I’ve had good things and bad things happen with my old friends and new friends, my family, and just with me. I’ve had ups and downs… and honestly felt like a big ole drama queen at certain times (that my friends can probably name). And then sometimes I’ve felt very numb all by myself. But one of the things that keeps me steady is beauty.
I use to work at the 360 Grille in Florence, Alabama, which is a tower that stands twenty-two flights of stairs high into the sky. I loved/hated my job as a hostess. It’s a very nice steak restaurant. And someone is always celebrating something. People come for anniversaries, for birthdays, to propose to their gorgeous love, to celebrate graduations, or to celebrate old friendships, to have a crazy first date impression because you AIN’T tryin to lose that girl. So as you can imagine, it’s a busy restaurant.
It’s a place full of laughter and clapping and drinks and desserts and “oohs” and “ahhhs” at the unique fact that the restaurant tables rotate slowly around the outer edge of the restaurant while you eat your glorious dinner. Meanwhile, I was usually running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to seat people and buss tables, flip tables, help out the servers, keep smiling, and not lose my mind and run and cry in the bathroom.
But every afternoon during the hustle and bustle, everyone would keep an eye on the sun as it descended inch by inch down in that big sky. And every night when it started to disappear into the horizon which felt like so, so far away, the restaurant would get quiet. Really, really quiet.
People would stand up from their seats and go over to the side of the restaurant facing West, and watch the sky change from blue to yellow and orange, then to pink and darker pink, then purple, and then the tired sun would finally show the last centimeter of light and tuck itself away for the night. Then the stars would come out, and everyone would sit down back at their own tables and enjoy the rest of their evening. I did it every night, too. And it was always beautiful. Didn’t really matter the weather that day. Whether it was a clear blue day, or a couple clouds, or a stormy, rainy sky. It was always beautiful.
No matter if my evening royally stunk or was easy breezy, the sun still set so magnificently into the night.
It’s funny how beauty can phase you. And remind you. And comfort you. I remember the first time I saw Noah. Not exactly the first time I looked at him, but the first time I SAW him. It was the last night I worked at the bistro that we worked together at in Nashville. And I just don’t know ya’ll. I looked at him, and I was like… wait. wait. wait. wait. wait. ummmm. wait. Noah? Noah. HE is HOTTT. What is wrong with me? What have I been doing? Has this guy been the one pouring drinks with me five nights a week for the past two months? He’s actually really funny. And so nice. Actually he might be a fantastic person. And he’s got a really great butt. I mean eyes… and butt.
You get the point.
It was like I noticed his beauty, and then everything changed.
When everyone took time to look at the sun setting in the sky, everything changed.
When you focus on beauty, everything … shifts. You feel lighter. A little more thankful. A little less alone. Because there is something beautiful to see.
When someone says the word “beautiful”, the first word that comes to mind is mountains. Glacier National Park. That huge faded mountain in the distance called “Heaven’s Peak”… I mean, come on.
These are just a couple examples of beautiful that I notice. I think focusing on those things can really change or shift our perspective daily.
But at the end of writing this about what beauty means to me, which I kept thinking about nature and was feeling very much like Pocahontas on a canoe, I realized something. The most beautiful thing about that whole movie to me is her. And I’m living my own role in my story and I often forget to remember my own beauty. In a world of editing and filtering my looks, sometimes I forget about my inner beauty. What sticks out to me about my inner beauty? What makes me feel beautiful?
Hugging a friend who is celebrating. Beauty.
Watching someone laughing. Beauty.
Sticking up for people when someone is talking crap about them and then it gets awkward. Still beauty.
Telling my family that I love them. Beauty.
Sending the text I meant to send, but forgot. Beauty.
Saying I’m sorry for what I’ve done. Beauty.
Taking responsibility for hurting someone else or hurting myself. Beauty.
Working hard to accomplish a goal. Beauty.
Checking on people that I just never want to because I know it means it’s going to be a hard conversation. Beauty.
Praying with someone. Beauty.
Just being there. Beauty.
What’s your beauty?