embraceable YOU

i’ve been reading a lot about going grey lately.
and thanks to barbara hannah grufferman it’s getting a huge amount of press.

last week a friend asked me, “how do you like being grey?”
i didn’t know what she was talking about.
“you know, your hair, how do you like the salt and pepper?”

ah. that.
i love it.
i love it so much i don’t even notice.

i love it just as much as i love my laugh lines.

but it took me a very long time to get here. and getting here is very much about liking myself, feeling comfortable in my skin, enjoying the journey. accepting all of me. good, bad, overweight, overwrought… the whole “she-bang.”

i grew up, like many women, with a mom who placed much more emphasis and importance on how i looked rather than how i felt. “don’t wear that, wear this; make-up….wear make-up, good god you look so plain, lipstick, wear lipstick; i don’t like your hair, i hate those shoes. and what’s with the schmata, you look amish.”

i grew up wearing tons of make-up, and blowing my curly hair straight, and wearing clothes that looked good but didn’t always feel good. and heels. high heels. for a girl who is afraid of heights…

it took me so long to embrace my own life. to stand tall without heels, to sparkle without glitter, to shine without lipgloss.

and while i’m not an advocate of plastic surgery or botox for myself, what i truly deeply believe and support is feeling good about life, the journey, the experiences, who you HAVE BECOME in the world and how you see yourself through your very own eyes. with or without mascara.

i wrote a blog the other day about abortion rights, and of course i’m pro-abortion, and i got a lot of e-mails – both pro and con. and i remembered, as i was reading, a few weeks ago (while i was on the subway), sitting across from a woman who had very obviously had a face-lift. i’m guessing she was around 75 years old. her face was tight and her lips were pumped, and her hair was brown. a silky brown. and while i was staring at her, at the work done on her face (and yes, i know… i know… staring is NOT GOOD. i keep telling ken that, “don’t stare, honey, don’t stare…”) the thing that struck me the most – truly, deeply struck me – she wasn’t happy. not at all happy. she looked younger, tighter, and yes, hipper … but not at all happy. not at ease. a sadness. and maybe she had a bad day, or a bad week… or a bad year. maybe she lost a loved one. that’s not unlikely. but as i sat there, what occurred to me – and what hollye dexter and i talk about all the time – is that happy & unhappy comes from deep within. inside. it’s palpable. it’s not something you can cut away, or pump up, or lift.

you can’t wear happy because it’s really truly deeply in your eyes.

and it’s just like being in love.

when we’re in love – with another person, with life, with our pets, with our self, with our work, with our faith, with our friends, family, with our country – there are no wrinkles, or grey hairs or schmata’s that become the focal point. you can’t fake it. orgasms you can fake, love you can not.

the one thing i believe we all should be firming up is knowing in our souls how extraordinary we each are. how unique and gorgeous and vibrant we each are. how powerful and miraculous we are. oh my god, we have so much to contribute to this world. so much. so much to do.

i don’t wanna be younger.
i want to be wanted. i want to be needed. i want to be useful.
and i’m pretty sure i can’t get that in a bottle.

not even one that says bubbly.

Category: Uncategorized 7 comments »

7 Responses to “embraceable YOU”

  1. Hollye Dexter

    Oh my god i love this!

    “it took me so long to embrace my own life. to stand tall without heels, to sparkle without glitter, to shine without lipgloss.”

    So beautiful!!!
    I know that I look younger when I’m smiling. There is no substitute for happiness. All the botox in Beverly Hills can’t give you that kind of beauty.
    Great piece Amy!

  2. Madgew

    I am happy I know you Amy and Hollye. Great blog today. I could also be happy with a little work on my body too. Also, it is grey or gray?

  3. Michael Ann

    “You can’t wear happy..” Beautiful. Forwarding to all my friends. Just wonderful.

  4. Carol

    I love this so much and you!!! This is right where I am, especially the end part!! My fav part! I just moved in full time with Michael and the kids 3 weeks now. I have never felt this loved and needed!! Really, I have never felt this in my whole life, everyone says my eyes are lit up and I’m bubbling with joy!!! Thank you so Amy for the affirmation or is it confirmation of what is truly important! We all have a friend (or more) who has had something “done” and during that time they really felt happy, or thought or tried to feel happy. The pain is truly in the details!!! In 24 days I will be married and you and ALL of you amazing women will be right there with me, in my eyes, in my true happiness… XOX (still dying my hair blondish though!!!! For Now!)

  5. Debra

    OMG, I LOVE this! Love this part in particular: it took me so long to embrace my own life. to stand tall without heels, to sparkle without glitter, to shine without lipgloss.

    It takes a long time to grow comfortable in your own skin. I go back and forth on the gray. I have a lot of it. The mistake is to put permanent color on your hair in your 30s. Growing it out in a spreading strip is the difficult part.

    I’ve let lots of gray show (covering with non-permanent color) and I think I’ll like it… but I look in the mirror and I’m incongruent. I don’t feel as old as I look. And so… I take the hair color out again.

    But aside from that…. yes, growing into yourself is so much better than fighting it to a ridiculous, uncomfortable point, like the woman on the bus.

    And by the way, Amy… you DO sparkle, all on your own… you emanate light and joy and smiles! I love you just the way you are! 🙂

  6. Kristine

    I just love you and how your mind works….

  7. Lori Landau

    it also took me SO LONG to learn to “stand tall without heels.” and accept my curly curly hair. I could tell you stories about how I used to bring a curling iron to school and straighten my hair in the girl’s room under the hot air hand dryer for extra heat. rainy days were killer. so were beach days. between being petite and having curly hair (back then) I practically forgot about all my other features. Like you, I’ve learned to look inside and cultivate inner beauty–and to focus on DOING good, rather than looking good. I love your incredible voice, Amy–you’re a role model for honest living…….

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