Nestled amongst the yoga mats and the Deet mosquito repellent in my suitcase are the following items in no particular order: eye cream, tinted moisturizer and toner, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, Crest 3D whitening toothpaste and an electric toothbrush, Replenish contact lens solution and 2 extra sets of contacts, Sure deodorant, Trader Joe’s Lavender Body Oil, shaving cream and a razor, face wash, sunscreen spf 50, and some makeup. Lots of stuff that I use in my everyday life, some of it twice a day, without even thinking about it.
I don’t feel guilty about bringing the whole enormous pile of it to Haiti, nor do I feel particularly awkward about keeping my regular hair coloring appointment at Bloom 2 days before my trip. But I will say this, it’s got me thinking, and something is gnawing at my heart and I’m going to try to unravel a little bit from it tonight.
I was born into a long line of women who cared a great deal about their appearance. My mother, after all, was a fashion runway model for Saks 5th Avenue in the late 50’s. And even though she said it was a fairly unglamorous job, I’ve seen the pictures, she was, and still is, really awesome looking. Although I didn’t inherit the looks, I am genetically predisposed to the importance of appearance and I like to look good and feel my best in almost every situation I walk into.
I don’t think how I look is going to matter at all when I get to Haiti. In fact, the entire concept of being focused upon appearance prior to my departure really reveals how much fear of the unknown I have, and how this small accumulation of material things is meant to represent a defense against that trepidation; as if whiter teeth might keep the butterflies at bay!
It’s funny how a journey into such a new and unexplored place could uncover such wildly unprepossessing defects of character. Again, I’m not finding fault with myself, I’m just shocked by my response to that which I do not know and have never experienced before. I can’t truly believe that a well-dressed, manicured and coiffed self will really make a difference in Haiti. Can I?
The answer is obviously no. Nevertheless, it does seem rather ironic to me that I am bringing the appearance concious Susan into the picture two nights before my departure. I can only conclude that fear plays a part in it, and I just want to be able to rally myself with my regular stuff in order to feel comfortable before I go.
I think this whole trip is going to be a life changing experience; and to be honest that is a pretty daunting prospect for me. And even though when I first started this blog I invited the universe to open me up to the opportunity to Live Big on a daily basis, I honestly thought, at this point in the game, that I might be blogging about colonics and zip lining with G as the high points. Bringing yoga to rape trauma victims in Port au Prince Haiti reveals the poverty of my imagination and explodes transformation to levels I had never ever conceived.
So that’s why when you see the uploaded videos, which I hope to be able to produce, from my Free phone provided by Verizon, I hope you’ll understand the red lipsticked me. I don’t know how else to be but who I have always been. I hope it’s enough. I will arrive broken open, with an open heart, hoping to be helpful and to fully manifest my deep felt intention to be a loving empathetic member of this diverse and lovely global family.
Thanks to all of you already for upholding me, and stay tuned!