As a child, I specifically remember my grandmother telling me to stop frowning, it was “unbecoming” of me. She chided my sister, my cousin, and me about the nasty habits that do not look good on young ladies. Thus, I learned early that “unbecoming” was not a good look.
The picture above would certainly make her list of unbecoming things. Yet, as a society we more readily accept crazy faces as humorous self-expressions, that may even venture into the realm of beautiful.
When I researched Catwoman to determine how to create the costume for Halloween, I learned that Catwoman started out as a villain but has transformed to an antiheroine and sometimes ally to Batman (http://www.dccomics.com/characters/catwoman). I immediately fell in love with the idea that my costume villian/superhero perfectly portrayed my current state of adulthood.
Hardly anyone would use the word villian or evil to describe me (although I am sure a few would beg to differ). However, the fact that she started out as one character only to turn into someone else completely parallels my life as I currently know it.
Over the past week, I decided that “unbecoming” may be exactly how I find my way through this transitional portion of my life. I have spent the past ten years trying to become the person I now see before me only to discover I may have some aspects that require a little “undo”ing. Therefore, I began my “unbecoming” journey.
1. I silenced some of the noise that surrounds me. I remember working so hard to make an impact in college, to be a part of everything, to make my presence so known that my absence would create a void. I highly regretted that decision within my first year of leaving Natchitoches. I hated that I was living my life somewhere else completely yet my name was still intricately involved in massive amounts of nonsense and drama.
I would love to say that I learned an invaluable lesson from my younger years of stupidity, but I did not. I instead continued different forms of the same pattern, always underneath the guise of wanting to be someone, to show the world I had made a difference, broken the mold.
…but the associated noise…
Fueled by my social media addiction, life screamed at me all of its daily demands. Bombarded with who I should be as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, as a teacher, as a children’s minister, and as a Christian, I began to scream back, “IT’S TOO MUCH!!!!”
I started hitting the backspace button. I disconnected. I removed myself from the noise. There in the quiet, with just me and God Himself, I began to hear my own voice.
2. I decluttered. I started by getting my home in order, and then branched to other areas. Once I heard my own voice, I also heard that some habits had to go. Lifestyle changes flooded in full force. I worked on my life the way I worked on my house, one room at a time. I started with exercise, a daily dose. Then after wonderful advice from a fellow blogger, I began setting my phone down when I got home (www.naomiwellings.com). I played more with the children, started sitting with my husband in his office after the kids went to bed, and started really looking at many deep-seeded realities that needed to go. I slowly began to ” unbecome” the woman I worked so hard to create – not because I did not love her but because I had outgrown her.
3. I began to fall in love with the BeYOUtiful lady I had “unbecome.” Two pregnancies and associated hormones have done a number of hair. While sitting at a doctor’s office, one of the nurses had a sassy short style that called my name. I marveled over that style for few days and pondered how I could replicate it. Then one morning, the thought came to me, in all its simplicity, I can mold my own version of that same style with my current hair.
As I stared at the girl in the mirror, I smiled. For the first time since the birth of my baby girl, I was in no hurry for my hair to grow back. I was enamored with the image that stared back at me.
I understand that a haircut is rather superficial, but the girl in the mirror was not beautiful because of a haircut. She was beautiful because she was me, without all of the noise and the clutter. She was not a character I had created to fulfill some type obsessive, compulsive social-media crazed perfectionist ideals.
It was just Brittany.
Staring back. Trying to figure out what God wants for her. “Unbecoming” all the misconceptions she thought she wanted. Doing the best she could. Making up her mind and then changing it. A mom. A wife. A friend. A teacher. A coach. A daughter. A sister. An ordinary girl. Trying to live an extraordinary life.