I had the pleasure of attending a Christian camp meeting a week ago and it reinforced my ambivalence to ending my sabbatical from church. I felt very reluctant at the mention of the church camp but my niece who is quite active in church or maybe she just enjoys hanging out with her friends wanted to attend this shindig. Due to the fact that she was visiting with me and I was her means of transportation, I obliged. Furthermore, I never deny anyone the ability to attend a worship service. I may be on the road to hell but I will not be a barrier for anyone else.
Anyways, after an hour drive, we arrived at the camp grounds to see various large tents erected to accommodate the masses and different services. My total (and petty) annoyance started when I saw the crowd and the fact that the good church people thought it was their right to leisurely walk in front of my car while I was trying to find parking. Walking around the the grounds filled with faithful (or maybe not) church goers, I quickly realize that this was more of a social event with a best (short) dress category. It was a Christians fest of who knows whom and who looks good. I sent my niece off to socialize while I hid in my car (seat reclined) and enjoyed the amazing singing during intermittent naps.
My mother always says that you should go to church and do not pay attention to others because you are there to worship God. She is absolutely right; however, I am not blind and some things are hard to ignore. I quickly recognized two things about my Christian journey. First, I really hate being amongst large groups of professed Christians (or maybe I just really hate large groups of people) which makes attending church uncomfortable. Secondly, I really do enjoy hearing praise and worship for God but not in a traditional setting. I am sure there is a practical solution that I have not considered, but for right now, my sabbatical continues.
I would describe my physical attributes as average; on bad days they are below average. Average height, average looks and nothing especially aesthetically spectacular. I love being as ‘nude’ as possible. This means that I try to show people the most basic side to myself which includes my appearance. For some unknown reason I grew out of wearing makeup, caring about the most attractive hairstyle and making myself fit into a modern beauty mold. Despite all that, I
can am very confident. Recently I cut my hair pixie short again, it’s curly, and my grey hairs are showing even more. I love my look and don’t give a crap how anyone else sees me. However, today was the first time that someone made an unintentionally down grading comment in regards to my appearance. “Why don’t you do something with your hair?” I assumed that this family member was referring to my very obvious greys. “I am going natural.” That ended the conversation.
I am not ashamed of my natural hair color. I am not in a constant pursuit to keep up with the haircolouring Joneses nor what people think I should do to my body to fit into a subjective standard of beauty. I have no intention of plastering on makeup to cover problematic breakouts. I am not getting contacts and I refuse to wear high heels that hurt my feet. For the most part, I like and accept me. In honesty, there are a few things I would love to change if given a magic wand (gorgeous flawless skin from head to toe) but since that’s not available I make do with what I have been given.
At 38 years old, my confidence in myself as a single childless career-searching Christian conflicted woman continues to increase tremendously. Why? Because I know who I am and I am okay with me 70-80% of the time. I am not perfect and will never look like an airbrushed super model and those are the things I am learning to accept. I try to honest with myself and that is one reason why other people’s opinions do not always make an impact.