My mom used to say, “you’re going out of the house like that?!”, “where is your lipstick”? She is old school Italian and I love her with all my heart but we are different, a lot different. She always puts on lipstick before stepping out of the house, out of the car, out of the booth at the restaurant. It’s one of those quirky, beautiful things that makes my mom who she is and stand out. However I can leave the house with my hair in a bun, with sweats on and barely any make-up and feel fine but that was not always the case.
For as long as I can remember, I used to always ask for approval: “do I look okay?”, “do you like my haircut?”, “what do you think about this idea?” I always needed someone else’s validation- whether it be advice on what I was wearing or if I had what it took to write a book. I needed good feedback to feel that I could really go for my ideas. However, if the response was not what I was looking for than my heart would sink as the fire within me fizzled. I was insecure and afraid to just be me.
I remember one day I went to the supermarket with my mom sans makeup, we parted ways to get different items and this young gentlemen approached my mom. He told her that I was a gorgeous girl and if he was taller that he would ask me out (I’m 5’10). My proud mom raved about me and how I was her daughter and then went on to tell me about her encounter. I will never forget that day because I seriously did not do a thing to look good. I had my hair up and no makeup on yet he thought I was pretty. It came as a surprise to me as I never really thought I could quite possibly be cute just as I am. Unfortunately, it took a butcher at the store for me to realize that I was putting too much time wondering what other people thought of me and needed to just be me.
When I started sharing my writing, I was terrified. I had the passion to share the good, bad and ugly- but the cost of sharing was that others would know my baggage. But I decided to put myself out there because others put themselves out there for me in the past. Over time people would reach out to me about my posts and tell me how much it meant to them. One friend even told me that she made a folder with my name on it where she kept all my posts when she needed inspiration. I was so shocked. My writing could really mean that much to someone? That was mind bottling to me and I felt so incredibly humbled.