I have a theory and it involves a higher power. My higher power is God but you can insert your higher power (or not). First, I have to share a secret that I only shared with the hub right after we got engaged in case he wanted to back out of getting married. Back then, this secret was very serious to me and I haven’t told anyone else about it until now. I’m sharing it because I think in some way everyone could relate to my theory.
If you look at pictures of me from birth up until the end 5th grade, I look like any normal Asian kid growing up in America. For the first half of my 5th grade year, my family was packing up and selling our house in Cockeysville, MD so I stayed with relatives in Carson, CA. I’m not sure how or why but I was popular and I was the president of my 5th grade classroom. Months later, I transferred to my new school in my new home town, Yorba Linda, CA to finish off the other half of 5th grade. I became known as the Hawaiian Girl in a predominately all-white school. Whatever, I didn’t care. By the time I was in 6th grade, I was the classroom president. I was popular and I was loving life.
Then all of sudden I had a mustache. Yup, not peach fuzz or two hairs, it was a mustache. The timing couldn’t have been worse. I may have been popular but I was also very clueless about my looks. So when the mustache sprouted, I learned about it from the cruel things kids would say to me on the bus or at school. I looked in the mirror and sure enough I did have a mustache! Naturally, I asked my conservative, super non-flexible, close-minded mother for help on getting rid of the hair. She told me that she loved my face and to never, ever shave any part of my body. My self-esteem went from being King of the Hill to pretty much a shrinking violet because being the rule follower that I was, I wouldn’t disobey my mother so all the comments and name calling went on for years.
I think I was in 9th grade when my parents hosted a gathering at our house and one of their friends, who was a dermatologist, said to my parents in our native language Taglog, “Barbara is so pretty. Why are you making her keep the hair above her lip?” My mom went into this whole spiel about her not wanting me to have to maintain the hair every time it grew back. The dermatologist basically told her to let go; he urged her to let me live my life. I couldn’t believe someone was actually telling her this! It was awesome. My cousins and I ran up to my bathroom, we read the directions on the Nair bottle and went to town. Yowza! It was nothing like I expected. The Nair lotion smelled so bad, stung my skin, made my eyes water and left huge red marks across my upper lip. I looked like a freak! It was worse than a mustache.
Even though I was a rule follower, I was very good at shaving my legs by the time I was in 9th grade because I had been shaving them since I was in 7th grade. Every girl I knew shaved their legs at that age and I knew my mom would never notice my legs. So after about ten debacles of using Nair for my mustache, I finally ditched the bottle and started shaving it. That last sentence was very hard for me to write. I’m letting it sink in. I have admitted to the world, that I shave my mustache! That was my secret for so many years until now.
So why am I revealing this? Why am I brave enough to tell everyone about my personal hygiene? Well, now women shave their faces all the time and this is not news to anyone these days. This is the part when God comes in to my theory. This mustache grew on my face during my adolescent years. Coincidence? When I reflect back on that time in my life, I know that if it weren’t for that mustache, I would have gone down a different path. I am positive about that. Even though having a mustache as a young girl forced me to be shy, self-conscious and unapproachable, I don’t feel sorry for my young self. In fact, I am super grateful. The mustache is the reason that I found true friends who accepted me for me. I know that the mustache kept me from being promiscuous because guys were not knocking on my door to “go around” with them. I know that the mustache kept me humble because I couldn’t be arrogant for fear that someone could just say, “Well, you have a mustache.” and that would bring me way down. Don’t feel sorry for me, I wasn’t a geek -but I had many friends who were geeks because we could all relate. I wasn’t the hottest, popular girl in the school but I had many guy friends because due to my non-threatening looks guys felt comfortable being themselves around me. Furthermore, the main silver-lining of having that mustache during that point in my life was that it kept me from being vain at a time when vanity could have been everything for my teenage-self.
You’re still asking why now? Why am I sharing all of this this with you? Well, lately, every summer a dark mark appears above my lip. I have been diagnosed with Melasma. According to en.wikipedia.org, “Melasma is a tan or dark skin discoloration. Melasma is thought to be caused by sun exposure, genetic predisposition, hormone changes, and skin irritation. “ Never before the summer of 2016, had sun, genetics or skin irritation ever made this dark mark appear. Hormones? I was done with menopause by the time I was 45 years old. I did more research.
Finally this summer, after much relenting , I went to a dermatologist to get cream. The doctor couldn’t answer why the Melasma was happening but she advised me to just manage it. Here’s the reason why I am sharing this: At the beginning of this summer, I was looking in the mirror one day and I was having a pity party for myself. Whoa is me! Why was this mustache coming back to ruin my life again? Then I thought about it - really, ruin my life? Really? I am in great shape, living in an awesome house, with great neighbors and I send my healthy children to a private school that we can afford because my hot husband has a fantastic career. I have a fit mother who willingly gave up her CA lifestyle to come help me so that I could go to work to create an app, write a blog, throw GSD parties, produce thoughtful products and did I mention I have my own Alexa skill? I have a freakin’ awesome life! I couldn’t believe that I cared so much about the shadow above my lips. After embracing all of this, I felt a vibe. Again, insert God here. I think that these past three summers when a mustache appears on my face I am forced to step back and not get caught up in being perfect. I have been blogging about thoughtfulness for 4.5 years and someone is trying to tell me that I could use my platform to share my secret and possibly help others look for the silver linings not the obstacles.
We can easily find road blocks and throw ourselves pity parties every day. We can keep chasing perfect. But the opportunities to be who we are meant to be comes from understanding why things happen. My belief is that God presents us with situations but He won’t control how we deal with them. I see blessings instead of problems and therefore more blessings come my way. For example, have I mentioned that the hair on my legs stopped growing last summer? Alleluia, no more shaving legs for this gal!