Looking Past the Book-Cover

You ever feel really good about yourself and then encounter someone who makes you second-guess that feeling? Fun, isn’t it? This past weekend, the hubs & I left the kids at Gram’s for the night and went out with some old friends. We ran into a few familiar faces at the hubs’ former watering hole that we haven’t seen in about a year or so. One of our old friends saw the hubs, but glanced right past me, and even looked confused as I went to give him a hug. I just chalked it up to him being too drunk to focus.

Cut to a half hour or so later, when said friend comes up to me & my friends just to say that he wondered who the Raggedy Andy doll was that walked in with Barney, then proceeded to ask me what the hell are you wearing? And your hair? Short & red?! What happened to you, Kel? I was confused. I hadn’t gotten such a negative reaction to my metamorphosis. Jerk didn’t even mention the weight-loss! Eh. Whatever. After my sarcastic Um, ouch? Wow. Nice to see you too! I averted my gaze to my friends and proceeded to laugh it off; I’m so cool, I’m not even going to acknowledge this silliness. I told myself he was drunk, laughed about it a few more times to random friends, who agreed and moved on. Didn’t want to be a buzzkill over a stupid remark some drunk, judgmental fool gave me. Who cares what he thinks anyway? I honestly don’t. Really!

The thing that gets me? I am a much happier person than I was a year ago. Am I a sellout for dying my hair & losing weight? No! I know who I am. So if someone wants to pin the sellout title on me, that’s their issue, not mine. Who’s this guy to judge me in one second flat and base it on nothing more than what I look like? What happened to me? Well, maybe I should’ve said something like this: Yes, I do look different than I do a year ago, I’m smiling, enjoying myself and not wasting my time over-analyzing jerk-store statements from morons. Shaddup, that’s so not what I’m doing right now. Stay with me here. But look closer, “friend” because I’m stronger and I’m at peace with who I am, inside & out. I’m confident about my life and know that I worked my ass off and went through some tough shit in order to look & feel this good, damn it. I can wear a fun dress in a shit-hole bar if I get the urge to do so. And if I feel like dying my mousy dark-blonde hair red every 6 weeks because it’s more me, I’m worth it.

On the drive back to GR, as everyone in my family slept but me, it hit me… the fear of change is huge back in my hometown. I get being comfortable and wanting to go where everybody knows your name. I get that, and I enjoy that every once in awhile. But how boring is life without a dash of excitement once in awhile? When does a routine turn into a rut? What would happen if you just went with the flow and changed one thing about yourself or your life? Doesn’t have to be a huge change. But nearly one year ago this month, I asked my stylist to dye my hair & I started a blog — both first time things that really weren’t huge changes at all, but they started a snowball’s effect of change within me that I absolutely appreciate & embrace daily.

Change can be such a positive thing, but it’s a huge challenge for many people to break out of their cozy routine. And it’s easy to look at someone who has gone through a metamorphosis and want to call them out on it, or to even be jealous of it. But the thing is, if that same judgmental person looked a little deeper, past that book-cover, they could be inspired by it, and possibly seek to improve something in themselves as well. So, the next time someone chastises me for changing, I’m simply going to agree, then ask what they’ve changed about their life lately. Wonder what they’ll say?

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