We can get so worked up. We allow the opinions of co-workers, friends, lovers, and even strangers to influence how we look, things we say, and what we do. It’s a racket of inauthentic being. We spend a bulk of living working an income source job. Then gobs of people are insanely busy working to keep a particular impression of themselves going to for attention, a partner, a job, or an idea of who they might not truly be. We’re not paid for all this ‘extra’ work. We’ve not been cast in some tv show or movie! I think we should leave all this pretzeling to the pretzels.
For years I was a master chameleon. There was the middle school age transition I wanted to be popular and went out for cheerleading to help prove my desired status with the in-crowd. That glory lasted one good football season as a B-Team cheerleader before I decided it was far from me. I proudly went a semi-short spell in the appropriately timed 1980’s with bright blue eyeshadow that matched my peepers. I slept many a night in those taffy pink foam and plastic hair curlers, waking with Shirley Temple curls that lasted a long time. I caught the permed hair wave and was a true Southern bouffant through my senior high school yearbook photos. None of which resemble my flowy natural locks.
I love to look and feel pretty. I’ve transited my pucker enhancement from sheer shiny pinks or classic matte red lipsticks to the occasional clear colored lip balms and most often au naturel. Wearing my face as it is moment to moment is the real me, despite jobs and friends suggesting I add to it. I thoroughly enjoy playing dress up. I can even go all out for an effect of me that does take hours, or sometimes mere minutes of flair, to appear differently than who I openly am in my body as it is. Yet, I personally don’t love the idea of spending hours putting on makeup and doing my hair to get to a point that I suspect many others will think is prettier than who I occur simply as I am.
Just because I’m citing makeup and hair especially isn’t an implication that there’s anything wrong with beautification! Instinctively there are those persons who are born to glamour or fashion and things that both affect and effect how they conduct, present and live as themselves. Kudos to their awesomeness of being vibrantly as they are! On the contrary, I’m delving into the darker side of those of us who’ve aimed to keep up with the Joneses, the love interest, the diva boss or corporate structured atmosphere when it doesn’t fit an iota of our being. We’re chasing misery to live a counterfeit version of who will make us happy.
Here’s a crash course example in life as a pretzel fanatic. In my late twenties, I began dating the tall, dark, and handsome guy who was not merely the life of the party he was the party. Dating quickly became boyfriend and girlfriend. We were inseparable, save the fact we never officially moved in together. Recreational drugs were his specialty, with a side of drinking. He was into BDSM, pornography, really wanted threesomes, was a minor tv game show star. What he had in acute intelligence he lacked in common good. He was a train wreck for someone like me still trying to qualify myself for another’s standards, instead of being comfy within my own. It’s far from admirable to admit that I tried on my share of pornos, bondage attire and experiences, and highly ineffective threesomes where I began self-dissolving into dramatic spontaneous combustion antics with said beau. I have no judgment on these activities or anyone who likes them (so long as they’re not harming others in the process). Suffice to say, they are not at all me or for me.
Pretzeling as a human analogy is a puzzle at best. You know you’re doing it because things are off. You become catty and chirp rude opinions or start fights easily. You speak in an accent that’s clearly not your own, but it’s not charming like the other times you do so. You wobble wildly in those platform shoes that don’t become you until you crank your ankle and crack the heel right off. You’re uneasy in your own skin. Vomit literally protrudes from your mouth. Such destruction can manifest around romantic relationships, with family, friends, at work, or even when you’re among strangers.
These days I’m most often rocking my wash and go original hair and still rarely wearing makeup. I wear the same outfit multiple days during a week until it’s in need of laundry, in lieu of making sure I’m not caught in the same thing twice. I’ve been traveling around with the same four pairs of shoes for years: one pair of flats for casual or semi-dressy, one pair of heels, my daily favored red cowboy boots (duct taped to hold them in place until I can afford to resole them), and (until I left them in Ethiopia last month for a person who needs them way more than I) a pair of trainers for workouts or longer walkabouts. I’m an open book when trying on interesting men to see a best mutual match. I appreciate the speedy sorting if we’re not meant to be so that we’re not wasting one another’s time, nor setting up a torture phase. I make more friends from dating than I cause issues. I’m no longer withholding aspects of me for fear of others turning away, nor am I afraid that if I don’t have a boyfriend minute to minute that my life is in ruins. I know what I want and I’m usually patiently trusting it will come. Even when I’ve been waiting for things like a life partner, a super new career job, or my fingernails to grow enough to paint them red for the holidays.
Striving for personal accuracy might be our singular most wise life path. I meet a lot of pretzels over the years flying on airplanes, as I adore travel. Every time I’m offered or see a bag aboard an aircraft I’m reminded I’m faithfully living my authentic life. I want to be where I am in that instant — on my way to a new destination from the last one and ready to savor a new journey. Reflect upon your set of ferocious truths about who you are. Soak up invoking the unquestionably true you.
Only eat pretzels. Don’t be one!