(This is an older photo- taken in 2009 at Adventures in Storytelling. My good friend Lynn took "headshots" of everyone in attendance. It was a great record of all of us being "real.")
I've been following a very interesting series of posts that I first saw at Childhood Magic. I am always re-learning that in life we are often all more connected than it may appear, and we all go through the same feelings and often the same insecurities. We are all "real," and all have real feelings, it is always wonderful when I find other people taking the time to be courageous enough to be real in a world that does not always promote "real" people.
My camera battery is charging tonight. (We take hundreds of photos here a week, and I am not very good at remembering to recharge the batteries). So, I went through a few of the folders of photos on my computer to gather a few photos from the last couple of weeks.
I don't spend a lot of time each day on my personal appearance, and most of the time I'm pretty comfortable with who I am. I don't wear make-up on a regular basis. (In fact I'm not sure if I own any right now... does chapstick count?) My hair is growing quite long, but I almost always wear it up in a pony tail or a bun. (It is hard to have your long hair down when you have little ones who like to pull at it all the time!) Once in awhile, you'll catch me with it down. I'm not super excited about all of the "extra" weight I have put on over the last many years, but I love good food, and have learned that choices have consequences. I am working on increasing my exercise and watching my portions, trying to make healthier choices. In terms of my age, it is just a number. In fact, most of the time, I honestly have to do the math to remember how old I am. (I was born in 1977, so that makes me 33 today).
I have been quite fortunate to have a loving and supporting network of family and friends to help me through the tough days. In all honesty, they don't come around all that often any more.
I think it is important that when we have children of our own or work with young children that we continue to show them how real we are. Let them see our mistakes, be upfront with our flaws, and model that it is okay to be "real." I think this is especially true in terms of our feelings, and supporting strong social and emotional development. No one is perfect, and yet everyone is made just the way they are supposed to be.