As a teenager, I always wanted to have a “thing”; something about me that was unique to only me. For a while it was a plain, silver thumb ring that I wore every day. I didn’t know any other girls in my class who had one. Another time it was a nose ring, but I truly hated putting it in or taking it out, so I called it quits with that. I made my mom buy me a pair of black converse shoes just so I could immediately doodle on them with permanent black marker. That isn’t really unique to just me, but man, I really wanted to be cool. I wore jewelry no one else had, took popular trends and ran with them, but I never wanted to be just like anyone in particular. I wanted to be a mash up of all the incredible women, trends, and looks that I so admired. I wanted to be me, and I wanted to be unique.
I’m not sure where this innate desire came from, or if it really has a root; I just know it’s deeply ingrained in me. It isn’t the desire to stand out, not like it used to be in high school. It’s changed to a longing to be free to be whoever Janelle is. Trends don’t interest as much as they used to, not that I don’t enjoy some of them. (Which, almost all the crazy 90s trends are just painful. No no no.) I remember reading on Instagram a few years ago, “Be timeless, not trendy,” and I was like, yes! That! I want to be that!
It’s a mindset that is more important than whatever clothes are on my back or the haircut I have on my head. This week I shaved some of my hair off, and it was one of the most liberating things I’ve done. It’s just hair, though, right? Cutting it off doesn’t make me timeless.
What makes a woman timeless?
I think it’s more than the whole look. It’s more than shaving part of my hair off or wearing an outfit that I might consider wearing again in five years. It’s being relevant to people who are in this world, knowing what’s really happening outside my door, caring less about how good I look and so much more about how other people in this world are existing. Being timeless has so little to do with me. It has so much more to do with other people, being with people, and caring so much more about others than I do about what makes me unique.
You see, every single one of us is unique. So intricately created. We have gifts and purpose that no one else in this world has except for us. I don’t need something to wear that will make me stand apart. I need something in my soul, that changes me day in and day out, that makes me timeless, free, unfettered.
I’ve thought on this often over the past few months. It feels like I’ve pinpointed a wavelength in this life where I feel freedom, and I feel free to do what no one else does. I am free now, more than ever, because there’s less of me in the equation and more of God. There’s less interest in my own praise and so much more devotion to His glory.
I want the Father, the author of all time and ultimately the most timeless of us all, to be the reason I am such a unique woman. Not a ring on my finger or the shoes on my feet. Just Him.