Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hats Off

Hat Shop Colmar, France

So Sher and I decided to go to church. Although we'd moved to BYU six weeks before, we'd gone home to SLC every Friday because that's where our boyfriends were. This particular weekend our guys came down to see us, so our excuse was gone. The comfort of home was only an hour away, but we got up our nerve to join the college kids. For some reason (because we weren't geeky enough as the youngest freshmen girls in our ward) we chose to wear hats.

Colmar, 2008

Nobody wore hats in 1968 Utah, except on the ski slopes. We, however, sported felt fedoras to match our outfits, ala Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. With supreme self-confidence we left the dorm. By the time we had walked smartly across campus, I felt like my hair was on fire. Even now I blush remembering the awkwardness of sitting through church knowing nobody could see over my hat.

Vanity kept me from tearing it off and hiding it in the closet, although I went home every Sunday after that, too chicken to make a reappearance. Being fashion-forward took more nerve than I had. But I learned an important lesson.

If you don't stand out from the crowd, you won't get noticed.

Happy people aren't afraid of their individuality; they embrace it. A blessing of getting older is that I'm less intimidated by what others might think of me, mostly because I've realized they aren't thinking of me. I'm unique! If I don't express my personality, who will?

I'm inspired by folks who step out of the crowd and make a positive difference. Hats off to the math teacher who could make more money elsewhere, but believes in the potential of thirteen-year-olds. Hats off to the pediatrician who sews up a teddy-bear after he stitches a kid's head wound. I take my hat off to the saleswoman who said, "That skirt just doesn't work for you," and the chubby great-grandma who went water skiing with her family. (These examples are all real people I know.) They aren't afraid to wear their own extraordinary style, with style.

by Coles Phillips
A Travel Blessing

Write Now: Do you have the courage to "wear your own hat?" Who do you admire that has that kind of self-confidence? Tell us here, or on your own blog.


Kay Dennison said...

I still wear hats to Mass. And I've always had my own style. I gave up caring what other people thought a long time ago. What bugs me are the people who think I should conform to their standards. I don't know how to be anybody but me and I gave that up as a bad job.

kenju said...

I have been wearing hats off and on since I was a teenager, when I modeled them for a local department store. I went to a tea given my a neighbor recently, and out of 50 attendees, I was one of three with a hat on. The other two took theirs off when they saw no one else with one. I proudly kept mine on the whole time.

Christie said...

The pediatrician did an excellent job of stitching up that bear's nose. It's still holding firm, several years later. Must not have used the dissolving stitches.

I totally don't have the guts do stand out. Wish I did though.

Sarah said...

Cute story! New Years Resolution for Sarah: Dont be afraid to stand out!

mama jo said...

great story...but, what did everyone think? pretty funny you two...are you still wearing hats?

Polly said...

I haven't ever worn a hat...but maybe it's time to start.

Sheri said...

That is too funny about you and Sher! I wish I had your confidence. I prefer to remain anonymous, unnoticed and silent most of the time. Hats off to you.

whit said...

I wear hats all the time, mostly because I didn't want to do my hair..I look up to so many people who stand out and make a difference. Jason being one of those individuals..he just has that confidence that I envy..great story Marty