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The Beauty of Duality

I live for the juxtapositions. For the ability to hold two truths that at first seem opposing at the same time. As a woman in agriculture, I can be guilty of forgetting these things from time to time, trying to lock away parts of myself to “prove” that I am capable. But I’ve learned through the years that locking away parts of myself doesn’t prove anything; it just makes me less happy.

My whole life, I’ve loved things that others would describe as frivolous. I love floofy dresses, giant hair, and anything with sparkles. As a kid, Grandma's house was where the magic happened. She loved over-the-top as much as I do and frequented thrift shops for pretty dresses for me. These dresses lived in a trunk in her back room, and family legend says that even as a young toddler, I would push my way into her house, dump my jacket and backpack on the bench in her entryway, then stand in the entrance door with my little hands on my hips and announce, “Grandma, I need a dress!”

She would take me by the hand and lead me to her trunk full of treasures, where we would sift through until we found the perfect outfit for the day. But as much as I loved these fancy dresses, I also loved being on the farm. I never once let them stop me from bottle feeding a calf, “fishing” in a mud puddle, riding my horse, or whatever other adventure was on the plate for the day.

This duality is something I hold close. It shows up frequently in my life, the art on my walls, and my photography. I’ve always been drawn to the duality that is pretty and gritty because there is so much beauty in it. So as an adult, when I’m driven to tuck the frivolous, pretty, and sparkly away just to prove that I’m tough or capable, I remind myself that those things are not at war with each other. In fact, I think they make a beautiful combination.

When I think back to that little girl in her muddy dress, camped out in the barn, that beautiful, confident, capable little girl, I realize: You’ve had it figured out all along. The pretty and the gritty are not mutually exclusive; they complement each other, creating a richer, more authentic life.

Embracing this duality has been a journey of self-acceptance. It’s about recognizing that I don’t have to fit into a single mold to prove my worth. The glitter doesn’t diminish the grit, and the floofy dresses don’t undermine the hard work. They coexist, making me who I am—a blend of strength and sparkle, practicality and whimsy. So, to anyone feeling the pressure to hide parts of themselves to fit in or to prove something, remember: you are allowed to be multifaceted. Your unique combination of traits is what makes you truly beautiful and capable. Embrace your duality, and let it shine.

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