Bottled Happiness

cosmetic

Last month, I started a project.  I made little daily bundles for when I wash my face.  Each one is really just a washcloth and some cotton balls, but I tie each one with a special tag.  Inside each tag is a new beauty quote with plenty of blank space to write down my thoughts.  I carefully consider how each quote applies to my life while I’m washing my face, and then I write it down and put the tag in my Happy Thoughts jar.

inside

Well, I said I’d let you know how it went, and I’m pretty happy with the results.  The quote above was my first night.  In the blank space, I wrote:

I’m glad this quote was tied to the orange towel.  It doesn’t match the other towels, but I love orange.  Maybe this is about the company you keep.  I can be an orange towel in a basket of pink, but on my own, someone thinks I’m great.

It was a lesson in feeling loved and appreciated.  I’ve never thought of myself as being conventionally beautiful.  I have some nice features, but overall I don’t really fit in with the beauty crowd.  But since when has my life been about fitting in?  Hasn’t it always been about doing what makes me happy?  I promise I’ve had way more success with a cheesy smile than I ever had with a blank expression to hide my chubby cheeks.  I have as much right as the pink towels to be in this basket!

I had a rough day last week, but I had a quote to back me up.  It all started while I was waiting in line at the store to pick up my thyroid pills.  The line was super long, and if I stood behind the last person, I would be blocking two different aisles, so I stood back between adjacent shelves of a display in the main aisle.  That would give everyone plenty of room to get through.  A minute or so later, this Martha Stewart looking woman walks up and parks her cart right in the middle of it all, blocking all the aisles.  I wait a second to see if she’s trying to get by, but it’s clear she’s now next in line.  It’s been a long day and I’m tired of being invisible to the upper middle class, so my filter slipped.  I say, “uhhh huh.”  It came out way more sassy and audible than I expected, and she glares at me.

“Were you in line?”

“Yes, but I…” I started.

“Well you better get up there,” she scolds, giving me barely a foot of clearance between her cart and the woman in front of us.  I take the spot, looking around at the people trying to walk by.

“I just didn’t want to block anyone’s way,” I said, and no sooner had I assumed my new awkward position than I had to step out of the way to let some people through.  Cart lady wasn’t moving back to let them through either, even though they had nothing to do with the confrontation, so they had to push through.  I wanted so badly to turn to the lady and say “LIKE THAT!” but I was already embarrassed that it had come to that.

I spent the next hour feeling totally sick with myself for starting that interaction.  On a good day, I would have just waited and got in line behind her.  Why was I trying to be considerate of the other customers, but not of her?  Then I came to realize that she had started out being inconsiderate before I even opened my mouth.  I stood up for myself.  I’m going to have to get comfortable doing that unless I enjoy finding the new end-of-the-line all my life.

The quote that pushed me through was this:

Next time you think of beautiful things, don’t forget to count yourself in.

After feeling pretty ugly on the inside that day, this made me stop and tell myself that I am a good person.  I was angry.  I was angry at the woman for making me feel like a bad person for standing up for myself.  I was angry at myself for not being myself and just letting the woman cut.  It wouldn’t have taken up too much of my day to let her go first.  But I was angry and disgusted with myself.  I didn’t value myself enough to feel like I deserved to be there just as much as she did.  And what did we learn from the orange towel?  Exactly.

So as the next few days went by, I found myself growing more and more confident, topping it all off with an over-the-top hairdo (pics coming in another post).  The bottle was a success.

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