15 June 2012

the glow

j.crew ikat sanur dress
this is the story of a cute dress reality check.

well you won't be surprised about the following post if you know me. (or maybe you will?) 2012 has been a doozy, and i can't say that in the midst of that stress i'm managing very well. anyhow, onto my story.

today at work someone stopped me and said, 'you've really got the glow these days. i've been trying to figure it out, it's just...something."

curious (and, of course, it's Friday and I'm proud of my cute outfit--see above), i raised my poorly groomed eyebrows and said, "what ever could you mean?"

You see, I remember her commenting something sweet a few weeks ago when I was wearing an equally swanky outfit: white trouser jeans (thank you, CTR), a printed top with a funky necklace and heels. She liked that look,too. She knows me and loves me, truth be told. And of course, I am on earth to be adored, right?

(Disclaimer: This individual has seen many more days than i have. She's a gem. She meant no harm.)

She continued, "Well, all I'll say is, I'd be proud to say I'm the first to know," she said with a crooked smile as she looked at me over her spectacles.

You know, office gossip style "first to know" status. Ladies live for that stuff.

"OH."So it's not my blond highlights or flowy ikat skirt? "Oh no, no, that'd be a medical miracle," I say. "But I don't know what it is!"

In a slight state of recovery mode, she softly talked her way around the suggestion, which truly was 100% heartfelt. And here is the curious part, in the moment, I didn't think anything of it. (Recall: blonde highlights)

Then I went to the bathroom: Insert full length mirror. And it occurred to me. My sister, she's um, 6+ months pregnant, and I think she's the bee's knees (because... ahem, she is). And I love her style, and last weekend I caught myself admiring every outfit she put on (side note: we were in the mountains of WVa). She's so chic and comfortable in her skin, has such grace & style despite the growing baby she carries everyday. And here's the catcher: I was reminded of that saying "you've got the glow" because, as I adored her last weekend, I thought that about HER. And she's, like, hello: SIX+ MONTHS PREGNANT.

DAMN gina! 
big le sigh:  Insert moment of self-realization. Instant replay of grabbing for every elastic waistband and 'flawy' summer top in my closest these days. Yikes. It's as though I could hear my self-esteem crumble.

but I decided (FYI: this is the lesson of the story), that in that moment I wasn't going to be conquered by my shame or disappointment. I was going to face the well-meaning compliment as it was intended, 'I've got the glow.' And that it was (and is) ok that i'm channeling my inner Italian cherub lately. As I tackle some of life's curviest roads (hello working full time & grad school), I am aiming for a balanced and bountiful life. Maybe I have lost my well balance a bit, but I'm confident my body knows it's (newish) set point.

I am blessed with a wide smile, a head of curls that could win any Texas perm competition, and a heart of gold. Curvy legs and all.

And before you rebuttal me, consider this: maybe being thin isn't what it's really about? maybe loving ourselves, and (even more difficult) letting ourselves be loved, through the seasons of life is the fountain that we seek to drink from? that's the stuff that we should cellar and save for special occasions? maybe that's how we get our glow?

maybe that's how stella got her groove back, too? maybe.

but most of all, maybe this is more than a story about a cute dress reality check. maybe this is a story about loving ourselves, our friends, our colleagues through life's meandering path. maybe so.

i'd love to hear your thoughts.

p.s. i'd be OK if this post went viral. feel free to share with your sisters, mothers, aunts and friends. you can say you knew me during my italian cherub days.

guess who?


Jan Autin said...

Steph, Kelsey and I just read this together...and I totally missed what you were saying...until Kelsey clued me in. I've always known that you have the glow - and that has nothing to do with your body and whether or not you are in your Italian cherub days... so I just figured that your coworker was just now noticing your glow. Who could possibly miss it???

Love you! Jan

Elizabeth said...

Love this! First, you should be proud of yourself for exuding such happiness with yourself and your body WITHOUT being in that "state". Your glow has more to do with your spirit than anyone I know. Second, I started reading this with a REALLY big grin on my face:) Love you! Stewy
p.s awesome pic of the sista!

erin said...

First of all, haven't people learned from countless embarrassing movie/tv scenes that you should never broach that subject with someone until they bring it up? What was she thinking?

Secondly, gonna agree w/ my mom (love that she commented on this) and say you've always got a glow. I feel like you're always wearing cool outfits, but if you have certain ones that make you feel the glow, even better.

That B needs to step off! (haha jk, I'm sure she is a lovely lady)

Hannah Alexander said...

SUCH great words! You do have a glow that even comes through your writing and I think it is because, similar to pregnancy, you have something INSIDE of you that radiates... Inner beauty . Love!

NC heaven said...

Stephanie, because I have no curves to speak of, no one's ever misinterpreted my glow. Which, if you can believe it, may be close to the same feeling you had but with (likely) completely different physiques in play. "Of course your glow is not because of THAT!" is my corollary. (Aside from the fact that THAT would never happen now for me, in any case.) I have never met you in person but I already have seen your glow. It's persistent. It's without a physical container. No use in nailing it to a wardrobe. It's beyond that. You're already viral.