There seems to be this misconception out there about me, that I have my shit together because I have this blog and I make stuff and write pretty words and photograph things.
I've spent a lot of time with myself this year, and I can tell you just how imperfect I am. There was a phase in my life that it really bothered me, being imperfect. But right now, I not only accept it, I LOVE it. Thank God I am so imperfect! Realizing just how imperfect I am has given me so much peace, and it's largely the reason I am creative, I believe. Because I'm a lot less afraid of failure than I used to be. Why not try something bold and new? Why not be a little more transparent? I've realized the sky will not cave in on me.
I haven't had a haircut in almost a year, and while I do shower most days, I can't be bothered to brush my hair. (Luckily, the windblown look is in...isn't it?) The corners of my shower are dark and slimy. Cheerios on my kitchen floor and between my couch cushions. On any given day, there are 5 loads of laundry piled on my couch (or on the laundry room floor). I don't do windows. I eat a lot of butter and am addicted to coffee. There's a piece of scotch tape holding my camera together, and that doesn't bother me so much. I like to think of myself as a feminist, yet after nursing two children, I think a boob job sounds like...well... not such a bad idea.
I don't easily remember birthdays. I'm about 3 years behind on thank-you notes.
My kids say "please" and "thank you" but they also eat dirt and smear peanut butter on each other's heads when we're not looking. Their clothes don't usually match. They have nice dress clothes, but I let them wear them whenever they want to. Outside. To the grocery store. On the playground.
My mentor told me something interesting yesterday.
Side note: I have a mentor. Like, an official one who schedules time for me and answers my parenting questions and reads my writing and gives me pep talks and listens to me cry and makes me laugh and knows all about my imperfections--ones that I can't even type here. I think every mother (and every person, actually) should have a mentor--someone older and wiser than you are who you can be totally transparent with and whose relationship is more focused on you than on her/him. It's a rare gift, to be care-taken in this way, especially as a woman who spends 98% of her time taking care of others.
My mentor used to work doing home visits for at-risk families, and she told me that when they visited a home, and that home was perfect, sparkly clean, and there were young children in the house, it was a red flag. Family homes should not be perfect, she said, because it raises the question of who's doing all that cleaning? And who is paying attention to the children?
She told me to leave the Cheerios on the floor. Let them crunch underneath my feet and don't even think about them. Let the dog lick them up.
Okay, I said. I can do that.
She also encouraged me to do something nice for myself. Like, say, get a haircut. Because, as freeing as the long, tangled layers are, I don't think dreadlocks are me. Plus, it's hard to convince your 3-year-old to brush her hair for school when Mommy's hair is a rat's nest.
So, I scheduled something for next week. And I'm now accepting any and all style suggestions. Bangs? Short? Long? Tousled? Sleek?
Or should I just keep going with the rat's nest?