I love my Loveliest Things feature. I love reading about the things you love, love being reminded about the lovely things in our world—things we normally overlook in the midst of our busyness, and to-do lists, and errands.
I love that you get to participate—that your voice joins with mine, and that you get to come over and hang out in my space for a while.
But every once in awhile, I confess, I get a little bit jealous of that space. I love reading your loveliest things, but every once in awhile I want to share mine too!
But since you get Fridays, and I get all the other days of the week, I’m going to break the rules (I can, it’s my blog!) and share a loveliest thing that is just so lovely to me these days.
The top of my list is this: I love people who don’t think I’m cool.
Is that a weird thing to say? I don’t care, because I totally, totally mean it.
I love people who don’t think I’m cool. I’ve begun collecting them, really.
I’m hugging them tightly to my chest these days—people who see me without makeup more than they see me done up, people who know just how grey my favorite black yoga pants have become, and people who see me in the same clothes for maybe more than one day in a row.
I love people who’ve see me cry, who know my insecurities, who I can say the ugliest truths about my life to, and they don’t even bat an eye.
I’m collecting people who don’t think I’m cool, and it’s the very best of my loveliest these days.
It’s really fun to be good at things. I confess I like doing things I’m good at, and tend to shy away from spaces where I don’t excel. Don’t ask me to play in any sort of team sport with you (unless you want to play doubles in tennis, and still, I make no promises about being good), because I honestly can’t keep up.
I’ve never mastered the art of having my foot connect with a ball in a way that the ball will connect with a goal.
I played soccer on a mission trip in Costa Rica one time, and one of the men I was playing with (a man who ONLY spoke Spanish, I might add) turned to one of my friends, and in English said, “She’s bad!” while jerking his thumb at me.
I like doing things I’m good at. I like the confidence of knowing I can walk into a situation and deliver something successfully. But at some point, doing the things you’re good at starts to carry with it a lot of pressure.
I had a writers weekend recently where I got to teach a group of wonderful women about telling their story. It was totally my element, the space where I come alive the most. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel pressure. I felt pressure to have the right answers, and to have my hair perfectly done, to be funny, and present, and on-the-ball the whole time.
What a gift to be around people who respect you and want to hear what you have to say. But with that comes a great amount of responsibility, and… pressure.
When my team (read: friends) and I went back to our hotel room at the end of the night, dropping my cool off at the door was the most freeing moment of all. I wasn’t on the spot anymore. I wasn’t expected to perform. I collapsed into a heap with some of my best friends and Carl, grey yoga pants and all.
That’s why I’m collecting these behind-the-scenes people, people who don’t think I’m cool. I need the freedom of having them in my corner, and so do you.
Impressing people is exhausting—it’s hard to pull out your very best, day after day. Sometimes you need to leave your best in the closet, and just be you for a moment—all rough edges and matted hair. And the best of the loveliest things is the people who have seen you like this and love you anyway.
My friends aren’t impressed when I write a good blog post—they’re proud of me, and my biggest fans, but they’re not impressed. They’ve seen the before, and the after, and the messy in-between.
I’m not fooling anybody.
And this is my favorite feeling these days—the feeling of being loved by people who know me well enough to know better.
Who are your behind-the-scenes people? What would it take to find people who you can fully be yourself around?
Photos by the beautiful Katie Rowland