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
So grab your lipstick and your laptop and travel!