three things you may not know about me...
- For the first time ever I posted a public photo of me in a bikini. My hand actually trembled a little bit when I clicked “post” but I knew I had to share my message about loving your body at any size.
- I used to be a CB operator at a company that installed commercial garage doors. I hated everything about the job (including answering the phone with “R & S Erections [yes, that was the REAL company name], This is Nicole.”) except operating the CB radio. I felt very cool in a Smokey & The Bandit kind of way.
- My two favorite movie genres are romantic comedies and suspense thrillers but for some strange reason as soon as I got pregnant, I couldn’t watch thrillers anymore. I tried but they made me super creeped out and I had to switch to a vanilla home renovation show instead.
Now that my son Luca is 18 months old, I thought I’d give thrillers another try. I dove in with my favorite suspense thriller of all time, that Alec Baldwin classic circa 1993, Malice. The opening scene is students walking through a college campus. If it weren’t for the slightly creepy music, you might think you were about to watch one of those early 90s teen comedies. It was all about the music. The music makes sure you know it’s a thriller not a comedy. Take the same scene and instead add an upbeat tune with some whistling and… bam!, you have a comedy.
"The soundtrack sets the tone. Kind of like how your thoughts are the soundtrack for your life."
The other day my husband and I drove 60+ miles from our house in wine country to San Francisco for a meeting about Patchwork Show. Just as we were almost there, I texted the person I was meeting to ask where to park and realized that somehow (blame it on mom-brain or mushy about-to-turn-45-brain) I’d gotten the meeting location wrong and it was on the other side of a very traffic-y town that we’d already made it through. At that point, I had two choices, I could either beat myself up about the mistake (the soundtrack would be dramatic and sad) or I could lightly try to find a silver lining and tell myself “It’s OK, you’re juggling a lot of plates and one is bound to fall every so often” (a goofy, happy soundtrack).
I chose the latter. There was no point in my trip to Self-Depreciation Island *Population: 1. If we learned nothing else from Hannah Gadsby, at least we learned how to finally leave that island where we point out our own faults.
In that moment in the car, when I could feel my husband’s frustration, I chose to give myself grace. I chose the soundtrack of joyful melodies. I chose the soundtrack of kindness. After all, if we can’t be kind to ourselves, knowing all the scars and triumphs and tears and stitching back together of our personhood that we do dozens of times a day, how can we expect anyone else to love us just as we are? First and foremost, that’s our job. Being loving and graceful with ourselves. And, even if no one else takes our lead and joins our fan club, it doesn’t matter because you can intentionally choose the music that stitches the scenes of your life together.
And, I don't know about you...
but today and everyday, I choose grace over anger
and joy over defeat.
Even if it's just for a moment,
even if it's just for that one scene,
the snapshots and days and years will all add up.