I firmly believe things (and people) eventually come full circle. We can’t hide who we are indefinitely; it always comes out in the end, and usually when it’s least appropriate.
I’ve spent more than half of my adult life trying to be someone else. Someone cultured, sophisticated, citified, poised and charming. I bleached my hair, wore long acrylic fingernails, waxed my eyebrows, and then tottered around in heels and suits that looked classy but hurt like hell. My grandma always warned me that a bad pair of shoes would really mess up my face, but I wore them anyway because I was a “professional” with an “image” to uphold. I bought an executive home in the suburbs, drove a new SUV with leather seats, and hired a housekeeper and a lawn service to keep up with the routine chores I was just too busy to handle. I even grocery shopped online during my lunch hour and had the store deliver to my doorstep on weekends so I could continue my pursuit of my next big bonus check without starving my kid to death in the process. I had it made. The American dream, Dallas style.
But no more. You can take the girl out of Oklahoma, but you can’t take Oklahoma out of the girl. I traded in my corner office for a goat barn and chicken coop, and I’ve never been happier. My hair color never did quite return to normal, but it’s long now, and worry free. My fingernails are short and dirty, and on a good day, I don’t wear shoes at all. My Jeep has cloth seats covered in dog hair, and it gets washed every 50,000 miles whether it needs it or not. This is bliss.
My choice of entertainment has changed, too. Thanks to my brother, I’m now well and truly hooked on Duck Dynasty. Not because of its outrageous “redneck” humor, but because it reminds me of home. Facial hair, camouflage, and the occasional spit cup bring back many fond memories, and those southern drawls remind me of just about everyone I ever knew as a kid. It’s like laughing at family all over again. And I think it’s rubbing off on me. Two nights ago, I greeted the pizza delivery gal at my front door, and she immediately said “Oh my God, where are you from???” Oops. Sometimes country just slips out.
I watched yet another DD episode last night, and I realized I’d finally made it big, redneck style, when Miss Kay said “In my opinion, you’re not a proper woman if you don’t have a goat or two”. I hope my husband agrees. He’s watched my gradual regression from corporate VP into Colorado goat farmer with a smile on his face, and once in awhile he’ll laugh out loud…usually when I come in from the barn with straw in my hair, milk on my jeans, and Murphy-drool drying on the side of my neck. Sometimes I worry that he thinks I’ve gone too far. Embracing mud and muck is one thing, but laughing at bathroom humor is another. I can’t help it. I think it’s funny. He doesn’t.
One thing I do know for sure is this: He loves me just like I am, devoid of makeup with braids in my hair, shaking bits of alfalfa out of my bra as I leave the barn. He’s given me the greatest gift there is – the ability to be who I really am and enjoy life without worrying or caring what people think. There’s tremendous freedom in this modest, country lifestyle, and I’m thankful beyond words to be living it with him.