When I was a kid my brother and I loved paper airplanes. I don’t think I know a child who hasn’t tried to make one on their own; only to be crushed shortly after, as it takes a disappointing fall to the ground every single time (insert the laughter emoji here). But my dad could make these perfectly pointy-nosed paper airplanes. Just like the ones on the leggings I’m wearing. But even though sharp nosed planes glide beautifully for a mere 3 seconds [if that], the nose will crinkle and lose its shape eventually. I could never replicate that paper plane when I was younger.
Growing up, my dad wasn’t the nicest person. For reasons I’ll never know, [and would need a completely different subject blog for] stopping to make one if asked wasn’t something he did and more importantly, he wouldn’t show me how to fold them. I think I loved those paper planes simply because they WORKED! Who wouldn’t? In fact, they still entertain me. They’re just so simple. But sans google search and no instructions I only had that paper plane once in a while.
One of the first pair of LuLaRoe Leggings I fell in love with, are COVERED in those perfect planes. A few years ago I even entertained the idea of getting a tiny paper plane tattoo. For many, tattoo permanance isn’t appetizing but, for me I loved the idea that I could always have that plane. Afterall, we’re talking about a folded sheet of paper here, not an actual jet that I was longing for. And then I saw those leggings. I HAD to have them.
I took my 9 year old son to Dairy Queen yesterday, brought a couple sheets of paper with us and I asked him to make a paper plane for me (I can’t very well make a kid version of a plane now that I know how to make one that works).
A few paper folds that will be different every time by the way, [hahahaha] and he has a version of a paper plane. That doesn’t fly. Just like most kids.
Naturally after the internet happened, I found the directions for that plane and I absolutely love making them for Jackson whenever he wants. I think it takes a total of 60 seconds. He watched me once, asked a few questions and now loves to make them on his own.
The thing is, it’s not just a paper plane for me and they’re not just leggings.
It’s a simple kind of happy. A simple kind of joy. Whatever your “paper plane” is for you, I hope you’re covered in them… in life, or in leggings. And when asked, I hope you share or teach so you can pass it on. It’s not enough to keep it for yourself. Share your planes. xoxo
A completely different REGION than what I’m normally discussing (makeup), but I had to get this down.
I grew up with a lot of criticism. Period. There’s no nice way to put it. It was all around me, an already shy introvert with a social phobia and terrified the world was gonna eat me alive. So naturally as I got older, I was conditioned to point out what was wrong with anything I touched: “how could I have made that better?” “This won’t be well received, how can I adjust it to accommodate ANY other person viewing it?” – an impossible task. So I went through life thinking that I didn’t have much merit. I didn’t make teams, wasn’t in clubs, didn’t have a lot of relationships, pretty much just kept to myself as much as I could. Now that I look back on all of that I totally get it was probably more for self-preservation. My perception was that I wouldn’t receive any encouraging words so I’d prefer to just shield myself from the crap that would probably fly at me; trying to escape the “why’s” of everything I had ever wanted to do… and did, from everyone that was not interested in watching me succeed. I got married at 18, had my first baby at 19, and went on with domestic life; feeling like I disappointed a lot of people after the blowback I received for doing both of those things.
“So that’s it then? That’s ALL you’re gonna be? A mom?” It still stings every time I play it back in my head.
Now enter: My 14 year old daughter. No matter how much her dad and I encourage her, is still extremely self-concious. No idea how pretty, smart, kind, and all around great kid she is. I know I know (every parent is biased) but even going off of what other people say “she’s just a NICE girl” I couldn’t be happier. I listened to her talk about how she didn’t think she was a good enough dancer to make the high school team while I was driving her to school one morning and finally I just asked her: “So that’s it? You’re just gonna hand your number over to the next girl because you’ve decided you aren’t good enough?” The truth is, I could see the pattern in her and I wanted to break it because it’s such an unfortunate frame of mind to live in every day. Naturally I want the best for her. Long [portion of the] story short, she not only made the dance team but made the cheer team too. And was elated. Yeah… it was a total ‘pat myself on the back moment’.
After all that worked out, the same day I saw a quote that resonated with me and got me thinking. Like I said, it’s easy for me to focus on what I’m NOT doing, haven’t done, what I think I should have done and critique it until I’m sick. See, raised with criticism I also learned that mistakes were these life ending crises that were just. not. tolerated. So I hyper focused on everything that I did and questioned it after the fact. I wasn’t ever given permission to think that what I had done was a good job, a good choice or acknowledge to myself, that I tried hard even when something didn’t work out. Where does that leave a sometimes stuttering 33 year old mother of 4? Awkwardly accepting any compliment thrown at her and maybe even a rebuttle in an attempt to downplay the compliment. That’s not humility (which is a great thing btw) that is self sabotage. Two very different things. After confronting my daughter I thought I needed to practice what I was preaching. Even though I don’t have the cheerleaders that my children have, that wasn’t a good enough reason to not acknowledge the things that I have done. When I was done with my mental list I was kinda like – “Hey man… I’m a DO’er!”
How did I think I was perceived before putting things in a reasonable perspective for myself? I thought: Married too young, mother at 19, sick babies, crazy dogs, lots of houses, a patent pending I never finished, some klonopin to calm my nerves once in a while, losing her mind Autism mom who doesn’t spend her time wisely, HOT MESS. How AWFUL is that? It’s AWFUL. So I changed my mind to meet how others expressed they viewed me. Instead,
I wanted a loving family so I MADE ONE
I wanted to take care of my premature sick babies at 22 so I LEARNED
I wanted a college degree just like everyone else around me so I WENT!
Got bored and wanted to play so I self taught and decorated cakes
Didn’t know how to braid my girls hair so I watched YouTube
Wanted my daughters to have nice hair bows so I made them
Wanted to do more work with autism so I applied for a job and got one
Have amazing relationships with my kids because I’m involved (and we keep it real)
Thought the zupa toscana at Olive Garden was too salty so I cooked it myself until it tasted the same, minus the salt lick
Wanted my makeup for free so I started selling it
I needed my daughter to think differently so I addressed it
Needed a good circle of friends so I was one (and waited patiently)
Thought I was losing my mind and didn’t want to vomit my troubles on these new friends so I went to a COUNSELOR!
… I could go on a while longer but I won’t. I may look like I’m all over the place to someone else but, I know exactly where I’m at when I’m there. I’m DOING. Mothering isn’t streamlined and pretty but, I didn’t do any of this haphazardly and none of it was an accident. They were choices; and ones I’m proud of. I wanted all of it so I went and I got it. Organized chaos if you will. It is HARD to feel good about yourself when you’re parenting, home all the time, and probably look like a headcase while doing it, all the while hoping to get some time alone to compose yourself. It’s hard to feel good about what you think you’re doing every day. But dammit, I get shit done. I just have to break it down. I’m not gonna minimize it in my head anymore. And if you’ve ever done this as a mother, I hope you stop now. Moms are Do’ers. You’re not “JUST a mom” and neither am I.
“The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home”
I live in a very tiny coastal NC town. It’s filled with churches, and places that shut down on Sundays, Lily Pulitzer, boats most people can’t afford and maybe 3 decent restaurants. The average lady here is actually from here, or somewhere close and is quite Southern. And then here I am over in the corner all with my big dark hair, olive skin, and tiny frame. I’ve mentioned before in another post that I like to be “around” but not necessarily seen. I like to blend in (hard to do when visually I stand out whether I want to or not). While that’s o.k, if you let it go too far it can become quite incapacitating. Mom cliques I’m not apart of, sporting events I don’t really have the time for, dropping my kids off at school in sunglasses on the GRAYEST rainy day because I just don’t give a shit enough at 7 a.m. to put a full face and pressed clothes on but still need to hide my dark circles. Jesus, I haven’t even had a sip of coffee yet.
Within the last month or so I’ve been haphazardly thrown into these LulaRoe fb party groups that [to tell you the truth] just pissed me off in the beginning. Because: Thanks for asking people! Now my phone is dinging left and right and I’m turning notifications off in pretty much everything so that when my phone does ring or send a tone, I know it’s for something that ACTUALLY needs my attention (did I mention I have 4 children). But on my really good days when the tiny bunny inside of me wakes up [because I am a softy], I want to support my friends and take a look at what it is they think I HAVE to have. So I was like “fuck it… send me a pair of these damn leggings with flying pigs for Christ’s sake so we can be done with it”.
Yeah well, I’m not too proud to allow them to say “told you so”. I fell in love. Fell in love with the leggings because they’re soft and FUN and HAPPY; fell in love with the dresses because they’re comfy and cute…It’s a love fest. Maybe it’s because you can both fit in while standing out at the same time. Which to me is an amazing feeling. Because everyone wants to feel accepted to some degree at the same time they’re expressing themselves – through fashion, tattoos, hair, poetry… whatever floats your boat. And if you say you don’t, I call bullshit.
The best thing to come out of all of this? It took me out of my comfort zone of black, beige, and white. Maybe because I do channel a little boho in some of my attire choices I’m not sure but, loud and eye catching as they are, I just don’t care. I feel GOOD when I’m wearing them. As a matter of fact STARE AWAY people! It’s really never about just the product itself. Almost always about how it makes you feel. Others have noticed my outward confidence and I’ve even attracted some new friends. Still an “inny” and love my personal time but it’s a nice change of pace. I wish the same sense of peace [if you don’t already have it], feelings of confidence and acceptance for any lady.
So I’m not painting the town beige anymore kids. I’m all kindsa color all over the place and I think it’s good for the soul.
Rear ended on Tuesday, I’ve been waiting for enterprise to have a car available for me. A few service associates and some disregard later, I finally got a car. “Ms. Wood… we have a car for you this evening (Wednesday), but we close at 6pm.” The nuance here is that they called me at 545pm.… Continue reading Walk Softly and Carry a Big [lip]Stick