Upon watching the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night, I was enjoying the understated, sophisticated style that graced the red carpet, but when I caught mention of Charlize Theron in a rich red plunging v-neck Dior gown, I didn’t need to see it to know she would own her moment. Upon seeing the red on red pairing, I wasn’t disappointed. Complete with $3.7 million dollars of jewelry and the 48.8 karat diamond Harry Winston pendant necklace that could easily be worn with a gown or something as simple as a white button-down shirt and effortlessly be the only piece of neck jewelry a girl owns to ensure everything looked complete, she was the best-dressed woman. And in saying this, I had yet to see Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts or Priyanka Chopra who all looked stunning. Still, perhaps I am partial to tall, single blondes because, well, don’t we all gravitate toward women who have similar qualities as ourselves or desire in ourselves, no matter how farfetched the comparison may be?
Needless to say, when I heard about Rebecca Traister’s new book which was just released yesterday, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, it captured my attention, no doubt because of the commonalities as with Charlize (okay, I am exaggerating with Charlize, but let me dream). Interestingly enough Traister married at 35 and has children, but she speaks about the shift in society after five years of research when it comes to women and how they choose to live their lives in the 21st century. In fact, she doesn’t lionize or criticize the single woman but rather points out that because women are choosing their life rather than being guilted or shamed into a singular path, society is progressing in a variety of ways that liberates all women for whichever path they choose to take.
I cannot say much more because my copy has not arrived yet, but I will certainly be reading it and sharing what catches my attention in the coming weeks.
In returning to the title of today’s post, Why Not . . . Just Be You? So what if you’re single at 40 as Charlize is and have never been married? So what if you’re married and have been since college? So what if you’re [fill in the blank]? “To be happy is to love the life we are leading” as Frédéric Lenoir reminds. Happiness begins in the mind, but so does unhappiness. We choose.
I have heard from a handful of readers recently and over the years since I have been discussing introversion and being highly sensitive expressing their quandary about how to be in a world that doesn’t understand how they find their happiness. And you know what? Sometimes we have to let go of trying to explain to others and just be.
If we let what the world says should make us happy tear away at the happiness we already know how to create, we do ourselves no favors.
A colleague of mine asked me yesterday how I spent my birthday, and I shared without hesitation and with a genuine smile, by myself (albeit with my dogs), doing anything I wanted as the moment presented itself. It truly was a lovely birthday. While I had time with others the day prior, phone calls and emails from loved ones the day of and moments with my colleagues and students the day after, I had a day to myself on my birthday and that, for me, was bliss. I know not every birthday will I want to spend it in this way, but this year I did and I designed it so. Few people understand this, but I’ve let go of trying to explain myself. Those who have known me and love me are just thrilled I am happy. In the past I have planned birthdays and gatherings with friends and family and have very fond memories of these occasions; however, 37 was meant to be just as it was.
So today and moving forward, just be you. Listen to what speaks within you. Really listen.
March has begun and as I sit and type, a single amethyst hydrangea is situated on my small white dining room table. Nothing extravagant, nothing extraordinary, but something that I appreciate immensely. It’s the everydays. How many everydays have you gone to bed grateful, thankful, happy in 2016? It really doesn’t take much does it? Make more of those everydays that may seem ordinary to others, but are extraordinary to you. And guess what the trick is? Only you know how to design them in such a way that will bring the utmost pleasure and contentment for you. Have a wonderful Wednesday and thank you for stopping by.
~WHY NOT . . . ? posts from the Archives: