I was recently confronted with the reality of who I am as my family of four drove nine hours (one way, thanks to frequent stops with our one-year-old) for an expedited passport appointment in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It all started in October when my husband asked me to renew our passports and get a new one for baby Theo. Well, being the most accomplished procrastinator this side of the Mississippi, I ignored his repeated reminders. Fast forward to Mother’s Day, when I was surprised with a trip to Mexico and my subsequent recognition that I forgot about our necessary documents.
You see, I love deeply, feel passionately, live comfortably, laugh loudly and believe whole-heartedly. But I also over-commit. I can’t stick to a diet longer than a few days. I forget what I’m supposed to do. I can’t smile like a normal person in photos. I worry that I am not doing enough to make the world a better place. I need daily help to keep on track. I let infertility drag me to a dark place that I couldn’t shake for a long time, despite a great therapist. I wear exercise clothes even when I don’t plan on exercising. I lose my phone daily and forget to return texts. I feel like a bad parent on the best of days. I get anxious and curtsy inappropriately.
I am a Hot Mess.
I had somewhat of an epiphany out on the open road as my husband entertained the kids in the backseat. In summary, at 37 years, I am who I am, as trite as that sounds. I am all my best traits and all the parts of me I wish were better. And by owning my hot mess-ness, I am real and honest and alive – there is a beauty in this imperfection.
In this experience of radical awareness, I am also more accepting of others. We are all trying our darnedest to get through the day. And it is like a wave, we allow others to open up through our own honesty, to be real with ourselves and each other.
Thank heavens for family, spouses, friends, children and grace. We all need a little more grace in our lives; it is this grace that allows us to be present and grow. This isn’t to say that I will stop trying to improve, but I will still be good to myself despite my “shortcomings.” Heck, I love self-help books on this very subject.
Want to read more? Make sure to check out Rising Strong and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp and Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff.
So there. I am a Hot Mess. A (beautiful and accepting and gracious and loving and socially inappropriate) mess.