Back in July 2000, Jason and I went to the beach (Lincoln City) to celebrate our third anniversary. We took this somewhat out-of-focus picture on the balcony off our room at the Inn at Spanish Head and stuck it in this ornament that we got at a Christmas store. Not such an interesting story.
What IS interesting, however, is that while you can't see it in the picture, I have my eyebrow pierced. And I have really short hair (shorter than I usually wear it, anyway). Yes, this is the summer that I needed to reclaim some individuality. After three years of working at an ultra-conservative school, I was feeling depressed and stifled. I said, "That's it!" I'm wearing short shorts, I'm cutting my hair, I'm piercing my eyebrow, and I'll dye my hair blue if the mood strikes me (it didn't). I was tired of rules that didn't make sense and felt like doing something a little bit fun. It was MY summer, and I was going to make the most of it.
I did it because I wanted to, not because I wanted to offend people. But I knew I would offend people because what I was doing was so inexplicable. I wasn't a college student; I wasn't an artist; I wasn't some hippie from Eugene. I was a tax-paying, suburban dwelling, church going, happily married, role-model-to-the-students kind of girl. And what on earth did I want to pierce my eyebrow for
? Parents at the school I worked at called and complained to the administration (to which I said...well, never mind what I said). I had a serious fight with my own parents which only ended after the piercing came out at the end of the summer. I learned a lot about people, especially people in religious circles, and it was pretty disappointing. Nevertheless, I was secure enough in my own faith in God to know better than to get sidetracked by the opinions of others. I should also add that the people at my own church didn't care a wit about it. In fact, most of the positive responses came from them. Bless their hearts.
The whole experience gave me a lot of empathy for people who aren't accepted because they're "different." It's impossible to live a life devoted to keeping up appearances, and fortunately God still loves little ordinary me no matter what other people think. As long as my heart in the right spot, a silly little pierced eyebrow doesn't matter at all.