A new, cozy outfit on a warm afternoon. I’m feeling good. I walk into our local coffee house and am all smiles as I order my hot chai tea latte, while making small talk with the sweet, organically clothed barista. I snuggle into the worn, lime-green couch with a brand new book. I take in the scene; nothing unusual about it except for the turned up mustache of the dread locked hippie, scrolling Facebook across the coffee table.
This scene continues on for awhile, the sounds of mindless chatter all around me, until I overhear one hippie (and I use that term for lack of a better) say to the other: “Ya, there haven’t been any hot girls in here at all. Except for two earlier and they left.”
Hm. Okay. I can hear you right now. Oh well. Moving on.
After trying not to listen to any more of their important conversation, I get up to throw away my things and leave.
Hippie 1: “Do you think she’s hot?” (referring to me)
Hippie 2: “No.”
Let me go ahead and pause this narrative for a second.
The moment I heard this, my immediate thought was “Seriously?? Ouch! That hurts”. I struggled not to say something and definitely chose to ponder on it for more seconds than it was worth. Was it my outfit? Was I sitting in bad lighting? Was I just unattractive? And so on, beating myself up for someone else’s perspective (and rudely loud conversation).
Higher Self Shayla knows to send these negative thoughts out the ear from whence they came, but I have to admit, I began to drown a bit…treading water, if you will.
Okay. Back to the narrative. Cut to THIRTY SECONDS LATER.
I’m backing out of the parking lot, still reeling over Hippie 2’s comment. In that exact moment, Other Guy From Coffee House, we’ll call him, runs up to my window, waving his arms for me to stop my car and hold on.
“Excuse me,” Other Guy From Coffee House stammers, “I would just hate myself if I let you leave this place without introducing myself. I don’t know what your situation is and I don’t know how to do this, but I’d love to ask you out to do something sometime.”
(Omg. Never has the Universe delivered a lesson so quickly.)
I proceed to thank him so much for the offer and explain that I’m very happily in a relationship, but I tell him about the conversation I just overheard in the coffee shop and how nice it is to hear a counter argument so quickly.
Other Guy From Coffee House blushes and says, “Well, take it as a compliment. You’re very attractive.”
Okay, folks. That was a lot for my ego in 30 seconds. Being who-I-am, however, I wasn’t going to NOT analyze it, amIright?
The thing is- I can’t put weight into EITHER of these opinions- whether seemingly positive or negative. Too often, we’re searching for the world’s approval about our jobs, our looks, our bodies, our houses, our Facebook photos and on and on and on. The day at the coffee house showed me how vastly different two perspectives can be and how NONE of them have any real affect on who I am! We are beautiful because WE THINK WE ARE. We are strong and successful because WE THINK WE ARE? Get it?!
It has nothing and, I mean nothing, to do with what other people think. Growing up in the theater community, I never fully understood why some people don’t read even the really great reviews that get written about their performances. I totally get it now. If we put value in people’s opinions about us, even the really great ones, then we are quite literally training our minds to put equal weight on their negative views. The two cannot be separated.
Today, I choose to be grateful to be called “not-hot”. I’m stripping that statement of its power by saying: HECK YES I AM! Because, I think so.