So, we have ended up staying in Baltimore for about a week longer than originally planned. Not only does this mean that we will be starting almost a month later (and colder) than our original plan, but also, I've spent a week hanging with Pete and his friends in Baltimore.
One of the things that I've encountered this week is that I am spending time socially in a much different manner than I am accustomed to. I am a huge fan of vintage fashion, and I usually doll myself up pretty well when I go out. I love makeup and pin-curls and heels and clothes. But, these are all things I've chosen (by both necessity and preference) to give up during the trek. I've committed to not plucking my eye brows or shaving during the course of the trip. None of these things are particularly unique for a hiker, but I've found the last week a bit difficult for me since I'd planned to be on the trail and not in a bar with friends.
Now, I know some of you who are reading, and I know how you are about going out in public. Imagine going out with no makeup, un-styled hair, hiking boots, and men's clothes (mine were in the wash, so I wore Pete's pants and sweater). It has been an act of humility, in some ways, to be stripped of all my traditional means of expressing personality visually. What it reminded me, though, is that personality is not found in the drape of a skirt or the cake of your eye shadow. It's found in your conversation, in you not on you.
I found myself initially more self-conscious when meeting new people, but that feeling wore off once we sat down and began talking and sharing stories. While fashion and appearance will probably always be important to me, because it's fun, it won't be able to define me in the same way that it once did.
And, this trip and this blog are a testament to the fact that in each of us, we carry different personalities that can sometimes contrast. I am currently reveling in the fact that I don't need to spend hours a week grooming and primping where I once did it just to entertain myself. So, this week, look at yourself and see what kind of dualities exist for you. What hobbies or interests do you have in your life that may on the surface appear to be contradictory in nature? How can you find a way to form them into two sides of one coin?
Just for fun, I'd like to link to some photos that reflect the theme of this post. These are done by a great company called jtMartin Photography.