I know a woman who works hard to impress people. She puts a lot of thought into what she wears, her hair, makeup and accessories she carries. She puts her best foot forward to impress people she doesn’t even know. She obsesses about what strangers may think of her and sacrifices her own beliefs to shape-shift and conform and agree with the opinions of others.
She only cleans her home when guests come to visit. She worries non-stop about the judgments of others, and is the first to cast judgment on anything and everything that moves. She has perfect store bought seashells around the house and cheaply made knock off furniture. It’s all designed to impress, but only at a surface level. That’s where she lives.
I was drawn especially to the perfect shells and the care that was taken for the placement of each.
When I arrived home later that day, I looked around my house and noticed the shells I had on display. They were collected from actual beaches I’ve visited around the world. I carefully inspected each shell and remembered the exact beach, the exact sunset or sunrise, the temperature, the breeze, the company I had and the reason I felt compelled to pick up and save each one. I could even remember if I wore a sweatshirt with pockets overstuffed with shells or if I only had my bathing suit on and had to use my hat as a storage vessel. I noticed how wonderfully imperfect they were, chipped and thrown around by the ocean.
I loved how they were organic, living products of nature that had been through the ups and downs, glories and sorrows that life had to offer, surviving and ultimately making their way into my happy home. It was the imperfection and the untold experience of these shells that drew me to them.
I viewed my shells as collections of experiences from a life well-lived with the people I love.
They’re not store-bought, fabricated perfection used to impress people. I smiled and melted away in the imperfection.
I smiled, knowing that I live my life, not trying to fool others into believing I do.
I actually live it, imperfections and all, without judgment or fear of what others will think. They will always think something and thankfully, that’s completely out of my control.