I’m 34 years old, and I give up. I admit defeat. I won’t ever look like a mannequin, a Barbie doll, or a Victoria’s Secret model. I will never be a size 2, have a completely clear complexion, or a flat stomach.
It’s just not going to happen. And damn, it’s taken me way too long to finally just say this and be done with it.
I guess it was my stay in the hospital this summer that scared me. I had spent so much mental energy worrying about the way I looked, believing that I just didn’t look “good enough.” I hadn’t worried about my health, my body - never thinking it would suddenly fail me.
So, now here it is. Almost two months out of the hospital. Still certain medical issues unresolved. But, I’m relatively healthy. I’m walking. I’m caring for my son.
And it’s time I start celebrating the me I am. Celebrating by looking in the mirror and saying something nice to myself. Celebrating by wearing pretty underwear - with soft lace and fun designs. Celebrating by turning my bathroom into a virtual fruit salad - with the scents of strawberry shampoo, rose-scented lotion, and lavender bubble bath. Celebrating by polishing my nails in colors like Sugar Plum and Purple Pizzazz. Celebrating by singing along to the radio while I drive. Celebrating by smiling.
Smiling is a big one. Because whatever is going on at work that will make me want to bang my head against the wall, I still have a multitude of reasons to smile. And those reasons are all way more important than any inconveniences or frustrations that would make me frown.
Every year I remind my students that they are incredible human beings. To this day, I am utterly amazed that with the billions of people on this planet, no two will ever be alike. We are unique. Individuals.
And yet, how stupid we are to take this beautiful gift for granted. That’s the only way to explain how much time and energy most people spend trying to fit in and be like other people - look like other people, dress like other people.
I’ve always been happy to be a little different - the person with sterling silver rings on almost every finger, the person who changes her earrings to match her outfits. But, I’ve never really given myself enough credit for the woman I am. I’ve always compared myself to women who I thought were prettier, thinner, sexier. I’m not doing that any more.
I’m pretty enough. Thin enough. Sexy enough.