Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

Give up something you love right now

Most people don’t know I did ballet for eight years. The people who do often ask, “hey, do you still dance?” I am still working on my response, which is currently an empty “no.”

There is nothing I worked harder at in my life than my dance technique. I remember acting as a robot each day – stretching, doing yoga, practicing routines, even running home after a rehearsal to videotape the choreography I learned so I wouldn’t forget in the middle of a routine. While I enjoyed dancing, I began to realize that, as with any relationship, it is very easy to fall in love, and much trickier to notice when you fall out.

I began dance because I wanted to be like Barbie in The Nutcracker: beautiful, blonde, skinny, stretchy… but the journey to Barbiedom was a painful and difficult one. Discipline was something I possessed, but breaking down my entire body in order to perform certain moves, lifting people off the ground, and hearing constant critique over the fact that I couldn’t point my feet enough or “stick my tail under” became inordinately hard to accept. The embarrassment of forgetting combinations or being unable to stay on my box in my pointe shoes was something everyone had to fight through, in a way, and it was not an enjoyable battle. At the time I felt like I was achieving little successes and winning the fight against the physically improbable – the shoes, the body, the perfect bun. However, near the end of my journey, I began to doubt if the struggle to be perfect was really something worth engaging in.

When someone you love makes you stare in the mirror each day, wishing for constant improvement, or tells you that you are going to have to work for their attention, you would probably recognize that the person you fell for is not your perfect match. Sometimes, the pointe shoe does not always fit.

So, I stopped doing ballet. Perfectionism was something I worried about for years. Impressing people and performing with grace and power can make you stronger, think faster, and be better… but after a while, you have to realize the journey has a destination, and at that destination, you must realize you have come as far as you wanted to.

Giving up on something you love, or even just taking a break, can be healthy; it can even help you better understand what your goals are with what you love, and if they are worth continuing to reach toward. In the words of our hypeorlando prompt this week, giving up and moving forward can be the “road not taken.” The gravel path to personal achievement and pride, one that hosts only kind words and empowering memories, is the road less traveled by, but should always be taken with a satisfied strut.

(more…)

Learning to love being ‘quirk-tastic’

If you commented on my thick eyebrows a few years ago, I would probably have clammed up right in front of you. I would react the same way if you mentioned my size 10 feet, my super-pale-vampire skin, and that one zit on my nose that won’t go away. Truthfully, the list of “flaws” goes on a lot longer… but I only remember this list because I absolutely love most of these qualities now.

 

Just do it - you're going to have to eventually!

Just do it – you’re going to have to eventually! Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwwchorboogiecom/13973577183/

 

Accepting quirks I once had problems with did not happen overnight. I plucked my eyebrows, stared at the omnipresent zit, and even bought self-tanner (which only made me look like my mom’s carrot juice bottle). In fact, I did not really have any breakthroughs until my mom put a quilt over my mirror, banning me from looking at it except to make sure my hair was brushed in the morning. I was thirteen at the time.

Surprisingly, this act was all my transformation needed to get rolling. I didn’t have to belt out one more lyric of “Let It Go” or “Skyscraper,” nor did I have to read a self-help book for teenagers. Instead, I started seeing myself through my own eyes, not through a mirror.

Later I learned that my feet resembled not only my father’s, but my grandfather’s, a WWII veteran. Now I take a lot of pride in their shape, and yes, even their size. My pale skin is near iridescent at the beach, but after I heard about the skin cancer outbreaks among my family and teachers, I felt great about using sunscreen obsessively. And my eyebrows? I don’t even notice their bushiness anymore. Frankly, I don’t even care.

The most notable landmark on my journey to self acceptance is realizing how many people have issues with themselves. The very people I might have envied a few years ago for their slim figures or non-frizzy hair are the ones who wish they were curvier or had curly hair. We all want what we can’t have, which is why desiring a quality that makes someone else who they are is pretty illogical.

My advice would be to hold onto your flaws. Cherish them. Love them up. Don’t even call them flaws – call them differentiation devices or special quirks. You can even cover up your mirror and start seeing yourself for who you are, not what you look like. Finally, if you do change yourself by plucking your eyebrows or trying to tan, realize that you are not at your final destination on the road to loving yourself. Eventually you will return to your roots, just as I did, and you might even grow fond of the traits you currently detest.

Aloof people + grain of salt = peace of mind

Sometimes when I befriend others their shoulders turn icy toward me a few months into our engagement. While I stay chipper and friendly, they become somewhat… well… aloof and detached.

When people who turn cold toward you for seemingly no reason, it is time to break out your microscope and find that grain of salt; people have their bad days and worse moods, and sometimes these funks can last for a long time. Or, people could simply learn that you are not their type of person. This brings me to my first point: not everyone is going to like you. And yet this is precisely why you should never change to “please other people:” some people just are not going to be pleased with your true self, let alone your adjusted self.

 

Source: http://www.wordsonimages.com/categories/Inspirational-Quotes-Images-Sayings?page=803

 

In this case, the grain of salt refers to self acceptance; you may not be the person that will cheer this human up. However, you will find that in other scenarios, as I have found, people who are kind to you at first and then change their behaviors are often intimidated. I am someone who does not hide my feelings well, so when I have good news, I share it. I never brag. I take compliments humbly. It does not matter; people still get scared, even in the middle of their congratulations. This often spurs passive-aggressive behavior that most people fall back on to establish their faux hierarchy of superiority. It is all highly predictable behavior, albeit inopportune.

Unfortunately, aloof behavior that is triggered by the fear of power, overwhelming intellect, or unattainable talent can be suppressive. You may feel that you can’t share your great news with anyone, as you could “lose friends” over being happy about personal accomplishments. In truth, those who are intimidated by your achievements for more than a minute, and burn bridges due to their fear, possibly are not spending enough time creating their own successes. So, show what you know; just do not brag. If someone can’t hang with you when you are awarded for being yourself and working hard, maybe that is his or her own concern.

Go ahead – be yourself. Accept those awards. Be humble. Don’t fret if people can’t handle it.