Sparkly Green Wisdom

Hello my darlings!

Do you remember at various times in your youth, someone older than you would espouse wisdom of what your later years would look like?

Sometimes it would be a very old person, touting the knowledge of decades of experience.

Sometimes it would be someone seven years older than you and you had to fight the very real desire to dump your strawberry milkshake in their bra.

Wait…what were we talking about?

No. Right. Wisdom.

I’m a pretty open-minded person, so as people have dropped these nuggets of knowledge on me in my life, I always try accept them as the truth. But even still, it’s so hard to imagine how it will really apply to you.

When I was a teen, and ever so slightly less open-minded about other people being right, I PSSSH’d my way out of those conversations with what I felt was my crystal clear vision of how life was.

When people tell me those things now, I nod, too terrified to speak.

Today is my birthday. I’m somehow turning thirty-three, although that seems like a miscount.

I’m very okay with being thirty-three. I think. I mean, I have a little arthritis in my knees, and my right leg always aches when low pressure systems roll in, but other than that, I feel about eighteen on a good day.

I have blue and pink hair! I’m not old! I don’t own any t-shirts that aren’t graphics based! I have more pairs of brightly colored Chucks than I do dress shoes! I AM NOT OLD YOU SHUT YER MOUTH YOU SHUT IT NOW.

People have told me my whole life, “The older you get, the more confident you will be with yourself.”

In high school, they told me that so I would stop crying when everyone was mean to me for not “fitting in” with peeps.

In college, I assume people told me that to steer me away from kegs at parties.

In adulthood, people say this with a pat on the back to let me know I’m doing my absolute best as a parent.

It’s the same truth, but always with different applications.

I’m fairly far along on my list of life goals. I’ve got a pretty awesome husband and we haven’t killed each other in our 14 years together. We’ve got some awesome tots. We have a mortgage. A fence. Critters in a slightly staggering number.

I’ll admit, I’d hoped to see a book with my name gracing the spine by thirty-three, but I am sucking down double shots of patience on that one.

But if I look back on myself at twenty-two, the year I got married to this lad of mine, holy crap was I different.

I had a moment this week where I wondered what Now Me would say to Then Me if I had the chance.

The damnedest thing popped into my head.

New Me: “Then Me, you have to know: You will never, ever regret wearing green eyeshadow on your wedding day.”

Then Me: “You traveled back in time to tell me about eye-shadow? Where’s my Lotto numbers, fool?”

When I was a younger lass, all of eleven years ago, I was still trying to figure out who I was. I was an adult. I was getting married. I was out of college. I had in-laws that had very low expectations of who I was going to be in the real world.

I knew who I was as a person, but I wanted to prove to everyone I wasn’t going to be a fuck-up.

So, I sort of dressed like me, but mostly I wore things that made me uncomfortable. Sweater sets, anyone?

I even had people telling me I had to stop shopping at my favorite stores because GROWN UP. I cried a little.

I stupidly changed my major in school for a semester because I thought the adults around me might get off my ass a little if they saw I was pursuing English Teaching as opposed to Theater/Psych/Creative Writing.

Seriously. One semester I lasted. That was a nightmare.

I’m a very straight-edge kind of gal, really. No tattoos, nothing pierced, I’m not a big partier. Quite boring, really.

I’m basically a nun who swears a lot, and I’m shockingly old-fashioned in a lot of ways.

But, I happen to enjoy less than traditional looks.

On the day of my very traditional wedding, I was preparing to suit up in my very traditional white dress to walk down our very traditional aisle, when I sat down to do makeup.

I remember looking down at my fingernails which were all done up with fake tips, in a French manicure. They looked beautiful, just foreign on me.

I looked at my collection of eye-shadows and saw this beautiful, sparkling, sunshine and moss green color. The colors for our big day were a pale pink and sage green and I thought, “I really want to be wearing green eyeshadow today.”

So I put it on. I think it looked lovely.

But the whole day, I had this weird nagging voice in my head that kept asking me, “How bad do you think you’ll regret this ridiculous eyeshadow when you look back on your wedding pictures?”

I wondered what my future children would think. How future me would judge that moment of impetuous foolishness. How I would feel ashamed of making such an immature decision on the day of my life I was declaring my maturity.

Seriously, eyeshadow is fucking deep, you guys.

Here’s the deal: Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to dye my hair off-balance colors. Just because I liked them. I never did because I was afraid how I would be perceived in the real world, and the opportunities that might be denied me, my husband, or my children because of my off-balance-ness.

I didn’t even dye my hair like it is now until two years ago. I was thirty-one before womaned up and took charge of my own follicles.

And guys, I’m not trying to oversell this or anything, but dude. My entire sense of self flopped right into place as soon as the stylist turned me around to that mirror.

There I was. Finally. After thirty-one years of searching, there I was. Weird hair. Goofy shirts. Funny shoes. All me. It was glorious.

And I’ve been secure and fully confident in who I am ever since. I’ve always known who I was, but for the first time, I could actually see me.

I’ve taken out the ol’ wedding photos a few times in the last decade. The kiddos really like seeing Mom and Dad in the early years.

And every single time, seriously, every. single. time. I look at those pictures, my eyes go right to that eyeshadow and it tickles me all the way to my toes. I’m so proud of twenty-two year old me for those sparkly eyes. It’s a tiny little thing no one else in the world noticed, but to me, it was everything, and it still is.

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Green eyeshadow. A life lesson in the most random thing I could imagine, but there it is. Now Me, all thirty years worth, is nodding with great respect at Then Me.

Then Me is all very impressed by this story but still wondering where the actual hell the Lotto numbers are…

I hope you all are having the most fantastic of weeks!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Green Eyeshadow!

5 Comments

  1. I love you so hard. This is absolutely what I needed to hear, and for what it’s worth, I’m crazy about this Summer, your true self with your shirts and shoes and Tardis dresses. No other Summer could compare. All those other people really missed out by doubting you and scaring you into someone you weren’t. xoxo

  2. I was just thinking last week of how past-me put way too much emphasis on what others thought. Be you! Rock on! *high five* And thanks for sharing … you make me smile. And a TARDIS dress? Holy awesomeness, fan girl!

  3. Nikola Vukoja |

    First off, OMG if I were ever inclined to switch sides, I’d be on a plane to meet you… OK, there, I said it…

    *straightens creases on pants & try’s to look wise*

    Now, you’re not old at 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 49, hell, look at Helen Mirren, when I get to 59 I’ve going to start to think about it.
    Don’t believe me? When I was 16/17 & finishing high school, I wasn’t so much unpopular as I was unlike other people.
    I didn’t talk like my friends and because my parents allowed us to drink at home under supervision, I didn’t really have an interest in spending my weekends totally wasted.
    While my friends went to Queensland or maybe super *exotic Bali, I told my parents I wanted to spend my Summer in Europe… and off I went, at 16/17 (spent my 17th birthday o/seas), on my own… because I was different, because my parents knew it and because they trusted me to be true to myself.
    I also remember distinctly thinking how cool it’ll be when I’m in my 30s. Finished Uni, started a career, with my own money, looking hot and confident etc. I also thought that’s going to my time for a relationship… when I AM READY!
    My point is, at 16 I thought 33-36 was the cooled age to be.
    At 33 I discovered it was.
    And now past 36, I remember it as being so.

    You’re one of the most interesting and giving people I know, and I look forward to reading your blog when you hit 43 and recall back to this post 🙂

  4. Beautiful picture of you and your husband. And the eye shadow looks lovely! A good message to reiterate on your blog. Just be yourself and you’ll be happy.

  5. I think the green eye shadow was beautiful 🙂 Just like you *HUG*

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