It was a simple gathering, just surrounded by the people we hold dear, and for me, that's a success. I've spent far too much of my life agonizing under the burden of other people standards and expectations, and I've noticed that spill over into every aspect of my life. In the last few years I've grown tremendously in that area, and this weekend was a small victory to celebrate. I just wasn't that worried that we didn't include any Disney characters or that I forgot party favors. My niece texts me every year and asks what Jane's party theme will be. It's the cutest thing ever but I've found myself agonizing over my answers (to an 8 year old. Don't laugh). This year the text came in the middle of preparations, with a feeling deep down that a bouquet of flowers from whole foods and some balloons really weren't enough. And for a moment that feeling became really huge...and I'm so happy it did, because I finally noticed it there with it's stupid ugly stink and nagging whine. You know the thing about nagging feelings? They hide and manipulate and whine until your heart is in a knot, but they're sneaky, and their disguises are good. They masquerade as legitimate emotions, and because of this their lies go unnoticed. You don't know that they're traitors until they're deep inside and you're starting to question who you are. Saturday I heard it loud and clear, and for once I looked it in the eye and said "fuck off." I'm finally learning that this person I am, with my taste, and my likes, and my body and my feelings and my failures...THIS person, is freaking brilliant. Not because of some great skill I possess, but because of the fact that ANY of us walk this earth with these beautiful, unique bodies, and beating hearts and crazy talents at all is damned brilliant. I can either spend my whole life trying to be another human being, or I can look the one I am and start loving her even half as much as she's already loved.
Because here's the thing: that party isn't my identity. It says something about me for sure, because it's an outpouring of my taste and talent and care, but it isn't defining to me. And THAT is the best news ever. Because it means that I can fail and learn. Because it means I can succeed and celebrate. Because it means that sexy little dress I wore on New Years Eve that wouldn't stay put and kept working it's way up my ass cheeks and succeeded in making me feel like a stripper all night...that dress might have been a bad a idea (someone please just remind me to wear tights next time!), but it doesn't define who I am. I don't give a damn what the old lady in corner thought, her words and opinions don't give me a name. That is something I want my daughter to know more than anything: this world does not name you. Do not be embarrassed for yourself in the face of the world, it has no power to define you. Fail, and fail miserably, because you're free to do that. Learn from it, grow. Be teachable, but don't you dare back down. I believe that the only person who has the power to truly define you has already called you beautiful, strong, perfect, and brave. Don't you let anyone tell you otherwise. They're lying.
(ps. Karstin, please keep up the theme oriented texts!)