Just Be Enough: CUTE

 Just.Be.Enough.

It sounds so easy doesn’t it?

 In theory, it’s what everyone knows and works so hard to accept.

You’re tired, you’re overworked, overweight. You’re spending too much time with your kids or not enough, you’re a fantastic friend and volunteer, but a lousy wife. You work  from home, you raise your kids or you get dressed and dropped them off at daycare on the way to your job. You climb the corporate ladder or you help your child climb the slide at the municipal park. You stay married, you get divorced, you speak up or  you compromise.

JUST BE ENOUGH.

Through all of it, we stand beside you. We applaud and we support, we tell you that as long as you know and have the desire to be better…tomorrow, next week, next year, it’s enough for now.

We are all just doing our best and we mean it. I mean it. We are all just doing our best in a world that seems to want everyone from us.

The notions, the labels, the principals and the ideology we’ve grown up with, it follows us around and makes us who we are.

This week at JUST.BE.ENOUGH we are ripping off the labels. Our transformations are inspired by the beautiful Ashley Judd who has asked the world, as a community, to change the conversation. To stop judging one another and come together.

Again, it sounds so easy doesn’t it? To just live with other people in mind? To think before we speak or write or gossip?

So how often do you do it? As often as I do, or do you fail as much as I do too?

I come to this place today knowing that I am not perfect, that my family is not perfect..my road to here, Kirsten at 42, was rough and twisty, it was full of very very good days and ones that brought nightmares for a long time.

I am then, now and forevermore a work in progress.

A woman who still acts like a girl, a girl with a big heart and a big smile, a tight hug and an urge to please and help everyone she knows. A girl who doesn’t always act in HER best interest but rather in the interest of everyone else. A girl who is still called CUTE by so many people that it’s become the one label I can’t shake even in 3 inch heels

I’ve been cute for as long as I can remember.

Cute goes beyond the physical in my case. Cute is warm and fuzzy. Cute is accomodating . Cute surrenders and dare I say it can manipulate because of itself. Cute appears harmless and pliable. It cuddles, it coddles, it compromises because it’s young, innocent and because I know I am…naive.

Cute is also pratronized quite a bit. Cute is patted on the head and not taken seriously sometimes. Cute is regarded as NOT a threat, but I assure you sometimes Cute can be more than it seems.

I am CUTE. Chances are I always will be.

But there is Strength behind it, there is wisdom and wit and there is self knowing in that word for me. Labels only hurt you if you sit inside them and let them define , they hurt when they tell that world something that isn’t true .

In my case, I accept the label.

I know there are others that I am working on quieting in my own head:

Like “the woman whose children are in daycare”, “the woman who needed fertility treatments to have her babies” “the woman who dresses her family in the same color scheme every day” “the woman who grew up in a violent household” “the woman who slept around and around and around most of her adult life”.

Because of this amazing experiment I asked people what they thought of me. I even took it to Facebook and invited people to give me a word that made them think of me, this is what I was given back:

I’ll be honest, it’s VERY hard to see myself in these words.

Some I know I wear.

Emotional? YOU betcha!

Thoughtful? I do try to be, although I think I fail more than I succeed at it.

Happy/Positive? Most days. I would rather laugh than cry, or maybe it’s denial ..I hide from sad things. A label I don’t know if I deserve.

Authentic? Genuine? Sincere? Do you know I felt an ache in my stomach reading those words about myself? I went back to my husband, my sister , my mom. “Am I Authentic?” I asked. “Am I a what you see is what you get kinda gal?” All three said yes and yet, I still don’t know. I believe these words are a case of truly wanting to see myself the way the others do.

The thing about labels is that even the really GOOD ones, the ones that you hope people say when they are asked, are still a promise of the kind of person you are and a motivation for you to continue being that way.

If someone calls you Caring, you will work hard to earn and deserve  that compliment, if you are viewed as “UNSTOPPABLE” what happens when you all you want to do is STOP? What happens on lazy days? How do you reconcile your need to just slow down or turn your phone off or simply not answer the texts, the emails, the 575th question your children ask?

Just Be Enough? Well, YES! Exactly!

You see there are words on this picture that I will always gladly accept: KIND: May I always be aware of someone else’s journey. SWEET: May people know that I have a smile tucked away for them. LOVING: this is the word I want people to remember, this is the word that I value more than talented or fabulous, more than radiant or classy, I want people to know that I love them, in every moment. That in my own world I do believe (and seen it work) that LOVE is the answer.

Sure it sounds CUTE and Innocent and Naive. But I told you already, those labels I’m just fine with.

and the ones I’m working on….the ones I need to shed because there don’t feel right wrapped around me? Well they are my work in progress and I hope you are working on yours too.

We all need to find that space and time every day, to JUST. BE. ENOUGH.

I’m quite sure, this Kirsten, would be happy to know she’s still CUTE and LOVING to the people who matter most.

 

 

 SO will you join us this week? Will you share your journey and your story and CHANGE THE CONVERSATION with us?
Together, we all stronger than we can imagine.

It is time to look past the obvious for ourselves and our families.  

We’re inviting posts from voices everywhere to share your labels and who you are beyond that. The focus is whatever you need it to be– from our lives as moms, dads, parents, spouses, professionals, survivors, athletes and more. We invite you to join us, to celebrate our strengths, to celebrate our diversity, to celebrate our voices and change the conversation.

Come back next Monday for the very special link-up. We cannot wait to take the conversation by storm with our voices.

 

 

 thank you for stopping by from YEAH WRITE!


   

If you are a member of BlogHer 

Please don’t forget to VOTE for my nominated piece for BlogHer’s VOICE OF THE YEAR about my struggle with infertility,

you can click right here to vote for BEING CARRIED. Thank you! xo

 

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32 Responses to Just Be Enough: CUTE
  1. Leighann
    April 22, 2012 | 7:52 pm

    You are spectacular.
    Where would I be without your support and encouragement? You are always there cheering your friends and family on. And you can be counted on.
    I’m so grateful for you.

  2. angela
    April 22, 2012 | 9:32 pm

    How did I not see this on Facebook? Sometimes Facebook annoys me…

    Anyway, you my friend? I love that you’ve accepted the good labels and want to live up to them. There is such light in you, and that’s something that always stands out about you. So much love to you, dear!

  3. Kimberly
    April 22, 2012 | 11:21 pm

    You are all of those things and I’m glad that you can see that. Your thoughtfulness and kindness help so many of us get through the days. Sending you love, xo

  4. Just Jennifer
    April 23, 2012 | 12:08 am

    Bravo, Kir! That’s really all I can think to say. I think it’s all that needs to be said. :-)

  5. Alison@Mama Wants This
    April 23, 2012 | 3:57 am

    You are true. True to yourself, true to your family, true to your friends, true to your words.

    And why yes, that IS enough. xo

  6. Greta
    April 23, 2012 | 9:57 am

    I’ve always been “cute” too. Eh, there are worse things, right?

  7. Frelle
    April 23, 2012 | 10:27 am

    I knew I needed to come here and read your words before I wrote my own entry, and I was right.

    You inspire me every time you write. Often, I come here, and things you write inspire me to ask myself the same questions you have.

    You are a magnificent woman. Someone whose friendship I hold dear, and respect very much.

    xoxo

  8. Tania Elfersy (@PurpleLeavesRed)
    April 23, 2012 | 11:12 am

    Can you print out the “labels” picture and place it near where you write?
    From your writing I would say that you are ALL of these words and I know I read your voice in your posts.
    You own them all!

  9. Shell
    April 23, 2012 | 12:11 pm

    I love this idea. You are so much more than cute- all those labels you put on yourself in your photo- believe in those!

  10. Katie
    April 23, 2012 | 12:53 pm

    I have NEVER been called “cute”…except one time at prom when I had to wear my hair in all curls and I hated it.

    “cute” is for puppies and babies.

    you are neither.

    You are one hot momma, that’s what you are! :)

  11. Natalie @MamaTrack
    April 23, 2012 | 2:52 pm

    I hear you. Cute is wonderful. But you are so much more.

  12. idiosyncratic eye
    April 23, 2012 | 3:44 pm

    I wish I was brave enough to poll people! You have good friends. ;)

  13. Jackie
    April 23, 2012 | 3:53 pm

    Honestly… I think you’re everything that you listed from your poll response and more! But they’re not labels… they’re who you are.

  14. Abby
    April 23, 2012 | 7:02 pm

    LOVE the photo at the end. Also love that you asked your friends for words to describe you. I wish I’d thought of that. Here’s another word to add: clever. Thanks for the insightful post!

  15. Robin | Farewell, Stranger
    April 24, 2012 | 12:12 am

    I chose “lovely” and I stand by it. You so are. But you’re also cute :) and that’s all a good thing.

  16. Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness
    April 24, 2012 | 7:37 am

    Love your positive spin on labels! I hadn’t even considered that notion! And…you’re so right. Sometimes when someone uses a positive label to describe someone else, the “labeled” person often rises to the occasion.

    I will never forget the day a friend of mine called me “courageous” — really, I see myself as such a chicken shit. But in emotional things, I’ve drawn on that ONE conversation to give me strength because if someone else said it, then it must be true, right?

    Unless that person was the one to call me a slut when I was 16…then I need to rip that label off like an unnecessary bandaid.

  17. Lolo @The Lyons Din
    April 24, 2012 | 1:49 pm

    Your post has me wanting to make a picket sign and march on a street corner somewhere! I’m all riled up. I would be terrified to ask people, even friends, to assign me labels. And yet, we spend so much time worrying about what other people thing about us, say about us. Call us. This post has me thinking. Hard.

  18. Jackie
    April 24, 2012 | 3:50 pm

    What a piece Kir! Sometimes it’s our own labels that box us in, right? I do believe hearing all those things from the people in your life cannot but make you feel empowered! You go girl!

  19. Laurel
    April 24, 2012 | 5:42 pm

    I love this and loved the Ashley Judd piece. Great insights! Own your label!

  20. Ado
    April 24, 2012 | 6:10 pm

    Oh how I loved this one!
    Especially you going to FB and letting yourself accept the positives. And that adorable photo of you as a child. (-:

  21. heidi
    April 24, 2012 | 7:56 pm

    This is lovely and empowering and awesome. This is one of those posts that you’ll return to again and again, especially when you’re having a bad day. I would, anyway.
    Love this.

  22. Mayor Gia
    April 24, 2012 | 9:46 pm

    Aw! A very good message!

  23. jamieywrites
    April 25, 2012 | 1:12 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful and uplifting post!

  24. Adrienne
    April 25, 2012 | 12:21 pm

    I love every.single.part of this post. I can relate to the feeling of being “cute”, when it makes me feel like I’m not taken seriously. It definitley has a demeaning factor to it. I love what you did with all those words!

  25. SIsterhood of the Sensible Moms
    April 25, 2012 | 3:28 pm

    I applaud you for putting yourself out there and accepting the positive things that people had to say about you on Facebook. But you touched on the fact that all labels good and bad are tricky business.
    My favorite label I’m going to embrace? Just.Be.Enough. :) Ellen

  26. Delilah
    April 25, 2012 | 7:15 pm

    I love this. You are an inspiration, that’s what you are to me.

  27. Ladygoogoogaga
    April 25, 2012 | 8:35 pm

    Well all I can say is if it’s true that you really dress you’re family in the same color scheme everyday, then you are beyond amazing…..

    • kir
      May 1, 2012 | 12:18 pm

      well….yes, I do. I try very hard to get us into the same color family every single day. I think I’m just bananas. ;)

  28. Your Doctor's Wife
    April 26, 2012 | 12:57 am

    I think that’s the wonderful thing about being over 40. Labels are a thing of the past. You really just can’t be bothered to care about them anymore! :)

    • kir
      May 1, 2012 | 12:17 pm

      Yes, I find that more every day, “CALL ME WHAT YOU WANT..but I define who and what I am” thank you for coming over to read. :)

  29. TriGirl
    April 26, 2012 | 1:49 am

    Ahh, cute. Yup. I’ve always been cute. I think when I’m a little old lady with hair growing out of my ears that will still be the word I hear the most. I think that’s how I can shock people though, because I’m so very much more than just cute. Trick is, they have to get to know me :)

  30. Kristin
    April 26, 2012 | 9:51 am

    Great initiative! We all need this kind of encourage to just be – and I feel like so many yeah write posts are speaking directly to me this week. Thank you!

    I think adorable is more smushy than cute. Cute has that hard C and T in there. The sharper cousin of adorable.

    How’s that for a breakdown? :)

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