As this year’s National Blog Post Month draws to its close today, I am thrilled to claim my newly earned status. Not only have I successfully completed the challenge posed by NaBloPoMo, I’ve gone the entire month without putting on one ounce of makeup. I went to business dinners, formal restaurants, a jazz performance, kept my hair appointment, and shopped at a toney mall. All events would normally be a reason for me to put on my mask.
We celebrated my birthday last night at a local restaurant. It was a BYOB, and we’d decided on bringing sangria, a drink everyone enjoys. Ying, Zack’s girlfriend, found an amazing recipe, (http://www.kitchentreaty.com/ginger-pear-white-sangria/), which Len and Zack made after the girls bought the ingredients. As we raised our glasses to toast my coming birthday, our daughter added a toast.
Cesca noted that not only did I complete the challenge of NaBloPoMo, but I met my own challenge. She remarked how I shed my shell and went from being withdrawn and quiet, dressing in jeans and a sweatshirt in the beginning of this month and staying home for the first week, to showing up last night as who she and our family knows me to really be, right down to the clothes I wore: black jeggings & sweater, black leather jacket, and black moto boots.
Well . . . almost.
I was going to wear black wedge shoes, despite the fact that they would have made me two inches taller than Len, which made me more self conscious than it made Len. After checking in with Zack, who’s six feet tall, to see if he thought I looked ridiculous towering over Len, I decided to wear the boots. Not because I was a bit taller than Len (who said I was at ‘kissable’ height), but because Zack asked if I thought I’d be able to walk in the shoes after two glasses of sangria.
It’s been more than 30 years since I’ve worn shoes or boots with any type of heels due to the fact that Len and I are the same height. Len has always maintained that my being taller than him wouldn’t bother him, pointing out that his grandmother was a few inches taller than his grandfather barefoot. No, this was my issue, based on the belief that ‘the man should be taller than the woman.’ (Dad was 6’2” to Mom’s 5’6”.)
So it turned into a non-issue. I knew that the discomfort was overruled by the practicality of my choice. Either shoe was still very much an expression of who I am. And there is no better reason to determine how I present myself to the world. Besides, I didn’t want to risk a sprained ankle.
* * * * *
I’ve written 20,082 words during these past thirty days.
Before this month, I would have said I am the same person as I was when I began. But I know that is simply not true. I was much less sure about my ability, or willingness, to write anything more than my journal, given the obstacles I’d put in front of myself and the fears I’d worn all of these years like a life preserver.
I now know better. And as the old saying goes, “when you know better, you do better.”
In wrapping up what is for me a very public experience, I’d like to thank everyone of you who has touched upon my words, whether simply for one post or for the duration. There are days that even I didn’t want to read what I was writing about, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for however you chose to engage.
This journey is not over. Quite the contrary: it has only just begun. I plan to go more deeply into what I’ve learned through my experiences these past years, and in the process of sharing, write a book. I don’t know what this looks like, nor do I know where it will take me. All I know is that I am required to show up, which I will do on this blog every Thursday. I hope you will join me, again in whatever capacity you choose. I promise, you won’t be bored.
I leave you with the podcast from SoundsTrue publishing company that began this month’s journey for me and am proud to join the ranks of women who have been inspired by the words of Tara Mohr, author of the best selling “Playing Big”. While I already knew much of what Tara shares in her book, her words came to me when I asked for guidance.
Copyright 2014 by Donna Cerame. All rights reserved