bitch face

the smile I give when I walk by a stranger.

I have bitch face when I am out in public alone. Don't worry about making me feel better about this by telling me I don't because I'm learning to be ok with it and that would make it feel worse.

It's really all due to my insane level of shyness. Even smiling in public seems extremely daring to me, and although my outfit and tattoos seem to present a message that I am a bright and center-of-attention-loving person, nothing can be further from the truth.

I end up giving these awkward little smirks when someone smiles or looks at me when I'm out by myself. I used to think I was giving real smiles, until I did the look in front of a mirror. I also think I'm looking cheerful then go into a public restroom and see that I was/am in full bitch-face.

For a long time I freaked out about all this (let's be honest, I still do). But I am learning to remind myself that it doesn't matter what any random stranger thinks of me. I don't have to fake smile, or be bubbly, I can just be my quiet/awkward self.

A few other facts about my alone in public self:

I'm kind of awkward when you talk to me. I will be pleasant, and often funny, but in that dry funny way that can be misinterpreted. On my good days I might even make a comment or two, and in my bad days I will stumble over my simple Americano order at Starbucks.

I say "good lord!" or "shit!" or "fuck!" when I do something ridiculous and klutzy, which usually happens a few times when I am out and several hundred times when I'm home. Watch your children as these words pass uncontrollably out of my mouth in those moments...

I really hate getting comments or questions about my tattoos. Even though this happens nearly every time I go out. Some people mean well. Others are just assholes who think their opinion about my body matters. And then you get the "let me show you all of my tattoos!" people, and that is the worst. 

I now challenge myself to go to coffee alone or sit at a bookshop to look at magazines. These moments are super uncomfortable for me, but they also increase my creativity if I let go of my self-consciousness. I seriously dread it every time, but once I'm there it usually goes ok. Sometimes I will even eat alone in public. Super scary for me but I do eat a few almonds on occasion (still totally believing everyone is looking at me like I'm a pig). Ridiculous.

Thing is, even with all these thoughts racing in my head, I still am doing the stuff that scares the crap out of me. I am realizing that I don't have to listen to all my head rumbles, but that they also don't disappear right away. In fact, they may never disappear, but I can still be the person I want to be.

xoxox, C


  1. YES. All of this, yes. I feel SO awkward when I'm out in public and want to polite-smile to people. It's so forced and I'm pretty sure it's just fucking garish.

    You're completely right. It doesn't matter what strangers think. Of course the practice of that is far more difficult than the theory....

    Also? Dry funny is the best funny. Be closer to me, dammit.

    I love this post. Hard.

  2. PS. You're beautiful and I love that picture. :)

    1. Thanks Kim! I wish I was closer to you! Tea and baking and dry humor...what could be better? Ok. coffee instead of tea...that could be better!

      Love and more love, C

    2. Coffee instead of tea. YES YES YES! Thank you. I try so hard to be a tea person, but I'm not. I would drink coffee over tea just about any minute of the day. (I'm finally coming to terms with this.)

  3. That's awesome-good progress. Not many people consciously choose to face their fears and awkwardness and do things that scare them because they want to lead a different type of life than what their head rumbles tell them they must. I'm really, really proud of you!

    Apparently I also go into "bitch-face", especially when modeling. Go figure. I scared the crap out of my practice partner for a fashion show in high school because I was tired that day and kinda going for that straight faced/intense model look that they get, you know? And she thought I was going to cut her or something.

    I try to smile at people when I'm out and about, because in my mind it's like, I have no idea how long it's been for that person since someone has acknowledged their presence or enjoyed them at all, so a simple smile is the least I can do and hopefully it will be meaningful to them in a special way. Sometimes I'm just not feeling it, and that's fine too. I had to get okay with that, especially after being immersed in an intense evangelistic christian culture for many years, feeling like I *had* to talk to every. single. person. and try to convert them and make a favorable impression and blah blah blah. The pressure was unbearable. I hated it. Now I realize that I can totally ignore the people around me and that's fine, too. Their happiness and fate is not dependent upon whether or not I smile at them that day, nor should it be. I'm not responsible for them at all… but I'd like to make their life a little brighter if I can, so sometimes I smile. :)

    1. Totally agree here. Smiles are powerful things. I know for me a smile from a stranger can really make me feel less alone. That is why its so important for them to be real and not plastered on.

      I was in a similar Christian culture growing up. Somehow I felt the responsibility of everyones salvation was on me. It was ridiculous.

      Love you lady!



I adore your notes! Please don't be shy! :)