All this because I want to be a lady....

I have a feeling I know what kicked this all off....

I have always wanted to be a 'lady'...

Now, I am a woman.
a chick.
a girl.

But I have always wanted to be a lady...

you know,
the kind, gracious, open, loving happy ladies you hear tell about..
a few of whom I have met.

All of whom I admire.

They don't cuss, lose their temper, or approach everything from a cynical point of view.

So I started to try.


being kind.

But there is this voice in my head that is sooooo hard and cynical.

and negative.

Not about me anymore..

But about the world.

And the harder I tried...the more the voice said

"and you smile at the wrong person, they beat you and take your purse'.

Chick cuts me off and gives me the finger...I give it back.


then the harder I tried, the worse the dread got...

I don't know if any of you remember the fainting goat post.

I used to have the same suffocating and overwhelming fear of men.

That's better now.

So, I took a walk tonight...I have no idea how long it was..

I realized that the same fear of men which could be personalized..
was really a fear of life and the world at large.
Of being weak, or taken advantage of...

that opening myself up like that was asking to get hurt.

And trounced on.

It is easier to stay hard.

It is harder to care.

I have always known this, and that is why I have always admired the so called 'naive suckers' who manage to live this way.

I don't know if I can go that far...

But I think I can try.

For years, I spent my time wishing my childhood had been something other than what it was.

wishing for an unblemished window with which to view the world...

I wanted a soul that looked like this...

I thought with a soul that smooth, life would have been easier..

Instead I got a soul that looks a bit like this:

Not too pretty.

getting to the bottom of your chicken coop and realizing it's damaged from all the shit is depressing.

Getting to the bottom and realizing there is more work to do..

especially when you can't replace the boards.

So what I have to do is polish what life gave me.

Instead of having a perfectly smooth,unmarred soul.

I will have one that looks like this....


I love this...it is reclaimed barn wood.

I also loved the warning that accompanied the picture.

It said...each piece is unique.

Each piece has had some damage..

nail holes, hammer marks and the like.

Just like people.

It's our imperfections that make us beautiful.

I have come to the conclusion that It is our damage that makes us beautiful...especially when we are able to go through all of it, and then remake ourselves into something new and more useful because of the wisdom gained through the pain.

Wishing for an unblemished soul is kind of like wishing for an unlived life.

lesson learned.

Chris out.


bbubblyb said...

Yep, another post that hits home for me. I think that's a beautiful table finished or unfinished, it has lots of character just like you. *hugs*

E. Jane said...

Many of us sustain some damage along the road of life--some of us have had more than our share. Adversity may make us a bit cynical, but it can also make us wise. We know what is good and what isn't, and we are able to see the vulnerabilities in others and to reach out a helping hand because we've been scared and helpless too.

As long as we keep growing and working to better ourselves, we're just fine. You are just fine--in fact, you're a lovely person.

Rettakat said...

Very moving post, Chris. Especially the ending:
"Wishing for an unblemished soul is kind of like wishing for an unlived life."


MargieAnne said...

Dear Chris,

So you want to be a Lady, gracious, kind, wise, walking through life with a glow.

Everyone of those women who have achieved a measure of graciousness have worked through many things. If their compassion is real, if they have real empathy, they have lived through much. Maybe you do know some wonderful women. I know one or two and the cost was high.

I also know some women who are called gracious by others who are quite different within their family.

Be true to yourself and keep on learning and discovering truth.

You are the goods. Woman, girl, chick and a Lady. Guess who Jesus sees. A princess, a beautiful lady and he loves your feisty nature.

I could say be careful what you want ... the process of becoming is not always easy. For that reason I stopped asking for more patience!!!!


Christine said...

@ margene, ditto on the patience. lol. Everytime I asked for it, God gave me practice.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about admiring the women who were "ladies" and trying to become one.

I've always felt that I'm working from a deficit when it comes to certain things.

I went to a Baptist church for many years and there were women there my age who just had a gentleness about them. I can't quite explain it any other way, but I think they would be your "ladies."

They had been raised in a certain way. Their parents were born in church, so where their parents' parents. They had a culture, if you will, that I did not have. I had rough edges, theirs were smooth and pleasant.

I've often thought that these women do not realize the benefit they have had...the things they have not had to learn....the things that come naturally to them.

And the things they have missed.

You have to learn some things and become some things that seem to have been born into them, but they have to learn some things and become some things that were beaten into you.

And--EVERYTHING MARGIEANNE SAID. That's the other side of the coin. Some are walking out what they saw at home, others have earned what they are displaying the hard way.

On a lighter note--> Bill and I currently have a joke going. (it's sad, in a way, that we both think this is so funny.) I told him Sunday over dinner that I had a new project: I was working on being MEEK.

He laughed right out loud! So did I. A couple times since then, when I've made a remark about something, he's said, "Uh-hmmm. cuckle. I don't thinK that's meek." And we'd both laugh. Because, of course, it wasn't.

Shrug. We all have our own garden to hoe and our own weeds. I have to admit that I like the look of the gentle garden better than mine and feel that deficit--but sometimes, I think...maybe not. There's a richness and depth to our soil that was hard won.

Once again, you've dug up some insights from your work in the coop that hits home for me, too.

Andd, again, what Margeanne said!

Pretty Pauline said...

How true. My being so sensitive is very, very hard for me to live with, and yet I have been told by my BFF and The Hubs that it's also part of my appeal. ~sigh~ For me it's exhausting! LOL!

downsizers said...

My post today also has some mention of what a lady is. I think we make assumptions about these ladies we talk about. Their life also has troubles I am sure; I don't think anyone has a life that is all smooth sailing. It's how we handle things that come our way. Some survive like you did and are able to empathize with others because of it. You are a rich resource for those who have had a life that has been rough - you honestly know how they feel and what it is like. We had a preacher once who cried during his Father's Day sermon. He was thinking about what he had put his father through during his youth. He had tattoos all over his arms and had been quite a wild child. He said when he got the call to preach he lost half his vocabulary. He was a wonderful preacher and it was in great part because he had been the opposite and overcame it. You are wonderful as well.

Hanlie said...

Exactly! Life is about living and experiencing. A glossy, unmarred table would be the most boring, vacuous thing you can imagine.

Maude said...

Thanks for that post. I needed a reminder that the imperfections aren't necessarily a bad thing.

F. McButter Pants said...

You made me cry. Touched my heart and made me think.


Robin said...

I think that I have posted already that no one gets an easy life. If your life has been easy thus far, than the crap is about to hit the fan. At some point we all go through the grinder. The key is how we come out. Can we keep our soul intact. Can we still trust those who are trustworthy? Or do we just become hardened bitter shells that are vague shadows of who we used to be? That is the challenge.

Changing Christine said...


Joy said...

Great post Chris, very insightful. All of your past experiences have made you into the awesome person you are today! You are strong, dedicated, loving and have a fierce zest for life!! You ROCK!!

Stay focused!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Maybe not a "lady" but for sure the soul of an artist.

rebecca said...

I know what you mean by being a "lady." Yeah, I'm a woman, chick, girl...whatever and still working on the lady part, but the cuss words just trump it each and every time! *sigh* My mom was a lady and an old boss continually told me I was never too old for charm school. Bah! I find the whole thing too vanilla, too perfect, for my taste. Like your refurbished table made of barn wood, I think the slightly damaged ones to be the most interesting. Imagine if we were all perfect? How boring would this world be?! Your words point to the truth of what an interesting life/world this really is when all of us can show our perfect imperfections to the world......

My Big Fat Super Super Obese Blog said...
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'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Truly examining your innermost feelings and sharing the results is such a gift that you share with your readers. Your insights are so accurate and help so many of us as we learn healthier ways to relate to life. Thank you for helping people like me to see that there is no shame in needing to learn new behaviors, nor need to wallow in how long it has taken or even believe that there are limits to what can be achieved.
Being willing to share your vulnerabilities as you do is remarkable. You are contributing to so much positive change.

foolsfitness said...

You post some deep thinking topics. My prayers are with you in finding the path and traveling the journey.

The post before this on trust... that's some serious introspective. People freak me out sometimes too. I try to love them, but trust... I can barely manage that one with God.

I've tried to foster my ability to not be too harsh with people, even though they irritate me... I figure I am far far far from perfect and given the personal choice between mercy or justice I'd rather choose mercy.