A few days ago, Chris and I met up with some out-of-town friends at a yarn store – a peculiar place to meet but it happened to be a convenient half-way point for both of us. As we were browsing around the store, I spotted some really cool looking hats. Despite knowing very well that I haven’t looked good in a hat since I wore a baby bonnet, I was determined to try a few on.
I reached for a classy, feminine- looking fedora, plunked it on my head and asked Chris for his honest opinion. His body language said it all. His head was shaking, his eyes were looking down and I knew that once again, it wasn’t meant to be.
You see, I’m a hat person in my head but not on my head.
I have always had this ill-founded notion that people who wear hats are cool – they’re creative, confident, out-of-the-box thinkers – and that’s what I’ve always wanted to be. So, in my head, I’ve wanted to be a hat person.
However, it’s been suggested numerous times – particularly by my opinionated daughters – that I just need to make peace with reality and accept the fact that I will never be a hat person. While I do think that is wise advice, I haven’t fully accepted my hatless fate.
The yarn store experience reminded me of a truth that seems to take women a long time to internalize – you can’t spend your life trying to be someone you aren’t. You can try but it’s exhausting and futile. It takes and wastes a lot of energy to compare and pretend.
Growing up is all about finding the balance between accepting yourself as God has made you and being a life long learner, with the desire to always be growing and changing – these two postures are not mutually exclusive. I think self-acceptance lends itself to growth because it provides a solid platform, from which to push off. When we grasp the whole beauty of our lives found in Christ, it grounds us in realism but also motivates us to explore the big picture ramifications of how we have been made.
This past summer, it’s been really hot so I’ve been hiding under a wide brimmed Tilly hat while I’ve gardened and hung out on the boat. To be completely honest, I know I’m not a hat person. I know that I look a little goofy but I’m OK with it. It is what it is…it’s good.
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 1 Timothy 4.4 ESV
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139. 14,15 ESV