Garden Tending: Monday Motivation #26
I went out this weekend
I went out this weekend.
Forty four years old and I went to a dance club.
(I’ll give you a second to regain consciousness and/or clear your throats of any obstructions caused by the inhaled gasp).
It was part of the celebration for my good friend’s birthday.
As soon as she invited me, my self-talk engine roared to life.
Down the self talk highway
A thousand questions poured in at once – RPMs were at an all-time high.
Do you go and risk being the oldest in the group? Will you fit in? It’s been years since you’ve done anything like that, will you even remember how to dance? Will people think you’re a cougar? You have no clothes that are fit for “clubbing” anymore (and rightfully so, you’re too old for it). Is she asking you to go out of some misguided love and desire to match make? What if someone comes on to you while I am there, how will you respond?
And on and on and on.,,I’m surprised I didn’t blow a gasket.
The initial mental spiral was …sickening.
Thankfully, I’ve learned to recognize it and I slammed on the brakes.
I reached for a friend whom I trust – the kind of friend that you feel safe to be vulnerable with. Who better than the birthday girl herself. We talked about my hesitation and my fears.
“What if I’m not pretty enough?” (“What? You’re beautiful.”)
“I’m tired today and lazy.” (“Then stay in and relax.”)
“But the party is tomorrow and I don’t have a dress.” (“You always looked so good at the office. You have plenty of clothes.”)
“Not clubbing clothes.” (“Clubbing clothes?”)
“What if I wear jeans?” (“Jeans are fine.”)
“Or maybe I can go shopping tomorrow.” (“That might be fun. When’s the last time you did that?”)
I hemmed and hawed and prattled. I knew I needed help shifting to a different gear and steering out of this negative space o self-doubt.
She was supportive and understanding – exactly what I needed.
We ended the conversation with her reminding me to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself the truth: that I am beautiful.
Taking the Nearest Exit
I hopped in the shower, and shortly thereafter, swerved off the negative self-talk highway and into a nearby store.
An hour later, my basket piled high with clothes, I headed off to the dressing room.
I enjoyed putting on so many different styles and posing in the dressing room mirror. I laughed and sassed and kissy-faced, snapping a few photos of my favorite outfits to send to her.
I found a dress and a few other items too. By the time I left the store, my head was in an entirely different place.
When Saturday arrived, nervousness tickled the back of my head. But I love know that I control my actions; my fears don’t control anything. As I got ready, I visualized the fun we would a have at the family birthday gathering and later at girls’ night out.
The party was amazing. I felt a part of the family and absolutely loved spending time in such a warm embrace of loving people. The food was delicious, conversation flowed smoothly and easily even though this was my first time meeting nearly everyone there – it really was a beautiful afternoon.
And then was the girls-night-out celebration. We laughed and danced and joked and had fun. Of course, Charlene has other amazing women in her social circle! Meeting them and having this time together was such a privilege.
Picking up my car from the valet on Sunday, I contemplated the beauty that strong supportive relationships bring to a life.
These women are beautiful flowers.
And so am I.
And in the company of women such as these, I’ve found Shangri-la.
So for today’s Monday Motivation, let me sum up with a beautiful quote by French writer, Marcel Proust:
Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.