Love yourself sounds easy. But it takes practice. It is so important!
We all have our tribe. Some of us are luckier than others to be surrounded by oodles of supportive friends and family. I count myself in that category. But, at the end of the day, there is only one person who can remain from the beginning to the end of the journey. So, I darn well better like myself. And I do.
I am one of four girls. At first, I only recognized myself as a daughter and a sister. But soon, my me definition evolved as I got to know myself better.
Who was this skinny little girl with wavy blonde hair and a washboard figure? Why did she love to put on dress-up clothes and strut around pretending to be Gina Lollobrigida? Why did she create her own tap shoes out of her tiny red Keds and Orange Crush bottle caps in order to perform for an audience of one in front of a floor length mirror in the barn behind her house in Ames, New York?
And, what drove this sixteen-year-old high school junior to become an American Field Service exchange student and go far away to live in Wollongong, Australia for three months in 1969?
I was learning to be me. And the more things I tried and the more I learned about myself, the more I liked me. Yes, there was some blowback as others did not think I was as funny as I thought.
For example, my mother did not appreciate when I was in second grade and made a trail of sugar for ants to follow on the linoleum kitchen floor. But, I thought it was hysterical.
Thankfully, my own children indulged me by waving goodbye as their school bus went down the street in front of our house where I stood on the driveway, dressed in my husband’s striped terry cloth bathrobe and his navy blue moon boots, madly flapping my arms. However, they did say I looked like Olive Oyl.
I love to laugh at myself. And there is not a mirror I can walk past without a funny face or an admiring glance. I try not to pass up any opportunity where I can have fun.
A picture with bears.
A big chair.
I felt no shame when I was named the outstanding female athlete in my senior class, by default. And when Bobby Knight presented me with my trophy, I accepted it with pride.
I will continue to wear red nail polish and bright red lipstick. Now, I just have to make sure it does not stick on my front teeth when I smile. I will amuse myself by putting on funny hats and encourage others to join me.
Baubles and jewels will always be my mainstay.
As long as I can, I will try new things and keep doing the old ones that brings me joy. Of course, wherever there is a pirate, I will ask someone to take my picture with him.
I am fortunate to have had so many years to love myself and so many people who love me. I hope you can love yourself, too. It is a great feeling.