Clearly, I’m that girl and was on a romantic date with Match.com man. He was awesome and tended to my bleeding face and didn’t laugh once when I thought I was going to pass out and had to lie down in the grass!
The next day, I had to meet Match.com man’s family during their family Easter dinner looking, as my daughter said, like a Mrs. Hitler. I had a huge deep scab right above my mouth and a huge scrape on my chin, lots of bruising on my chest and I was so sore I could barely move. I was a hot mess and tried to get out of meeting the family, but Match.com man said “Own it – it’s who you are”.
Those are magic words giving a person power. I did feel a little better about meeting everyone after practicing the words like a mantra “Own it – it’s who you are”.
To me, there were a lot of people at the family gathering and not one of those incredibly kind people mentioned the scab or the scrape. Finally, in a quiet moment, I said loudly to the family in a teasing voice “I don’t always look like this! Your son, (brother, uncle, father, nephew) pushed me into the picnic table and this is the result.” The quiet moment continued until one of the aunts patted my hand and said, why dear, we didn’t even notice.
I was gently put in my place by a considerate person. She was reminding me to own who I was and stop apologizing for myself. After that, I relaxed and ate some fabulous food and got to know his family. Match.com man sat with me the whole time just shaking his head. I wasn’t sure if it meant I had failed the “meet the family test”.
My chest was hurting horribly at work on Monday. My boss, a very observant and caring woman, said to me, girl, go get an x-ray because you’re not moving right. So I went, got a chest x-ray and found I broke an upper rib in my sternum during the picnic table fiasco. No wonder my chest hurt!
After a few days of rest, I started to cough and feel yucky, so back to the doctor I went. They verified I didn’t have pneumonia, but had bronchitis. They sent me on my hot mess way with antibiotics and told me to be careful.
On the way home, I was thinking about which exit I would use, how long filling the prescription would take, trying to put on my sunglasses and all of a sudden I looked up to see a stop light was RED, not green as I had first thought. I cursed as I hit another car turning left in the intersection and the sound of the cars crashing was horrifying. My air bag deployed and just like on the TV commercials, On-Star called to see if I was alright.
I was sobbing out of pure terror thinking I had hurt someone and yelling from the pain of the air bag deploying on my broken rib. I was an incoherent mess. It happened all in a split second and I’ll never forget it as long as I live. If you think you’ll react to an emergency with strength and dignity – you’re wrong. I was an embarrassed, terrified, hurting, hot mess. Thankfully, no one was hurt, even though my car was totaled. God was good in his universe.
I made a phone call to my sister, my daughter and Match.com man (who evidently still liked me, even after the family dinner test) and finally I took an ambulance ride to the hospital to make sure I hadn’t done more bodily damage.
My loving older sister, my daughter, and my daughter’s friend who is like a second daughter to me came to keep me company in the hospital. Match.com man kept in contact with my sister and then finally he left work early to make sure I was surviving all my bumps and bruises.
I was a hot, hot mess!
So, what’s the point in all this chaos? What did I learn from a week of challenges to my vanity, pride, body, self-esteem and driving confidence?
I learned in the hardest way possible to own who you are, even when your pride is bruised, even when you make a blunder so dreadful it impacts others around you, even when you have to own up to a split second mistake that but for the grace of God could have seriously injured someone.
Sometimes, we are not the people we want to be - we look ugly, we act ugly, we make horrible mistakes that can’t be talked or apologized away. We just have to own who we are. Accept ourselves in all our full beauty and full ugliness. It’s what makes us strong on the inside.
My hot mess wishes for you:
You accept, own and love who you are - with all your faults, grace (or no grace in my case), beauty, vanity, and imperfections. Own if you're overweight or if you're skinny, own it if you missed a workout or if you did extra miles. Own taking your time and being present when you’re traveling – you’ll get to your destination when you’re supposed to. You thank the universe for every challenge and gift which comes your way – the challenges and the gifts are in your life for a reason. You own who you are even when you’re a hot, hot mess.
With infinite love and gratitude,