Dictionary.com defines a hot mess as “a person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, especially one that is a source of peculiar fascination”. Thank God. Because I was afraid that I was inadvertently calling myself hot.
Listen…the other day I was late to meet friends for dinner. Is that because I left work late? No…I left in plenty of time. I hate being late…I always leave in plenty of time. I was late because I missed the exit – by four exits – and had to backtrack to get there. Even better? The exit I was supposed to take is the one I take to get home. Even my autopilot failed me. And today? Well..I just washed the same dishes twice. This is not because they weren’t clean the first time – they probably were. This is because there are days when I am “spectacularly disordered”. Days – like today – when I am, in fact, a hot mess.
The thing is, I used to be very, VERY sure that I was supposed to have everything figured out and everything pulled together all the time. I’ve made tens of thousands of mistakes since then. Learned lots of lessons. Forgot some of them and had to learn them again. I was also pretty sure that the people around me had things figured out. They sure seemed to. But every once in a while, someone will make a comment about how they perceive me. Usually, if it’s out loud and said where I can hear it, it’s something good. I’m always a little surprised by what they see. And sometimes, I make a comment about how I see someone else. All the good. All the smarts. All the put-togetherness. And they always seem surprised. So that made me think…maybe Diane’s right. Maybe we’re all ‘the woman across the room’ to someone.
**Unless you’re a man. Then you’d be ‘the man across the room’. It probably didn’t need saying, but I wanted to be inclusive.
So here’s your special St. Patrick’s Day reminder…life is beautiful and complicated. Some days it’s just A LOT. You’re not supposed to have it all figured out. You’re supposed to be learning and growing and making mistakes and changing your mind and re-defining boundaries, goals, what you want and who you are as you grow. And regardless of how many exits you’ve missed or how many times today you’ve washed the same dishes…you are someone’s ‘person across the room’. I promise.
Be well. ❤️