Redefine beautiful!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

She stood a bit taller than my 5' 5½" stature.  Her long brown hair fell lazily over her shoulders with no thought given to it.

What captivated me about this woman was her unique look; chic without trying.  She wasn't wearing make-up, just black eyeliner and mascara.  A gypsy patterned, flouncy skirt rode low on her slender hips, the hem just hitting the tops of her distressed brown leather boots.  She wore a white T-shirt under a man's forest green cardigan haphazardly held together with a clunky belt that resembled the cinch from an old saddle.  Her only jewelry was a mismatch of rings on most fingers and large gold hoops through her earlobes.  She looked to be about twenty-four.

We waded through security side by side,  being herded through the preboarding chaos, and we ended up sitting near each other on the plane to Atlanta.  "Hello again."  We said before getting settled.

I took out my magazine, ready for some mindless reading when she asked me, "Are you traveling to Atlanta or do you live there?"

"I live in the North Bay area, the wine country."  Smiled and continued to read.

"Are you traveling on business?"  She wasn't getting the hint.

I gave her the scoop on how I'd been a fitness professional for a long time and how lately I'd been dabbling in my art again.  "I love what I do, but lately I've been wanting something more.  Strangely, I fell into this gig working with a group of creative people doing the John Lennon art show.  I'd always been the artistic one in the family, but with the family business being concrete construction, my talents were appreciated at best when shown at family gatherings and the county fair.  My dad used to say, 'who do you think you are, Michelangelo?"

She told me how she'd wanted to become an artist, but her family never really encouraged her.  "My parents thought I'd make a great flight attendant.  They really don't know me, I guess.  So I went to the Fashion Institute and now I am working as an assistant buyer.  I thought my job would be more creative, but I'm really a glorified secretary and I am not so good at office management."  Her story was all too familiar.

Can you see my fairy god-sister?  She shows up at the strangest places.

As we left the plane, I prepared to say good-bye to my friend, but she was no where to be seen.  I hopped a cab to the Westin in Buckhead and during the half hour ride I fell asleep.  When I woke, I remembered a dream.

I dreamt of a time when I was young and wanted to be an artist, but it wasn't considered an important endeavor to pursue art, therefore my idea wasn't a good one.  I looked out the cab window seeing Atlanta up close.   I saw my reflection and there was my airplane friend staring back at me.  Her uncertainty and earnestness written across her face.   And right then and there, I knew I could be whoever I want.  All I need is a burning desire and the focus that comes with it.


  1. Live your dream, Debra! There's no better time than the present.



  2. A great message you have conveyed. Don't you love people who march to the beat of their own drum? ...especially "hippies"? I was aware of a lady about 30 years ago, rode the bus to work with her every morning into downtown St. Louis. She never talked to anyone. She was very pretty, but no matter what she had on, the weather, etc, she ALWAYS wore red high heels and bright red lipstick. Sometimes it worked, but most often it looks funky. One thing is for sure -- she got lots of looks. I've always wondered what her goal was? Did she even realize she did it? I never talked to her because she was very stand-offish. I often think about her. Does she still wear red lipstick and high heels. She would probably be in her early 70's now. See -- her perceived "oddity" left an impression on me. Makes me want to be odd. Great post, Debra!

  3. Thanks Adrienne!

    I know what you mean. When I was younger, I simply wanted to fulfill my own idea of costuming. I didn't care what anyone else thought of my look.. What happened to this authenticity and uniqueness of mine? Well, maybe she's finding her way back to me? Thank you for the comment!

  4. I loved your description of your airplane friend. Great writing.

    Burning desire and focus: two powerful characteristics to posess, and you have them.

  5. Hi Jan,
    You know, it is a fabulous feeling to allow ourselves to be who we are, no matter what anyone else may say about it!