Vibrant hot pink reflected in my rear view mirror. I looked a the woman in the car behind me and realized it was HER. The steering wheel, the seat she sat in, her nails, her long hair, her fitted coat—all of it blindingly, hot pink. I thought to myself, “What could she be doing on the road at 6am?” This woman looked larger than life, clearly she didn’t have a 9-5 that she was getting to. I would have thought it may have been some type dare based on how bright she was, but it quickly hit me, I have no place to question or judge. Plus it was too big of a commitment with everything being that color, so I started thinking about HER. And I got jealous.
Yes, I’ve seen a ton of people with awesome hair colors and clothes that stand out, but I haven’t had that experience on the road with a group of people typically heading to the office or some type of labor job. So I realized all this judgement and questioning was legitimate curiosity. Beyond making a statement with bold colors, this woman clearly lacked nothing in confidence. There was no way to miss her, she was literally and figuratively that bright. She carried the appearance of someone who knows exactly who they are and what they are doing with themselves. She never needed to ask permission for anything and she wasn’t about to start now. Her life belongs to her and she owns it and pulls no punches—this woman was in the moment. This is EVERYTHING I express and preach about here. This is exactly what people need to do.
After seeing her, I will tell you I felt a sense of liberation because this was the living embodiment of what I want to do: to be that free, that aware of who I am, that open in expressing myself. That is the light that needs to be shared with the world. Life is supposed to be fun. It is supposed to be filled with things that bring us joy even if it doesn’t make any sense to anyone else. This woman may be fortunate enough to work for a company that allows her to come in with pink hair. That made me even more jealous. I’ve realized that for my entire life I’ve literally had to live by someone else’s standards. I had to dress, wear my hair, put on makeup, choose jewelry that wouldn’t offend anyone. I’ve always wanted to break out of that pattern, but it’s deeply engrained—I like to take small steps, but even those are noticed and commented on so it’s easy to fall into old habits.
But this woman was the reminder we all need that freedom of expression does exist and we can live outside any box the world tries to put us in. Sometimes life hands you the key in the most unexpected ways. I am an open person, I love seeing different expressions of self—but I still had a judgement that someone wouldn’t be dressed like that for a “normal” job at that time in the morning. So that is a barrier I need to break through. A lot of it is I know I receive pushback when I do something outside the norm—or I’m at least questioned about it. That doesn’t mean I know a thing about what this woman was doing with her day. Accept who someone is wherever they are: that is the next step in true acceptance and bringing forth gifts. We all have that spark inside of us. For some it’s words. For others it’s hot pink.