This morning at yoga in the park, my yoga teacher and friend just got back from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She described how in the yoga studio she taught there it seemed like no one dyed their hair, worried about chipped nail polish on their pedicures, and just embraced themselves as they were. However, in the town I live, there is a lot of pressure to have the perfect hair, the perfect makeup, and perfect body. What differentiates one town to the next?
Growing up, I would wake up an hour and a half before school to make sure my hair and makeup looked perfect before I walked through the doors. I didn’t take my makeup off before soccer practice and cannot begin to say how many shirts and jerseys I ruined because of that. However, my junior year in college something changed; I found myself.
I studied abroad in Athens, Greece and there I was surrounded my loving and supportive people. People who saw past the mask I put on and into my soul. I had a dream of having dreadlocks, wearing eccentric clothes, and not wearing make up. When I told my friends this fantasy, they said, “Why is it a dream? Just do it.” And simple as that, I did. I stopped pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I let my creativity come out and expressed myself in the way I felt comfortable. I had never felt more alive or more like my true self.
Coming home and going back to the college I was from, I received a lot of criticism for having my hair different, for wearing baggy pants, and lot and lots of necklaces. I was judged for walking around campus and down the aisle at graduate barefoot and was often stared at. However, I never apologized or regretted following through with my dream. This is what I wanted to do for so long and I was so happy I did it.
Most people dress and act in a way that fits in, so they won’t stand out. Some people criticize others for doing so because they are not secure enough to do what their heart is actually saying. Every person is going to have something to say about what you do, but if it coming from your heart and it is not hurting someone else, they thank them for their concern and go on about your day. No one knows the path you should be on except for you.
So, embrace those gray hairs, chipped toenails, and thoughts of being different. That is what makes the world beautiful and creates your story. Take a chance and do something you have always dreamed of doing and do it with no regrets. You are the only one that lives your life, so live it! And love yourself along the way because you are the only one that truly can.
BE WHO YOU TRULY ARE!!