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My perogative

January 9, 2012

My current Facebook profile photo makes me laugh.  Not because it’s all that hilarious, but because it illustrates a basic freedom that I have come to enjoy and employ in my life:  the freedom to change my mind.

Here is my profile picture:

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, that photo has been run through the Picture Show app on my iPhone.  It bleached out the light parts to make them even lighter.  It intensified the colored parts to make them even brighter.  But that said, it’s not really that far off, especially if I’m standing in the sun.

If the me I was ten years ago met the me I am now, I would have thought that purple hair is weird, that’s too much makeup, tattoos are tacky, nail polish is rather frivolous, and those clothes are a bit…well, too much.  If the me I am now met the me I was ten years ago, I would think that this may be the most boring person I’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of enduring.

Everything about me was conservative, which is code for boring and frumpy.  I lived in terror of bad haircuts and wouldn’t dream of getting a trendy one, and I can remember being nervous to get a few highlights just a few shades lighter than my natural color (which isn’t purple, in case you were wondering).  I wore very light amounts of makeup, and never bright or dark colors.  Nail polish, on the very rare occasions it might be applied, only came in clear and soft pinks. And I was a balanced, conservative peace-maker.  Which means I was just as good at making and preserving false peace as I was real peace.

You see, I had lived as in invisible person most of my life.  I didn’t look the way I did in an effort to be invisible, I looked like that because I believed I was invisible, and I was just dressing the part.  Somewhere along the line I came to believe that I should not stand out in any way, and that I would look ridiculous if I did.  And for some reason, I cared.

But then I began to think that perhaps I didn’t want to agree with being invisible anymore.  Perhaps I wanted to live at a decibel level that felt natural and unpressured.  Perhaps God made me for something a bit more full-spectrum than this.  Perhaps…perhaps I wanted to stop caring so much about what people thought about how I looked or what I said or who I am.

And so I stopped caring.  I changed my mind.

There was plenty of fallout.  I found out that I had people in my life who liked me better as an invisible person.  That was sad, but you know, it’s hard to miss folks who only like you if you’re not really being you.  Who needs that?

I don’t dress the way I do or have purple hair or anything else in order to attract attention.  I do those things because it feels like an appropriate expression of the person I really am.  I think in color and texture.  I love light and details and uniqueness.  I think all nail polish should sparkle or glitter or shimmer or be pearlized or metallic because the light looks so awesome on those colors and finishes.  I am more at home in my own skin when I give myself the freedom to explore the world in these ways.  And I can’t begin to tell you how many women have looked at me and my purple hair and said “I wish I had the courage to do something like that.”  I’m always sorry that they don’t, because I can hear the yearning for freedom in their voices.  I can hear the longing to make the person they are inside match up with the person they are on the outside.

Life can begin to change the moment you begin to change your mind.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2012 12:25 am

    Love it, Queen Tut! You are one of the most genuine people I have ever been blessed to meet.

  2. bethkvogt permalink
    January 9, 2012 7:34 am

    “Which means I was just as good at making and preserving false peace as I was real peace.”


    Of course, there’s a lot of truth in this post … I love it from beginning to end. And I wish you lived across the street from me. I’m not going out and dyeing any of my hair purple … but I’m cheering you on for doing so.

    “Life can begin to change the moment you begin to change your mind.”

    Yeah, there’s another bit of profound-ness.


    • January 9, 2012 10:17 am

      It’s funny, Beth…I’m a messy person and have come to the conclusion that it’s just a part of being me, but back in the time we were in the same place at the same time, I was just a mess! Not quite the same as being messy. ;) And you know, it’s odd that a messy person could look back at the mess of a person and see that she looked a lot more “normal”, but was actually far from it.

      I would like to live across the street from you, too. We could have some very interesting morning coffee dates!

  3. Joann permalink
    January 9, 2012 7:44 am

    I was figuring out with a mutual friend exactly how long I had been gone from FL. It’s been roughly 6 years. The reason I tell you this is because 6 years ago I saw you as you are. Full of life! I coveted your ability to get on stage and set a picture to a song with movement, to get in front of a congregation and put feeling and meaning into a piece of scripture. You were never invisible in my eyes. I saw a brilliant, vibrant, rainbow of color that emanated from your being. It didn’t surprise me much when we reconnected that your hair was purpled or that you had a tattoo. Your true self shown brightly enough, you just had to lose the fear of being yourself and let it all be uncovered. I’m so glad you did!!

  4. January 9, 2012 8:39 am

    Preach it, Sis! I love the you that you are!

  5. January 13, 2012 2:41 pm

    Bravo Lisa, life is too short to always being wondering what other people may think of us! It only matters wharf God thinks and He is crazy about us :) When I get my hair back I sure don’t want to go natutal(all white) something to ponder on over the next few months!

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