad hair day or be cranky or get insecure, because those things are absolutely going to happen. But unless you're being a jerk, don't apologize for yourself. You already are what people who are worth your time are going to love you for. So go be you. Remember that shame is a big fat lie. Accept your freedom and live in it.

Take everybody with you.

No comments: