Both Parts of Me

SINCE 1611

I do not like being told what to do and what not to do.  I guess you could say I have a little bit of a rebellious streak. I used to be ashamed of this tendency to steer clear of limits and fly high above boundary lines. Now I embrace this unruly side of me.

I refuse to be tamed.

Maybe it’s because I hate the idea of conforming to someone else’s G-rated version of me. Maybe it’s because I have been told one too many times that I’m just so sweet. Maybe I’m sick and tired of being anything other than who I want to be.

Sure I’m sweet. I’ve always been a people pleaser and I have a megawatt smile on standby for just about anyone. But lately, the idea of being sweet has bothered me a bit. I want more people to see past my sugar coated exterior and get a taste of my sour side. After all, my true identity lies in a combination of the two parts.

I am a well-mannered girl. My mama raised me right. Do I always use said manners? Heck no. Not every circumstance calls for yes ma’am, please, and thank you.

Since I have turned 35, the highlight reel of my life has played on repeat in my mind. The good parts and the bad parts. Yes, even the sloppy, cringe worthy parts that I wish I could forget. What I have learned from this looking back is that I am no longer content to only be seen as the timid, candy-coated girl I once was. I now let the controversial, less nervous side of me shine through more often and I’m loving the results.

I used to be the one who was nice to you no matter what you said or did to me. Through a series of moments where I innocently allowed others to use my naivety against me (because who was I to disagree and be anything other than likeable?), I began to realize that my sweetness wasn’t doing me any favors. This, my friends, was a hard lesson for me to learn. One that I’m so glad I did, though.

I started seeing myself the way I want to be seen: Sweet and Sour. Picture the deliciousness of a top shelf margarita with sugar on the rim. The sugar compliments the tangy beverage that is within. Can I have a margarita without the sugar? Yes, and it is still very enjoyable. But give me an empty glass with only sugar on the rim and I’m going to ask for my $7.00 back. Shouldn’t I expect to get what I paid for? I’m jipped if I don’t get both parts of that drink. Put them together and I have a mouthwatering masterpiece!

I am no longer able to justify the surface level, syrupy sweet version of myself without including my tart traits as well. If you’re looking for all fluff and no stuff, then I’m not your gal.  Don’t pat me on the back to show me your approval of my compliant behavior. Don’t misunderstand my softness for weakness, either. I have a way of letting that acidic side of me out at the most unexpected moments. Not because you are wrong to acknowledge my sugary demeanor. Not because I need to prove myself to someone who probably made an innocent assumption in my direction.

Because I want to be REALLY seen….for all the parts of me. That’s the only way to be.

So if you’re wanting a spoonful of sugar type of relationship with me, don’t count on it. Unless I can chase it down with a harder, more potent shot of liquidy goodness. And for the record, I’m a salt on the rim kind of girl.


Harmony V.

Go Ahead and Give Yourself Some Grace

life is not an emergency

It’s Monday. Give yourself some extra grace today, friends. 
Sip your coffee just a little bit longer. Linger in the shower for an additional minute or two. Drive the long way to work so you can hear that song on the radio all the way ’til the end. 
Don’t rush. Don’t break out in a sweat over a few extra moments of self care. These things are necessary in the long run.
Life is not an emergency. It’s meant to be savored and enjoyed. Every second counts. 
So be good to yourself. Others will take notice of your appreciation of the good things in life. 
And, maybe, they will go a little bit easier on themselves too. Grace is contagious that way, after all.