Just Be You.

My cousin Jackie came over the other day with her son, who is Maverick’s age. We tried unsuccessfully to hide from our children so we could have adult conversation while they beat the hell out of each other with action figures. I lost track of how many times I shouted “JUST GO PLAY!!!”

What is it that makes them want to crowd around the grownups? We have no candy. We’re talking about pulled chest muscles. Nothing fun is happening over here, and I’m sick of spelling out s-e-x.

Just. Go. Play.

Jackie — and I’m not just saying this because she’s my cousin — truly inspires me. With what she has been through in her life, she should have been a statistic. But she’s not. She’s amazing, and I AM SO STINKIN’ PROUD OF HER.

The fact that she is extremely successful in her business has nothing to do with luck; she has a deep, unstoppable drive to succeed. When the zombie apocalypse hits, I’m going to Jackie’s house. I don’t know how or why, but she could talk the zombies into leaving us alone … and I fear I do not possess that skill. Robbie does, but what if they got him first? I feel better knowing that she’s my backup plan.

I confessed to her that sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing by writing so honestly and putting everything out there. Will my kids one day grow up to read that they drove me batshit fucking crazy and get irrevocably screwed up, even though I also write about how much I love them? Because … I really do love them. But also … I really do feel batshit crazy.

The other morning I was talking to Robbie about a post I’m working on for Scary Mommy, and Maverick looked up from his breakfast — I didn’t even think he was paying attention — and very seriously said to me “Mommy, I believe in you and I think that you’re the best.” GAH. Will that same kid one day read my words and be warped by them?! These are all the questions I posed to Jackie.

She listened to everything I had to say, and shook her head before speaking. “You won’t regret any of it,” she said, “Because you’re being YOU. You’re not trying to sound a certain way or act a certain way … this is WHO YOU ARE. How can you ever regret just being yourself?! Your family loves and knows you, just how you are, and the rest of the world will love you too. Just do your thing, girl.”

I seriously almost ugly cried.

Sometimes it’s nice for a person who is close to you, who really knows you, to bring it all back into focus. I am not pretending to be a certain way. I just am. And even though I don’t personally know everyone who will read these words today, I’m still going to tell you this: JUST BE WHO YOU ARE AND DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR IT. It is truly the best way to live.

And also? If you want to wear sunglasses like these when you’re about 15 years too old for them, that’s totally fine. Rock that shit.

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This is how women in their 40’s and 50’s end up walking around in sweats with sparkly words emblazoned across the ass, isn’t it? I can see my future very clearly right now.

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