My western hat and inner self

‘Do you like my hat?’

‘No, I do not like your hat.’

‘Goodbye.’

‘Goodbye.’

Today, I remained calm and present, and I constantly re-evaluated to establish that I was remaining as such and that I also was remaining myself… and then I told the hat guys exactly what my predicament was, using the words that were my own and not borrowed or copied or made to look like others – all my own words, and honestly expressed.

They chuckled at my chosen words, but proved easily that my concern and desire were understood , and then, beautifully, they resolved my concern and fulfilled my desire… that is, I am happy and comfortable to put on my black hat now, because it is shaped properly to look good on me.

It may sound silly, but imagine wearing a vest that is designed for huge breasts on a big person, and has just been incorrectly sized down to a small, and so no part of it actually fits properly, and there are buckles and bulges everywhere (despite the fact that there aren’t such buckles and bulges on my actual body), making me look totally misshapen from a reasonably healthy and fit adult female.

Add to that horrendous vest that engulfs me oddly, a hat that just looks hideous on me.

Now imagine how difficult it is to feel beautiful and confident and proud walking around in these, crossing thousands upon thousands of people while wearing it.

It’s quite terrible, really.

If you want to use modern lingo borrowed from Japan/Japanese, we can say easily in the KonMari method’s words that this outfit does not spark joy… not one bit.

So, now let’s look at my request of the hat guys to ‘make my hat not look terrible on me, because I would really like not to be so upset every time I see myself in the mirror and discover again how bad this hat looks on me’z

Not a traditional request, but a clear-communicating and honest one to boot… and they delivered.

It was a unique yet delightful – and not in a vain way but in an appreciative way – experience to have these two young guys over and over again look at me and my face, and evaluate how I come across… he would do some shaping on the hat, have me set it on my head for a minute, and examine critically.

At the end, their critical eyes announced that I looked really good.

Of course, the conversation was founded in the hat’s presence being what we wanted to look good, however, it was fun and odd and good to have the additional communication of ‘you look good’, and without any aims at getting into my pants – they genuinely love working with hats and helping people love their own hats.

It was really a beautiful experience all around.

(Including the part where my mom didn’t like the pointed curve pieces, and so I went back and told the guys such, and so he smoothed out the pointy bends and re-evaluated, honestly declaring that it actually did look even better without them now.)

While waiting for all of this to happen, I watched the guys work, shaping hats both newly and as reshaping… and it was totally beautiful – I found myself longing to take photos of their working hands…

… and so I told them so…

… and now I am anxiously awaited to return to do just that… I almost couldn’t believe it, but they were delighted at the idea of my photographing them working, and happily invited me to come any time throughout the rest of the rodeo to do so.

When I went back for the pointedness fix, I restarted that I would see them again soon, so that I could take photos, and they both stood a bit taller and opened their eyes and smiles lots wider, delight shining clearly outward.

And that gave me an awesome feeling… I can hardly wait to have that be a norm for me and my life. 🙂

All of this from trusting God and being true to myself and my intentions and goals… wonderful day.

Now do you like my hat?’

‘Yes!’

P.S. Bonus points for knowing where my mom and I got the conversations up at the top and down at the bottom, one which we actually had after the first round of hat shaping, when she said she didn’t like the corners.

Post-a-day 2019

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Always be humble and kind

Tonight, I bought my own real pair of western boots that not only can I wear to help work on my brother’s property, but that look amazing and totally beautiful;

my mom ended up not being able to come to the rodeo with me and our family friend, and a different friend’s cousin canceled on coming with her and her mom;

the family friend and I met up, therefore, with my friend and her mom;

the two adults (because my friend and I are the children of the group) really hit it off, like old pals;

we all four got to ride in the Grand Entry at the rodeo, on two separate wagons;

I checked for tickets to the concert one last time, and found that there were exactly two available, and right where I wanted, so I bought them;

we discovered that our seats were an error, just as I registered a text message from the ticket office telling me the same thing;

the ticket office e-mailed me even better seats in exchange and kind of as compensation (like way, way better seats);

the two seats next to the two I’d bought ended up being open, and so my friend and her mom didn’t have to split up from us after all (to go to their own two seats elsewhere in the stadium);

Tim McGraw was lovely, as ever, and shows signs only of continuing to be fabulous all around as a human being, as a musician, and as a man (a side I have come to appreciate more and more as I have grown up, especially considering the previous two parts);

Clay Walker just casually showed up to duet with Tim McGraw on one of my childhood absolute favorites (Did you know that Clay Walker is from Texas?);

we had a wonderfully easy time exiting the stadium, grounds, and parking lot, as well as getting home;

and I was lent a truck to be able to visit family next week.

All in all, it was an absolutely magnificent evening.

All week, I wondered about tonight and what to do, because I realized that this concert actually was important to me, due to my deep childhood connection to the artist and his music from back then… and, at every worry, I chose to trust God, and let go of the concern, instead evaluating my present options and doing what I felt encouraged and pulled toward when I asked God.

And then, here was tonight, like Christmas for a small child, with everything landing wonderfully into places I had never quite expected.

Nothing could have worked so well, if things had gone as planned – they still could have been quite good, but nowhere near how they turned out.

In a way, this all goes to show how life can be so much better than we anticipate or think up ourselves – perhaps some divine inspiration in more parts of my life could be just the right thing right now…

Thank you, God.

Hallelujah(!)

Post-a-day 2019

How far we’ve come

I saw the light
I’ve been baptized
By the fire in your touch
And the flame in your eyes
I’m born to love again
I’m a brand new man

As these words rang out across the stadium – quite clearly, surprisingly, seeing as where we were – my lips were already moving in synch, silently matching every word since the initial “I”… and tears welled in my eyes, beginning almost immediately to overflow.

I was attending the Brooks and Dunn concert at the rodeo tonight in Houston, kind of as a celebration of my life, for my birthday – something for me, on my own.

I’d asked my mom to stick around with me, but she was ready to head home, so I was okay hanging on my own for the musicians and their music.

When I was about eight years old, I attended the Brooks and Dunn performance at the Astrodome, also for the rodeo.

During their performance, when walking around on the dirt, they pulled two ladies out from the audience to dance with them.

I remember distinctly being upset and embarrassed as the one lady proved, after two quick but failed attempts, that she could not do any sort of partner dancing, let alone the by of two-stepping one of them wanted to do with her.

Rather than rejecting the lady, reading her out for a better model – that’s actually how my brain analyzed it at the time – he just grabbed her around her waist/hips area, and swung her around in a circle or few.

My frustration at this lady for having been unprepared for such a monumental opportunity – dancing with Brooks and Dunn – was not only projected blindly, but had me consider how I would have done, if I’d been the one pulled out onto the floor…

I was rather confident that I would have been able to manage it.

However, I fully acknowledged that I was not certain.

And so I made it my business immediately after this event to make certain that I knew how to two-step and could do it with just about anybody on demand.

Fast-forward a couple decades, and see me at the concert tonight… I found it almost ironic that, though I never anticipated to be pulled out to dance with Brooks and Dunn, here I was, two decades later, likely one of the best country western dancers in the entire stadium, knowledge, ability, and a world title to prove it.

Isn’t that at least a little bit totally crazy?(!!!)?

Anyway, so I can dance, and extremely well, but that’s only part of my mentioning all of this.

When the guys began playing and singing tonight, I was in instant and somewhat constant tears (even throughout the whole show!), right?

Right.

And it occurred quickly to me, This is the power of music.

I was somehow transported to my life when I listed probably daily to Brooks and Dunn music, as I simultaneously saw all that had happened between them and now, how what felt like a lifetime and ten different people ago had somehow led me to today, to who I am today.

There was a lot of good and a decent amount of bad in there, especially early on, and it was a very, very full time all throughout.

And, somehow, here I am, experiencing it all again, while feeling empowered by the open bliss and joy for life I felt back then, reminded of the sadness of what I went through off and on, and encouraged by the fact that I have made it to here so far, and I’ve plenty more wonderful expansion and beautiful growth yet to come for myself in my life.

All of this from music, specific songs and notes and voices and instruments all put together in a certain way, as though, almost, specifically and intentionally with me in mind.

It was of the best kind of medicine.

And this reminds me of how my high school band director always used to tell us that music is a language… tonight, their music spoke directly to me, throughout every place within me.

Post-a-day 2019

Horses and Shooting

Today, I watched some mounted shooting.  At this rodeo, anyway, mounted shooting means that an individual rides his or her horse across the arena, following a sort of zig-zagged pattern, and then back in a straight line, all while shooting, in a specific order, ten balloons that are placed around the arena.  The average speed for doing this was 12-14 seconds.  I’m not sure I could even have sprinted from one end of the arena to the other in that time, or even made all ten shots successfully while standing still in that time, and these people were riding all around it and back, knocking out balloons with their pistols along the way.  Somehow, things like this make perfect sense to me, and I love watching them.  It made me, even more than ever, want to ride horses every week in my life.

Though, I’m more of a Robinhood type, and so I would want to do mounted bow-and-arrow shooting, myself.

Post-a-day 2018

Maybe a cowboy

Tonight at the rodeo, during the invocation, I had a thought that surprised me.  First off, I enjoyed the fact that a stadium full of people was taking a moment for prayer before beginning events of the evening…, even though it was not a religious event, or even religiously-officiated event.  Second, I noticed how much I enjoyed the praying part myself as an individual and as part of the community.  And thirdly, the thought which then occurred to me and surprised me most, I wondered if I might not want to be somehow involved in this kind of thing.  Perhaps I really would love to be involved in cowboy-related stuff, country and ranch stuff.  A visually beautiful place, filled with happy, animal-loving people, and where God is a happy place (as opposed to a sensitive or nonexistent one)…, now that would be nice.  I, of course, do not at all know that I would enjoy such a setting.  I think I fall under the common category of individuals who would be considered to be ‘liberal’, and that might not roll so well for me in the cowboy world.  However, there’s a niche for everything, and it is certainly possible that I could slide in perfectly well in the ranching and rodeo world.  Who knows, aside from God, anyway?

It’s just a thought I had, but I like the idea of considering it some more.  🙂

 

Post-a-day 2018

Toilets self-proclaiming status

Tonight in the wine garden at the rodeo, we had a unique scene occur.  I was standing in line for the toilets – a very long line that doubled in size just in the time I waited in it.  I found myself wondering how the men’s toilets were.  They were part of the same trailers as the women’s toilets.  There was even a door on the inside that connected the men’s to the women’s toilets within a trailer.  Well, two guys come waltzing out of the men’s toilets in the trailer next to ours, and declare ‘Hey, we’re unisex here; you can use these, ladies.’ A small, but somewhat mad dash ensues by ladies that had been a ways back in our line.

They say that…” I begin, but end there, for my conflicting thoughts couldn’t agree upon an end to the sentence.  It boiled down to the question of who would be liable for the issue of inappropriate bathroom use by the opposite gender – because I know that it is actually a thing – and the matter of 1) if anyone actually cared, and, if so, 2) who would be the one/s to correct/stop the behavior (aka enforce the gender rule of the toilets).

Sure enough, within moments after my statement, a grounds service person heads calmly up to the men’s bathroom and the line of ladies standing at it, and tells the ladies that they can’t use the men’s bathroom.  By the time I was going into the trailer, – by the way, these are fancy trailers with flushing toilets and hand washing and even paper towels – the man had almost persuaded the likely drunk final three ladies from the men’s toilets.  Though, I’m not sure he managed to get them out before they used the toilets.  We could see straight into the men’s bathroom while the door was being held open, and it cracked me up, because there were two women standing in the walkway-type area of the trailer, next to the stalls, the worked outside the trailer, failing to convince them that it wasn’t okay for them to be in there, and a man’s head and cowboy hat 100% clear above one of the stall doors, while he clearly was using the toilet within the stall, but still chatting with the people outside of his stall, who were standing in the bathroom (i.e. the ladies), plus the man outside the trailer.

The whole thing just cracked me up.

Also, there were only two or three stalls (I think two) in the men’s section, whereas the women’s section had five stalls.  I appreciated that fact.

Post-a-day 2018