What defines you? Growing up we were always told to dress our best and smile. Dress our best, dress our best. Smile, smile, smile. I’ve learned over the years many things come to “dressing my best” and smiling too much. Throw a positive attitude in there and you have a toxic concoction of misconception.
I have learned that no matter how I dress, smile too little or too much, judgement is always passed. Here are a few experiences I’ve encountered over the years that have stuck out the most with dressing my best, smiling or not:
1. Intrigues sales people to hoard like paprazzi.
2. Causes dirty looks and snarky attitudes from women.
3. Ignored by sales men only to speak to my husband. Echo…echo..
4. It causes grotesque, demeaning looks by men. Ew.
5. Creates a spark of flustered, conversation by both men and women that in no way make any sense what so ever.
6. Children stare. I stare back, sometimes make faces.
7. Derogatory comments by both men and women.
8. Down talking me with childlike behavior as if I am stupid, don’t understand or cannot interpret. This one really ticks me off.
9. States comments as, “you’ve never experienced” or “you wouldn’t know”.
10. The over-repetitive commenters, that create uncomfortable lack-of conversations and space…”I like your hair”, “are you happily married?”, “you’re teeth sure are pretty”.
I could go on, but I think 10 is suffice.
What happened to a world where women empower each other and both men and women lift each other up to maximize our successes? What happened to intelligent, positive conversations?
It won’t bring me down. However, it does just the opposite. I strive to be a better person. I strive to stay positive and keep others smiling. I strive to be creative and assist others to be and do their best. I know this is my purpose. Yet amongst the strides I take to go beyond, there is and always will be I’m afraid, the handful of those with bitterness, hatred and envy. It is mentally exhausting.
But I am who I am. Take it or leave it. I’m not perfect and never will be. If you don’t like me, that’s your problem, not mine. I make great efforts to succeed in many things in life with clear conscience and of those things, those of which I have failed, I do not hang my head. I hold it high, I may laugh, I may cry and admit it did not work but take great pleasure in stating I tried. Moving on.
My heart weighs heavy for those who self doubt and never put in the effort for whatever reason or in fear of failure. As much as it hurts sometimes, failure is only an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and strive for something better.
So yes, I dress my best, I smile a lot. Because in the end, I never know what path I will cross, nor with whom. And it is during that very moment, it could be the one thing that could touch someone’s life and make a difference.
Never give up. NEVER.