Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Beautiful Like Me…It’s all about the brain

flowerwithtextbI’m posting for the  Beautiful Like Me project, hosted by WickedStepMom, this is a bi-weekly post dedicated to raising awareness about the lack of self-esteem and poor body image in today’s youth. If you’d like to join in, please do. Simply leave a link to your post here or on the main project page.

For this week’s topic, WickedStepMom asked people to answer the question…

What event or time did you feel your most beautiful?  How did this event shape your view of yourself? Do your family, friends and children know about this event and how important it was?

I’ve written several times that I feel more confident when I’m in better physical shape than I am right now, but this question from WickedStepMom provides an opportunity for deeper self reflection. In all honesty, I feel the most beautiful when I feel smart.

When I land a new client, provide a solution to a problem, have an intelligent conversation with someone, break down an obstacle or absorb new information and insights, I feel the most beautiful. I seem to have more of these “beautiful moments” as I grow older. Perhaps it’s the essence of building blocks creating new foundations for extending knowledge, or it’s the realization that my brain is a lot more important than the size of my hips.

I can’t think of one moment in time when I’ve felt the most beautiful, but instead there are several moments when I’ve felt brilliant. Here are the first few that come to mind…

  • The day I graduated from college, which I didn’t do until I was 28-years-old. The first in my family to earn a college degree, Magna Cum Laude, I felt incredibly beautiful in that shapeless black gown.
  • The moment a nurse put Aaron in my arms and the ecstasy of realizing I was finally a mom. My path to motherhood was a direct result of thinking outside the box, and the intersection of all you can accomplish through friendship, love and a refusal to only play the cards you’re dealt.
  • The night I finally decided to end my first marriage and to reclaim my life and my dignity.
  • Last night when my husband put his arms around me and said, “You were just a baby when I met you, and now you’re quite the woman.” His comment had absolutely nothing to do with the number of gray hairs or wrinkles I’ve accumulated in the 14 years we’ve been together.

The second part of WickedStepMom’s question… Do your family, friends and children know about this event and how important it was?

I’m sure on some level they do. We talk a lot in our house about the importance of education, intellect and critical thinking, and these are life pursuits my own father made a point to discuss at my childhood dinner table. Do they know I think my brain is the most important feature to exercise and nurture and that it’s the one thing that gives me the most pleasure…well, we’d have to ask them.

People participating this week…

What about you? Is there a moment, a place in your life when you’ve felt the most beautiful?

In addition to other Beautiful Like Me participants blogging today, there are a couple of articles from around the blog world that are definitely worth a click through.

Vered’s recent articles: 10 Ways to Love Yourself As A Woman and 10 Ways to Hate Yourself As A Woman

From Skirt! magazine…A touching and inspiring letter written by a young woman, just barely out of her teens, that she sent to every teen girl she knows, Beauty or the Beast

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21 comments to Beautiful Like Me…It’s all about the brain

  • I feel my best when I’m feeling confident. That confidence can stem from intellectual pursuits, creative pursuits … and sometimes it is just inexplicably THERE. Other days? It’s MIA …..
    Twenty Four At Heart´s last blog ..Buttery NipplesMy ComLuv Profile

  • “I feel the most beautiful when I feel smart.”

    I love this answer. I can relate, too.

    Thank you for the link, Tricia.

  • Bravo! Excellent post. I’m not sure I feel beautiful when I’m smart, but I definitely feel something special. It’s a feeling I like…ALOT! :-)
    Lisa P´s last blog ..I Felt So PurdyMy ComLuv Profile

  • I love it when you write these posts.
    Cheri @ Blog This Mom!´s last blog ..Hummingbird FailMy ComLuv Profile

  • Tricia

    @Twenty Four at Heart: I also have stretches of time when it’s MIA and I find that when I’m not mentally engaged, I become self destructive.

    @Vered: You’re very welcome. I loved the straightforwardness, no nonsense of the two posts you wrote.

    @Lisa P: I hope you have that special feeling A LOT. I know you deserve to.

    @Cheri: Thank you!!! And I’d just like to say your hair still looks fabulous.

  • Jan

    You know, it’s odd what makes one feel beautiful…I just found out my ex-husband and his wife are expecting their second child. While that doesn’t bother me, beyond the fact that he’s had nothing to do these last four years with our children, the manner in which I learned is a bit upsetting. He’s touting it on his MySpace page, and is saying how he’s had to go through terrible times with terrible people to become the husband and father he is now, and that this is the family he’s meant to have. Okay, bad-mouth me if you must, but what a dirty, rotten thing to say about your own children!

    But, as I thought about it, instead of making me angry, it made me defiant – if he doesn’t appreciate Oldest Son and Darling Daughter, well, that’s HIS loss, now isn’t it? And I began to feel very beautiful, as the mother of these two exceptional people, who are ALL MINE. And I couldn’t be prouder or happier – or feel more beautiful – to say that.

    As to answer the second question, only Beloved knows about this; I’m not going to tell the kids, at least not right now – it would just upset them.
    Jan´s last blog ..Spicy Ginger Citrus SalmonMy ComLuv Profile

  • Tricia

    @Jan: Outrageous. This is one SOB of an ex, but I love how you turned this around and used it to feel empowered and beautiful, rightfully so. Your children are wonderful and you’re right that he’s an ass for not seeing it, or acknowledging it, or embracing it. Kids aren’t dispensable and then we just move onto a new life, a new family. I want to slap him

  • “…the realization that my brain is a lot more important than the size of my hips.”

    “Beautiful” is in the doing, giving, sharing, loving, and learning.
    Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..Self defense and kids — how-to for parents My ComLuv Profile

  • Those are all wonderful moments. Graduating college was bittersweet for me. My dad was ill and in the hospital the night of my commencements. We weren’t sure if he was going to make it.
    WickedStepMom´s last blog ..Beautiful Like Me: A Moment in Time My ComLuv Profile

  • I felt the most beautiful the day I became a mom. I know it’s cliche and all that, but honestly, I was so proud of myself that I could be trusted with something so small and so important. I loved that moment.
    steenky bee´s last blog ..I Believe That Children Are Our Future…When it Comes to Deceit My ComLuv Profile

  • Hi Tricia,

    Like you, I feel the greatest amount of self esteem when my accomplishments are acknowledged, and not how I look.

    I also agree, we’re seeing a lack of self esteem and poor body images in the young. Posts like this are a great way to show others, beauty is more than physical appearance.
    Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease My ComLuv Profile

  • I always felt beautiful when my children looked at me with love in their eyes. At night when I nursed them and they looked up at me so sweetly…softly touching my face.

    I think what is more important than feeling beautiful…is liking yourself. In my case it is caring enough about myself to eat better, get more exercise…just taking better care of me.

    For others it may be continuing their education…or leaving a marriage that is draining the life out of them.

    It is being healthy, it is feeling smart, it is loving others, and it is loving yourself.

    Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. ~Kahlil Gibran
    Monica´s last blog ..Please Pray For Lindsay Dean My ComLuv Profile

  • I too feel best when I’ve exercised so here I go to my living room to warm up by dancing around, then do some stretches and buttock lifts.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog ..“Blame Tara Who?” Meme My ComLuv Profile

  • Tricia

    @WickedStepMom: I’m so sorry to hear about the bitter sweetness of your college graduation, and so glad to know that your dad continues to be a special part of your life.

    @steenky bee: Beautifully said. I can just imagine the smile on your face when you got to hold those two adorable children.

    @ Barbara: Thanks so much for your comment. This project often perplexes me as I try to find my way through each question, and I do hope it helps build awareness.

    @ Monica: Each moment you mention sounds absolutely splendid and beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

    @ Jannie: Funny.

  • donna

    Beautiful? What is beautiful? I guess that you could say that I felt beautiful every time they put a baby in my arms. I think that I was to young to know that is the way I felt. I guess I feel beautiful every time my husband looks at me in that adoring way and thinks I don’t see it. After 38 years of marriage and a few pounds ( quite a few) he still thinks of me as beautiful. He still wants to hold my hand, kiss me every single morning no matter who or what he is involved in. This is what makes me feel the most beautiful.
    Jan: You and the kids are better off without that SOB and good for you for being their whole world without him.

  • Tricia

    @Donna: I think 38 years and still holding hands is pretty darn beautiful!

  • I loved this post. I was the first person in my family to graduate college and it did feel great. I’m glad you have such a nice family to make you feel loved.
    Casey´s last blog ..Random Tuesday Thoughts: I’m Not Perplexed, I Just Overplucked My Eyebrows My ComLuv Profile

  • Tricia

    Thanks Casey and congratulations!

  • [...] Beautiful Like Me…It’s all about the brain – Tricia of Shout Daily answers the question “What event or time did you feel your most beautiful? How did this event shape your view of yourself?” [...]

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