HAPPY, PRETTY, MESSY
Ok, I stole that title from a book I recently read and immensely enjoyed. The fun, clever, insightful and moving book are the words and experiences of Natalie Wise. The subtitle is Cultivating Beauty and Bravery When Life Gets Tough. Yep! I want some of that! As young as she is, some hard knocks and her natural inclination to nurture her passion for creativity have for sure given the sacred golden touch to her last name, as well as the title of the book.
I adore her captivating poem, and want to share it with you, as you will see, perfectly describes a state of being that sparks joy in a woman, and makes me resolve that Happy, Pretty, Messy is the new “Puttin’ on the Ritz”
This is a good twirling dress, I declare
And no one is too old for a twirl or a dramatic entrance
On a sweeping set of stairs, like Princess Grace or Coco Chanel
We are women who find beauty in the way a dress drapes
In the way a handbag nestles in the crook of our arms
We are women who do not shy away from
Long marble hallways and high heels
I wear twirling dresses to the post office
And to the thrift store where I hope to stumble across
Gold-tinged champagne flutes and perhaps an antique
Book with golden-edged pages or a globe with countries
To dream of visiting to haul back treasures with memories attached
Like barnacles to my sail-around-the-world houseboat
Do not be afraid to feel beautiful
Because confidence is found there
Do not hesitate to need love, darlings
Because strength is found there
Do not hesitate to dress yourselves with verve
And joie de vivre, for this is the stuff that
Chance and silver linings live for
When we look in mirrors I hope we see women
Who live in light and walk on air and don’t care
About the number someone called a size but rather the number
Of smiles we can fit in a day and the breadth of our hearts
Wrapped in the fabric of hope
Hemlines do not define our worth
And the name on the label is no one I know
I would much rather hear the name of the woman who wears
The twirling dress with confidence
Who speaks of knowing she is worthy
Seriously, what girl doesn’t love a flowy, twirly dress? If not wearing it, seeing it worn. There’s just something magical about it! I’ve never used that word to describe the delightful twirling feelings of confidence and beauty, but that’s it. Every time I put on a pretty, summer dress, I’m immersed in the feeling that never gets old, and yes, that I’m not too old. And while I used to never shy away from high heels, I still hold a love for them, even staring at them in photos or a store like they are in a museum. Maybe even more so now, since, despite those facts, yes, I do regretfully shy away from them if I know I’m going to actually walk or stand in them for any length of time. Of course, my voice of wisdom that has gotten louder as I get older has also made room for me to choose comfort along with the beauty and style, and puts me in that “Happy” zone, which truthfully has little to do with the exterior.
To me, as in the poem, it’s not about how I look, it’s about “not being afraid to feel beautiful” but mostly experiencing doing what I love. And if you can’t do it in the moment, dream about it, paint or write about it. That’s where the Happy, Pretty, Messy comes in. I dream about the places I want to go and things I want to do – and the things I want to wear while I’m doing it.
I’ve come to realize that it’s all about what you want to feel. Live it, wear it, because “confidence is found there.” That is where we are defined by the “breadth of our hearts” and not what we look like or wear. Oh, yes, wear it – but it’s the fabric of the heart that sleeks and drapes, woven by the fabric of beauty, twirling in the magic and wonder of Happy, Pretty, Messy.
Puttin on the Ritz,
If you’re interested in the book, here ya go!!