I have always thought I was born in the wrong decade.
I should have been around in the 60s. I would have made a fabulous flower child. My hair would have grown long and wild with a flowered halo resting on top. I would have worn long, flowy skirts and walked around barefoot. I love to be barefoot.
This is 2019. If I walk around barefoot, I will be shunned.
I live in a world of Type A personalities. I don’t think I have any friends who aren’t. I am the only exception.
I tried to be a Type A for a long time. I thought that was what I was supposed to be. Perfectionist – that’s the goal. Every t crossed and every i dotted. For some, that comes naturally. That is just a part of their make-up and I think that’s great. It took me a while to figure out that it is not part of mine.
I have a friend who I have known since we were seven years old. I remember going into her childhood bedroom and it was soooo neat. Everything had its place. She seemed so together. My bedroom was always a mess. In school, she was always prepared. I was the one asking my neighbor for an extra pencil because I couldn’t find mine. I wanted to be together like she was.
I tried but I I wasn’t, so I navigated life my way, not fully realizing that I did things a little differently than everyone else. That was, until I hit the mommy world.
When my now 20-year-old daughter was born, I made a great group of mom friends. We had playgroups, took classes together and all became very close.
These women seemed (and still seem) perfect. Never a hair out of place, always dressed neatly (even in sweats), never late for anything, and their children looked like little angels. Not to mention that they are all gorgeous.
Me? Being a Type B, I was always a little late, very forgetful, felt like a mess, and my unruly hair would begin to frizz at the first sign of humidity. To top it off, my first-born daughter was an extremely difficult baby who was either crying, throwing up, or spilling something.
I tried to be a perfectionist like everyone around me was, but it was as if my brain didn’t function like theirs. Don’t get me wrong, I am a smart woman, I just have a hard time keeping everything together.
One day, I realized I wasn’t just being paranoid. Those around me noticed that I was different also.
My husband and I were going out for dinner with two other couples, one of which we were going in the same car with. I was supposed to have called the third couple when we were leaving our house but with getting the kids ready for bed, getting myself ready, and talking to the babysitter, I had forgotten. Halfway through the ride to the restaurant, I realized my mistake. As I fumbled for my phone to make the late call, my friend blurted out from the backseat of the car, “She’s such a ditz!”
Wow – I was different and everyone knew it. They thought I was a ditz. I was definitely a bit hurt, and I also realized that all of my trying to be perfect like everyone else was not fooling anyone.
It wasn’t too long after that incident when my husband passed away suddenly.
After that, even attempting perfection was not an option. I was happy if I showered in the morning and got my kids to school. All I did was try to survive and get through the day. Messy hair and being a few minutes late were no longer things I worried about.
As I came through my grief, I was proud of myself and my daughters for surviving and beginning to thrive. Ditz or not, I got us through a horrible tragedy and we were all doing pretty well.
As I began to live my “new normal”, I decided it was time to be me and not try to be something I’m not. I am not a perfectionist, I am not Type A. I am sometimes late, and I can be forgetful.
This Type B woman went back to work, raised two amazing girls by herself, took up yoga, started a business, and became a writer. Not too bad for a ditz.
I am now waiting for wild hair, flowy skirts and flower halos to come back in style. In the meantime, while everyone around me walks around all day in cute perfect sneakers, I choose flip flops. It is the closest to barefoot I can get without being shunned.
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband tragically passed away. After a few very difficult years, she started The Widow Wears Pink, a blog about her widow life.
Stacy has been published in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Her View From Home, Better After 50, Modern Loss, Grown & Flown,, Option B, Kveller, Mamalode, Sammiches & Psychmeds, and Thought Catalog. She is a contributor on Hope for Widows Foundation and freelances for Today.com. She is currently working on both her memoir and a fiction novel.