August 26th, 2012

Going Home

by Jacqueline Whitmore

This week I am going back home to visit friends and family in the small town where I grew up. I couldn’t wait to leave Haines City, Florida 28 years ago to seek a more refined and sophisticated way of life. I was eager to find myself, but somewhere along the way I lost myself in the process.

I think it all started when I decided to open my own business in 1998. I set some lofty goals and worked hard to become a well-known etiquette expert. Little did I know that fame would come with a price. I lost touch with the child (and the artist) within.

I spent years polishing my image like Eliza Doolittle does in the movie, My Fair Lady. I learned to behave in a way that adults are expected to behave in a world of political correctness. The pedestal that I built for myself unknowingly created distance and loneliness.

I polished myself just as I would polish a fine, heirloom piece of sterling silver. I wanted to buff away the tarnish – the parts of my personality that I thought were flawed and unappealing. Now I know better. It’s the dark, rough edges that give us character and make us real and relatable. Everyone has tarnish. I was good at camouflaging mine. I eventually learned that too much polish can appear artificial and ultimately turn people away.

In order to teach others how to be more authentic I had to connect with my own authenticity. Each day I strive to show the world the real me — the person who is caring, loving, generous, and has a wacky sense of humor.

I want to play and be silly and laugh and snort and sing. I want to write more and share what’s going on in my life and not worry about embarrassing myself. I want to be honest and uninhibited and take the filters off whenever I feel like it.

It took years to appreciate where I came from. I’m grateful to be going home to a place where people love and accept me for who I am along with all my imperfections. That’s a great feeling.

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9 Responses to “Going Home”

  1. Gloria on August 27th, 2012 3:48 pm

    Jacqueline. Sounds like some awareness of growth over the years. Maybe maturity and life experiences. But sweet sincere woman, you trained me 10 years ago and I found you to be very willing to help me when I called you. Nothing pretentious; just. woman of kindness and eager to help. Be gentle with yoursel and smile at your growth.

  2. Jacqueline on August 27th, 2012 3:58 pm

    Thank you, Gloria. I love working with amazing women like you!

  3. Patricia Rossi on August 27th, 2012 3:51 pm


    There is nothing more beautiful than rolling out into the world & our everyday lives with our best selves , our true selves, our authentic self… I love to hear you laugh… there is nothing better than that… :0) Have an amazing week.

    My best,

  4. Jacqueline on August 27th, 2012 3:57 pm

    Thanks, Patricia, for stopping by my blog to say hello. I hope you have a good week too! xoxo

  5. Arden Clise on August 27th, 2012 5:12 pm

    Jacqueline, what a beautiful post!! I so understand the drive to perfect and polish ourselves so that we present the perfectly mannered person at all times. Darn hard to do. I make mistakes all the time because I’m not perfect. There is no perfect.

    You are right, it’s the tarnish that makes us interesting as long as we aren’t hurting others. You are one of the most giving, kind, people I know, and that’s what etiquette is all about. Be yourself, you are perfect.

    Have fun going home.


  6. Beth Buelow on August 27th, 2012 6:13 pm

    Jacqueline, my good friend Arden Clise pointed me towards your lovely post. Yes, it’s so important to acknowledge the dings in our armor, as they keep us human, humble and approachable. You shared beautifully how once we accept our own imperfections, others will accept them, too, and love us all the more.

    Thanks for your honest sharing and enjoy every snorting, silly second of being home.


  7. Chicago Pinot on August 27th, 2012 6:41 pm

    Dear Jacqueline:

    Thank you for sharing this post. You’re writing is so focused and purposeful, I really enjoy that. I hope you find who and what you are looking for during your vacation back to Haines City.

    You’ve inspired me to write a little more about my dream, which I will share a little about privately in a separate email.



  8. Brian on August 28th, 2012 5:25 am

    I love you just as you are and I know the REAL you. Snorting and all….

  9. diane jellen on August 28th, 2012 1:01 pm

    Jackie, It is rewarding to live life fully by being the unique person God created us to be. That means growing in wisdom, grace, and love for mankind, especially SELF. Your blog highlights that process, goes a step further, and reminds us to glean the good from our humble beginnings as we cultivate ourselves into being the best person we can be. Your post is warm and relatable. Thank you for your honesty.

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