I'll be BOTH
In Costco, I spotted a dad on bended knee. He held up two beautiful costume options: “Do you want to be a mermaid or Wonder Woman?”
His daughter, probably 4 years old, stared at her options. Meanwhile, the son’s Captain America gear was already in the cart.
“I’ll be both,” said the daughter.
I don’t think the little girl was being greedy or indecisive. She truly wanted to be BOTH. Obviously, financial and fabric-over-fabric logistics can be a struggle, but she wasn’t thinking that way. Perhaps, as kids can be, she was focused on the possibility and not the play-by-play. This loving dad did his best: “Sweetheart, you need to pick one.” He was certainly not trying to limit his daughter’s forward-thinking future. However, of course, this small moment got me thinking.
In Frederick Buechner’s biographical work, Telling Secrets, he wrote:
“Our original shimmering self gets buried so deep we hardly live out of it at all…rather, we learn to live out of all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather.”
In my very first Brave Tutu post, A Costume Not a Mask, I explained how my third grade reign as Miss America was “ruined” when I had to wear a coat on a cold Halloween. I explored the possibility that costumes can be the truest expressions of our soul-selves; what we authentically hope to be: “I’d argue costumes and masks were not about hiding. Then and now, this holiday is about trying on a piece of personality that may be masked the rest of the year.”
Perhaps this concept is what Buechner would describe as our “original shimmering self.” As we hit two years, I reflect on my shimmer-self values and hopes for this site. I created Brave Tutu to celebrate “taking courage in delight and discovering power in small moments.”
The root of this lies in our mission statement:
"Brave Tutu" means owning a piece of heart real estate that you lost along the way. A brave tutu is a state of mind, not merely clothing. Although encouraged, physically wearing a tutu isn't required. This site celebrates "wearing" soul-accessories: pieces of the past, present, and future that bring forth life and authenticity.
For me, this site is less about building a “platform” and more about building momentum around moments that matter; pathways into true passion and purpose.
In this season, I want to directly say: I believe you can be many things—a Wonder-Woman-Mermaid even, or however that translates for the authentic you. That connection to the true you can take courage to try on and wear with regularity. Please know your moments in connecting with your “original shimmering self” ABSOLUTELY matter. I’d love to hear about them. Hopefully this redesigned site will help you share. Also, if ANYONE sees a Wonder-Woman-Mermaid, I expect to be alerted immediately.
In this week of celebration, I have incredible guest authors who took pauses and wrote down powerful, small and significant moments from their lives. I hope you will enjoy and share their words with your world. Here is TU-TU another TWO years.
Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)
-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.
I dedicate this article to my Aunt Tina. Tina, you are just about the strongest woman I have ever met. My whole life, you have modeled how to be FULL of love and unapologetically YOU. I’ve never seen you shy away from strength or make yourself less so others can feel more, as some inauthentically do. No, you model that true “shimmering self” that I will continue to aspire towards. I love you dearly.