Real Women

I discovered something about myself this weekend. I attended a 40th birthday party for one of our aquaintances through soccer, as well as the dad of one of Jari's friends. Erwin plannede to back out, but I felt we should go. He didn't give, so I decided to go it alone. I am glad I did, as I had a really good time. I also discovered a few things about myself which surfaced during this course of events.

The day of the party, I began mentally going through my closet. What would I wear, how should I do my hair, what did other people wear to such a party? About two hours before the party, I started thinking I should get ready. But an hour before I changed my mind and decided not to go...I had a headache. Erwin told me if I wasn't going to go, I should have cancelled. He was right. I decided to go for a couple hours, just to show my presence and support.

I tore through my closet 10 minutes before arrival time. I have never been to an event of this sort in Belgium before and was unsure how it would go. I decided to go for a slightly dressed up version of typical me. All black for the skinny effect of course. I came downstairs looking nice enough but nerves jittering through me. Kissed everyone goodbye and tore off before I changed my mind again.

I arrived on scene. The entire soccer club was there with exception of one couple, so I was immediately grateful I didn't check out. I signed the card, handed over my money, and glanced at all the moms around me. Some were dressed casually, some sexily, some contemporary...and all held umbrellas, except for me with rain sticking in my hair. I felt comfortable and at ease as we all walked in the party quarters together.

I am a chicken shit. That's what I learned. I have difficulty just being myself. I don't like to stand out at all. And so I do what I have to do to just blend in. And usually I do and I am just fine.

However, the people I most like and who I can truly relate to and enjoy being around are those women who just be themselves. They don't care what they are wearing or what they say, but just blurt out whatever comes and dress to their own level of comfort. They drink three times as much wine as the rest and don't mind getting out there on the dance floor and sincerely letting loose. As other women giggle at their actions, roll eyes when they turn their back, these women just choose to be who they are.

I talked with a lot of people that night. There were some serious conversations, lots of jokes, and talk about our kids, soccer, everyday life. But when two of the women I really like chugged down another glass of wine and started hopping to the music out alone on the dance floor, I chose to join them. It was a party, afterall, and I was in a plce I didn't have to drive and with people I didn't have to impress.

I danced and I drank and I let loose, after my initial looking around to see what others would think of me. When I decided I didn't care, I turned into me...someone free to be who she is, proud of what she is and who she has become. I told some jokes, put my arms in the air and let the music and the liquor take me wherever it wanted to lead.

Many people commented on a side of me they have not yet seen. I realized I have been too careful, too cautious, too much of a follower blending in with the crowd. There are times for that woman, times when you should blend in and not cause a scene. Times when you should be proper and a lady. I can be those things, that person. But it isn't the true me. The true me likes to laugh and smile and have fun. I have broken out, for the first time since living in Belgium. And I am free to be me.

I like the women who don't succomb to social norms. I hope they'll appreciate me too. The real me. Not the one they thought they knew. Becuase though she will still make an appearance, she may decide to break out of the mold from time to time and just party...just be.


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I would have been out on that dance floor with you : ) I'm glad you went, and glad you had a good time!

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

I think part of this is an expat thing. As an expat, I always focused on not being too conspicuous, blending into the scenery, the crowd, not wanting to appear too "American," not wanting to inadvertently offend anyone. When you first arrive in a country, you spend so much time observing, just seeing how it works and what the norms are. So I completely understand how you gradually suppressed your sense of freedom and self-expression in Belgium. I did too. Also, my husband is more reserved than I am and so whenever we're out as a unit, I tend to tamp myself down. I'm glad you had a good time!