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“And when we realize that life and people are many shades of gray, we leave our black and white perspectives behind.” ~ Anonymous
Hate, love, shame, and acceptance.
We could be confrontational, avoidant, greedy, generous, arrogant, or humble.
Fearful, brave, lively, or boring.
Perhaps promiscuous or abstinent. Dominant or submissive. Compliant or defiant.
Maybe we are honest, deceitful, kind, or cruel.
Painstakingly conflicted by the “good girl” mentality, I’ve always wanted my life to breathe a vast array of colors similar to a macaw parrot with blood orange, crimson red, luminous yellow, and lime-green feathers.
Yet, giving myself permission to lead such a life feels a lot like standing on the icy edge of a mountainside across a ravine, staring at a much more appealing view.
Puzzled, I look with bewilderment and wonder how to get from this side to the other side.
I applaud women who choose to live their lives and make choices like a haphazardly running freight train—akin to grabbing chocolates from an assorted chocolate box sprinkled with a little bit of fire and ice.
And although some might be shocked by these women’s audacity, I’m often curiously intrigued: how breathtakingly refreshing is that? A multitude of interests, exotic lovers, and one hell of a unique clothing style, all accompanied by a cheeky, noncompliant attitude.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Helen Keller
Women who defiantly wear a multi-fragrant life have influenced me in such a great way as to question my previous choices and decisions.
Have I really become so overly concerned and obsessed with social norms?
Is this word socially appropriate and acceptable?
What about this thought, idea, or expression?
Constantly concerned about offending anyone and everyone, I forgot the importance of leading a life defined as acceptable to the most important person involved: moi.
Lost in a sea of “should” and “shouldn’t,” I finally realized I should be asking myself the million dollar question, “Is my life reflecting the values, beliefs, and qualities that I hold?”
Why did I waste so much time and effort on what others thought about me? When did I decide that other people’s opinions should have that much power over my existence?
I remember packing my desirable vision for my future in a small, tote-sized bag, dressed in perfectly pressed pants, a crisp white-collared shirt—deciding to work at a socially acceptable job.
Years later, I realized I kept repeatedly breaking my own damn heart.
I’m reminded of Katherine in “Under the Tuscan Sun,” drunkenly wading in the middle of a water fountain, donning a black, silk evening gown while singing opera as onlookers stop, stare, and smile at her gumption.
Does this woman look at all like someone who places more value and importance on the opinions of others?
“Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise? That I dance like I’ve got diamonds. At the meeting of my thighs? Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells. Pumping in my living room.” ~ Maya Angelou
Making money and living a God-like, diversified lifestyle are not mutually separate. Caught between choosing the desirable attempt to cross that ravine, and the safe path feels inordinately frightening. But what’s more frightening is not to take the risk.
A wise friend once advised me, “It’s okay to live a life nobody else understands.” Aren’t there millions of people who are living lives that nobody else understands and yet are often misunderstood and ostracized?
So ask yourself today: How do I live a balanced life that honors my own drumbeat without excessive concern for other people’s opinions?
“I’m just so hell bent on categorizing my actions and decisions into neat little boxes, I often get stuck in the ‘either this or that’ mentality. Often forgetting that life, as much as I’d prefer it not to be, is a beautiful mess.” ~ Anonymous