Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Favorite Dress

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“Homer, I was born for this."

In the movie October Sky when Homer expresses a desire to do something else, his Dad discourages him.

He then says, “It shouldn’t surprise you that you were born for it too.”

As the scene unfolded, Homer returned to his job at the coal mine. With his face covered in black soot, the son joined the other lifers in the elevator as they headed to work.

As I continued watching a replaying of October Sky, the story made me think about my own life.

No, I never ended up shoveling coal, but I listened to all the opinions of others about my life and how I should live it. So caught up in what others believed, I ignored my own desires and intuition—my own guidance system…my own feelings. I grew into an unsure adolescent taking my clues about how I should behave from others. Without a clear direction of my own, I lost myself.

In October Sky, Homer lost his way too. The analytical, scientific-minded son was different from his family. Homer didn’t quite fit.

Turns out, I didn’t fit either. I changed myself to fit the pre-cut pattern—the one purchased for me at the fabric store before I was born.

The pattern was perfect. The pieces were carefully sewn.

And then I was asked to wear it—a pastel dress with pink flowers and lace collar.

But, I yearned for a different dress, one made out of velvet and covered in dark, vibrant purples, gold and black hues.

Turns out, I ended up wearing the pastel dress for most of my life. By the time I gave myself permission to wear the dress I desired, it no longer fit.

My five-year-old self recognized a problem. At least my subconscious mind did and tried to warn me in my dreams. Nightly, my reoccurring nightmare frightened me. Walking down a narrow shrinking hallway, I found myself trapped. At the end of the hall I discovered a locked door. Banging frantically on the door, I screamed: “Let me out! Please, let me out.”

The dream told the story. With each passing day I would shrink becoming less of the person I was destined to be. Locked out, I would remain small, contained and not myself. With each step, I hid the shadow parts and became someone that I was not.

For survival purposes, those parts had to disappear. It was more important to be a good little girl than to be myself.

And, who I was, by my very nature and the place I found myself, wasn’t quite right. My parents, family and friends were victims too. They all bought into the cultural belief that I had to be trained in order to fit, just as they themselves had been trained.

I remember several years ago watching the latest winner of American Idol sing on the Ellen DeGeneris Show. Fantasia Barrino, a talented performer and singer, shared her self doubts. During her appearance on the show, Fantasia shared, “I’m happy that people like me being me!” And, that’s when I finally got it. The most important thing for us to do is to be ourselves while having the courage to live an authentic life. That’s the key that unravels everything—peace, joy, abundance, health.

With each passing year, I have moved towards myself.

Sappy movies always have a happy ending and the one featuring Homer was no different. The young man held on to his beliefs and took a stand.

Homer eventually said to his Dad, “The coal mine is your life. It’s not mine.”

And so now I, too, know the truth. My favorite dress will be made of velvet--with beautiful hues of purple and gold. I’ve been making it for a long time now. It’s almost ready to be worn.

May you find joy, peace and prosperity in 2010.

Allyn Evans
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

You have such good advice told in such an accessible way--always. I love your blog!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging Writer's Resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website picks,

Pam Dyson, MA, PLPC said...

What great insights you've shared. If we're not true to ourselves we're unable to give our true selves to those most important to us.

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks Carolyn and Pam! :)