Friday, April 20, 2012

My Six-Word Memoir: Have Lipstick and Laptop, Will Travel

Have Lipstick and Laptop, Will Travel

Several years ago, Smith magazine launched  their Six-Word Memoir project and a series of subsequent books. I first heard of it on a radio broadcast early one morning the week before I was heading to Italy for a  short business trip. All through the week, I pondered the challenge: what is my story in six words? What 6-word phrase would represent important details or values in my life? Wow - a pretty tough challenge! It nagged at me all that week.

Then it dawned on me at the start of my trip. A pilot waiting with me in the terminal commented on how lightly I was packed for a woman - I only had a small carry-on with my laptop and a couple changes of clothes, and a tiny hand-held purse that fit my wallet, passport, and lipstick. This is when it came to me. I jokingly replied to the pilot that all I needed was my lipstick and laptop. And as I thought about that, I realized those two things really did sum up most everything I needed and valued - life need not be weighed down with heavy luggage. Travel light, focus on the important things, live in the moment and have a free spirit and an open mind!

Here is what the items represent to me:

Lipstick stands for all things beautiful and polished, as well as simplicity. It is the notion that we should be beautiful inside and out and pay attention to simple details in life, like the extra sparkle a touch of lip gloss can give to a woman's smile. I believe that beauty can be found in many ways and that what is most important is the beauty we find inside people - kindness, compassion, honesty. But I also believe in being healthy, physically fit, eating right and trying to present the physical gifts God gave us in the most flattering light. So yes, attention to nice clothes and a clean, polished appearance is important to me as well.

The laptop is a connection to the world, a tool for communication, a source of news and education, an essential part of a busy professional's life and highly complex. It represents "brains" to complement the beauty; form and substance to balance the aesthetic. For it is not enough to be beautiful and simple, it is important to be smart and interesting as well. Yet, the laptop is portable and lightweight - offering access to an incredible and diverse world in the palm of your hand.

So lipstick and a laptop are symbiotic for an amazing life of adventure. With the ideas represented by these two items, one can travel the world, meet new people, explore exciting places. Experience the beauty and wonder of life!

But "Will Travel" doesn't have to mean flying around the world. You can immerse yourself in a great book from the comfort of your sofa to explore new worlds - and then, ideally, discuss it with a friend! You can meet and interact with people in your community from diverse cultures. You can go to the theater to experience dance or music from far away lands. Being willing to travel is about having an adventurous spirit and an open mind - if your adventures take you down the street or across the ocean, you just need to be willing to learn and grow from them!

So grab your lipstick and your laptop and travel!


  1. loving that you've joined the blogging fraternity, you need a follow me widget so I can click it and not have to try to remember what your blog is called when I want to check if you've written something new! Looking forward to reading more and more and more.

    1. Thank you, Verena! I've added some new follow/share widgets. Still have a lot to learn about tools and set-up, but thanks for following!