…from Shinola (with love)
We let things and people bottle up our sparkle, our shine. More noise, just like the other noise I’ve already chatted about, stands in our way, it stops our brilliance from bursting through. We let it. Over and over, we do it to ourselves, we play by rules that no one else seems to pay attention to. I know I do it. I follow the rules, I drive in the right lane unless I’m overtaking, I obey the speed limit (for the most part!). I (mostly!) patiently wait my turn in line. I’m (mostly!) polite. I follow the rules at work. More than once, more than twice I’ve left a job and later heard, “I had no idea what all you did here!” Yep, that sounds about right. I go to work, do whatever needs to be done, go home. I don’t showboat, I don’t badmouth other employees, I don’t gossip, I don’t lie about people, I don’t backstab anyone. I believe karma is a bitch and she’s skipped her coffee.
The folks who feel they have to rely on those sorts of tactics will always feel lacking, will always feel they have to continue to resort to those games in order to get ahead or to just stay afloat. It would be so much better if people would just do the right thing. It’s frustrating sometimes. It hurts my feelings when people choose to believe something fabricated they heard about me instead of giving me a chance and actually trying to learn about me themselves. I’m human, it hurts and sometimes makes me angry. Ultimately, I’ve come to try to understand and embrace the notion that it’s their loss. My sister finally got this through my head, there are some folks who will never like you no matter what you do, and there are folks who will always like (even love) you no matter what you do. Those are the folks who matter. It’s been a hard lesson to learn. I’m still learning it and I’m still working through the hurt and the anger over many things. I’m human.
But sometimes I sparkle too.
Sometimes, when I’ve had the worst of days, I’ll catch a little glimmer of something peeping through that reminds me that I’m sparkly. It’s usually one of those days when I’ve waited for permission, recognition, a thank you. I’ve had many sparkly moments over the past week. I’ve found a new friend, whom I’ve worked with for years, because one cup of coffee allowed us to see something familiar in each other that maybe because of defense mechanisms inspired by the workplace we had never seen before. That was a blessing and a sparkly moment. Another friend of mine kept peeping into my head all day, just little snippets of her would randomly pop into my head. We haven’t talked on the phone in a couple years and I haven’t seen her since high school. She called me tonight and asked when we were going to come visit her in Portland. Sparkles!! I have another friend who was moved to tears over something I had written. Blessings and sparkles abound.
Sometimes we shine and we let those sparkles through because one human being cannot contain so much sparkliness without it seeping through the cracks in our armor. Sometimes we shine because others encourage it. But sometimes we shine because we have finally had the courage to have a hard conversation with someone, or we come to understand that it’s okay, even necessary to push a little when someone is holding back our sparkles. Sometimes we shine because we step around someone who is eclipsing us. It takes practice, it takes realizing that you don’t have to have anyone’s permission to shine, but your own.
Although for me, the past week hasn’t truly been great by definition, there have been so many blessings and sparkly moments, I’ve allowed myself to shine by recognizing those blessings however large or small. A great and sparkly week has risen from the ashes of mundanity (it’s a word, I just created it), like a Phoenix.
My dear friend in Portland described her efforts toward embracing the silver in her hair. I shared with her my experience with the same. I was not in the right place emotionally to do that just yet. Instead of locks and locks of silver, pewter (and maybe a streak or two of purple!) I gained 20 pounds before I realized I need to wait and try again after I have some more practice shining. My friend, a redhead by nature, choice and attitude (by the way, that’s a compliment!) is interworking the varying colors of her hair into a shining conglomeration of tresses. Her colorist told her it reminded her of an illustration she had seen once of a Phoenix. My friend is shining, like a Phoenix. Perfect.