I am a girly girl.
I don't mind getting sweaty, dirty, grimy, gross, all in the pursuit of a great adventure, but man oh man do I love cleaning up afterward.
I love showers, I love the smell of my shampoo, I love smooth skin, I like my hair in control, I like me with a little makeup.
this is me: I really wanted to take my straightening iron to nepal, because I like my hair straight and smooth. I didn't take it, experimenting with how much of me is about my appearance. I missed it. I survived.
because I can handle myself gross, and I obviously am willing to go there frequently, but when I'm not disgustingly sweaty and dirty, I like to be well put together. and I don't really like my mind-of-its-own wavy hair.
while in nepal I met an eighteen-year-old intern with CHOICE humanitarian named kate who is just a totally amazing, beautiful person, without and within. not once did I see her worry about her hair, her face, her appearance. she is, of course, naturally stunning, but what comes through is an internal joy and acceptance that overpowers her physical beauty.
everyone loves her: the villagers, the CHOICE staff with whom she works, us expeditioners who were just there with her for a week, everyone. and the nepalis who know her call her--teasingly--nakkali.
nakkali is a nepali word which means pretty girl, fancy girl, a fashionable girl. one who cares about the flowers in her hair, her ribbons, her dress, one who likes nice things: all those things that kate is seemingly not.
I fear I am too much nakkali and not enough kate, but at this point, I don't know that I'm going to change very much. however, the awareness is there, this understanding that what kate has is so beautiful, so genuine, so authentic.
I am destined to just be both: a girly girl, and a sweaty, gross, happy, cyclist.
meshing them together is my goal, which (to look at all the pictures of me cycling) is just not always possible.
but kate reminds me of what's authentic and true, that what matters most is what's in our hearts. when our hearts are happy, we glow, no matter what our hair looks like.
namaste, and thanks, kate.
now I'm off to have my toenails done.