I feel pretty.  That's right, I, goofy, awkward, uncoordinated Runawayalice, feel pretty. Yesterday I went and got my haircut by AJ at California Concept, here in Knoxville.  I love her!  She does such a great job and is really fun and easy to talk to.  Anywho, she had some extra time so she curled my hair for me.  I don't do hair very well.  We're talking my glam look is maybe I will put it up in a ponytail.  But the curls were different and made me feel very pretty.  So I did a little research on why women should feel pretty, the results were interesting.So by research I mean I put that exact question into google, just to see what would come up.  I got hits on everything from "I don't feel pretty please help me," to "successful middle aged women," to "I don't feel pretty without make-up."  It was a little scary.   I felt like starting a support group.  "Now repeat after me.  My name is Runawayalice and I feel pretty.  It's okay for me to feel pretty." The truth is it's taken me awhile to become okay with feeling pretty and with my "girlishness."  Ever since I was little I've been a Tom-boy and trying to keep up with my brothers.  I fell down stairs trying to keep up with them because my legs weren't long enough yet.  After my brothers, I always had guy friends, and I wanted to keep up with them.  I mean, I had to run just as fast, or faster.  I had to be able to be tough, to not cry, to hike mountains, skydive, bungee jump, not scream when something was scary.  All those things.  And I love every one of them.  I think that's what took me so long to figure out, I don't have to be one or the other.  I can love shooting guns and having my hair curled too.

I spent most of my teens and college, being one of the guys, and trying to be a tough chic, and I succeeded.  That's part of who I am and I have a great group of guy friends.  But now as I'm getting into my mid twenties, I feel like I'm coming into my womanhood a bit.  That sounds dumb but it's true.  Really over the last year I realized how many amazing women I have in my life.  They've taught me that I can embrace both sides of me.  So here it is, what makes me feel pretty and why I feel pretty.

Hi, my name is Runawayalice.  I feel pretty.  I feel pretty when...

1. I'm wearing my chacos

2. My hair is curly for no reason at all.

3. I'm camping in the middle of nowhere.

4. I help people.

5. My husband whispers he loves me.

6. I see my mother.

7. I shoot a gun.

8. I'm in a bathing suit.

9. I'm at the beach.

10. My Dad hugs me.

11. I'm with my girlfriends.

12. I laugh.

13. I take photographs.

14. I hold a baby.

15. I'm hanging out with the boys.

16. I'm skydiving.

17. I'm alone.

18. I wear cowboy boots.

19. I make art.

20. There's no reason at all to feel pretty.

Why do I feel pretty? (This is the hard one to say because we've been taught not to say it.) Because I am pretty.  Because I enjoy my life.  Because there's so many reasons to feel pretty inside.

Feeling pretty comes from confidence, from finally getting to know who you are, and taking joy in life.  It really has nothing to do with mascara, hair, clothes or anything else.  It's feel pretty Friday.  Feel pretty, because you are.  Happy Friday.