Identity Crisis Part II: Appearances

I let my hair hang down on Saturday.  This may sound like a non-event.  (And it is).  But in my life, it meant something.  

I've been a bun-head since the day I bought the building in my hometown.  Between being a construction worker and being a chef, my hair needed to be kept out of my face.  Pulling my hair back every morning has been part of my daily routine for so long, I almost forgot what I looked like with it down. My first impression?


When I walked into work, my staff told me they didn't even recognize me.  They told me I looked beautiful.  They told me I looked glamorous.  Which made me feel instantly terrible.  So I put up my hair in a bun and tied on an apron so they'd see me as a hard worker again.


For four years, my self-worth has revolved around physical labor.  As a general contractor, I was proud of the sweat on my brow and the dust on my cheeks and the sawdust in my unmentionables. As a chef, I felt legitimized by the flour on my pants and the burns on my forearms and the callouses on my hands from chopping.  Now that I've hired a new executive chef and I'm no longer in construction-mode, I don't look like a hard worker anymore, and I feel like everyone--including myself--will think I'm lazy.

Which begs the question: what kind of masochist must I be, that I want to look like I've been through hell everyday to prove to everyone that I work hard?

Answer: the very saddest kind.

Reader, to add on to last week's identity revelation: we are not what we look like.  We are not our clothes.  We are not our scars and bruises. We are not what we see in the mirror, and we are not what others see.  There is no real way to show on the outside who we are on the inside.

If you're critical like me, be gracious towards yourself this week. Be glamourous.  Be sloppy.  Be comfortable or constrained.  Shake up how you look, or don't. Just shine shine shine and be confident in who you are on the inside, outside world be damned.  We have nothing to prove with our appearance.

This long-haired lady is off to write a little music.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Monday. -Em


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