I don’t know if there is such thing as a perfect person, but I know my mother and that’s close enough for me.
Imagine the silliest person you know. Now, mesh that with the person who seems to solve all of life’s problems effortlessly, combined with a foodie/wine enthusiast/chef/corporate attorney. Then, add in the ability to shamelessly dance to both Motown classics and successfully execute the Milly Rock.
That is Barb.
I was once told it’s “weird” that I call my mother by her first name. That made me laugh simply because, well, my mother’s name is not Barb; it’s Evelyn.
However, she’s called me “Sunshine” my whole life and treated me like nothing less. So, honestly, “Mom” just didn’t do her enough justice for me.
She says she hates the nickname because it reminds her of her former stepmother, Barbara, who was a major pain. I think it’s growing on her, though. She answers to it now, without the groaning and rolling of the eyes.
I think I like “Barb” because it’s short, simple and strong. It’s graceful. It’s powerful. It just is, and it’s not going to budge no matter how many storms life sends its way.
That’s my mother. My mother is Barb.
If I can give the people in my life just half of the grace, forgiveness and understanding that my mother has given me, I will be a satisfied woman.
I say this all to stress the power in loving people for exactly who they are. I say this all to say that there is no interaction more valuable than one after which someone walks away feeling fuller.
I think it’s important to write it from the point-of-view of someone on the receiving end of this crazy, beautiful love.
It is real, y’all. It’s really real.
We fall down, but it’s substantially easier to stand back up when you know that there is one person who has never stopped rooting for you.
And I know that not everyone has that. I get that. To be real, that’s okay. That’s always been okay. You can rock anyway. You will rock anyway.
Just know, that people who don’t have that person who’s been blowing a bullhorn for their victory since day one usually don’t look like it. In my experience the people with a cheering section, and the ones without one, dress the same, talk the same and eat at the same burger places.
Do not be fooled into thinking that empty, hurt hearts show themselves boldly and proudly; they do not.
Be good to people. Love people. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Let someone know when you are proud of them. Pray for people who laugh at you.
I can tell you that last one is the hardest. It’s the least bad bitch-esque.
I can tell you that I have failed at all of these things more times than I can count on two hands, but my mother has never deemed me unworthy of her goodness. Neither has God. I believe that with everything I’ve got.
I spent years not liking my face, my skin, my hair, my laugh…the list goes on and on. The point is that I have spent way too much time apologizing for who I am and desperately trying to morph me into something else…anything else.
And each time I crashed and burned (if you don’t learn to love you, it will happen. You can only be someone else for so long).
I crashed, and I burned, y’all. But Barb was there. Whether she knew what to say or not. Whether she got it, or she was utterly confused. Whether she had the time, or she didn’t.
She was there. Every. Single. Time.
When I moved to Missouri for college, she was there.
When I was travelling to various states to interview for jobs, she was there. On the phone…praying me through my tears. Enduring all of my anxiety-filled mood swings. Every. Single. One.
She was also there cheering and clapping when I picked the right one.
With me. Always.
And, although she is the best gift-giver there ever was, there has been no Christmas or birthday gift that could come close to outshining her time and love.
I also happen to know that life hasn’t always handed her perpetual pastel Easter baskets full of flawless romances, idealistic career moves and perfection for every single second of her life either. She’s been through it, and she’s had faith.
She’s pulled through, and she’s stood tall and proud in her skin. She’s understood and owned the value of her presence.
Because she’s loved herself well, she is able to love me well.
Loving yourself well is a bigger service to this world, and the people in it, than you will ever understand.
Do it. Now. Love you.
Love you so well that you're able to be a place of peace and love for someone else.
I know that sometimes sobbing on the floor at 2 am doesn’t lend itself to phone calls home. I know that reaching out isn’t always easy. I know that people are prideful.
I get the lonely and the empty, and I know that it’s really real to need a place to go where there’s someone rooting for you with the loudest, proudest metaphorical megaphone the world’s ever seen.
I get it.
I think I started this blog because I want to give emotionally supportive sparkly bits to all of the cracked and bruised hearts out there. I want to give them because I don’ t know who or where I would be without the fistfuls that have been graciously tossed onto me.
If you’ve got someone throwing the sparkly bits of their heart on you daily- great. If you don’t, you’re no less bomb because of it.
But if you’ve got a heartbeat, I think you should try to giving that glitter stuff away like it’s going out of style.
When I learned to love and embrace all of the woman that is me, I got so much better at pouring love onto others. Goodness gracious, women who love themselves are a game changers. I try to remember that when I start getting down on myself. I try to remember that when I forget to find grace for the people in this world.
It doesn’t take a creating a website or spending money on dinner.
It’s congratulating someone and letting them know you’re proud, even though you know they wouldn’t do the same for you. It’s saying "hello" to someone, even if they’re looking down at their phone. It’s apologizing for pain you’ve caused, and accepting apologies you’ve never received. It’s understanding that hurt people hurt people,even if the hurt they inflict stains your heart. It’s telling the truth, even when it hurts.
It’s calling, crying, hugging, loving and being intentional.
I don’t know much about anything, but I know I rest easier, smile brighter and laugh louder when I’m loving grander.
Love grand. You have so much to offer, darling.