Archive for February 20th, 2011

Familiar Faces

A long and eventful day, but here, have a blog post!

So this weekend has been a nice, relaxing affair. Lots of alone time, which I don’t think I realized how much I needed. XD Introvert, oh yeah, I guess I am!

This morning, I didn’t get up until 11 AM. I went through my usual morning routine on days when I don’t have cereal, which is to skip breakfast and take my shower and forget to eat until sometime in the afternoon (not the best way to eat, by far, but I am bad at keeping a schedule when I don’t have it laid out for me). At any rate, after my shower, when I was getting ready to go out and deposit my paycheck (which I got in the mail yesterday), I went and brushed my hair as I always do.

Then I stopped, and looked at myself in the mirror. And then I got really close up. Close enough to see the little lines under my eyes that are the first sign of aging I’ve noticed since I found my first gray hairs a few weeks ago. Close enough to see every fine hair on my face, the pores on my nose, and every little line on my lips.

How often do people look at themselves that closely, without some agenda of picking apart their appearance? The lines didn’t bother me. I personally look forward to the time when I don’t have such a baby face, and people don’t card me every time I order a drink. I wasn’t analyzing my face for any reason other than the fact that it’s something I rarely do. I felt kind of introspective, and so I studied my face in the mirror for a good five minutes, going over every detail of it. Eyebrows that are bushy, because I haven’t had the money to get them waxed in a while (which I only do because I’m too lazy to pluck). The slightest hint of a mustache, since I started getting that waxed and of course the hair grows back darker. The scar on the tip of my nose where I got bitten by the family dog when I was little (it was self-defense on her part, and I’ve never blamed her or been the slightest bit afraid of dogs). The pores on my nose which are larger than the pores on the rest of my face, for whatever reason. The small blemish next to my right nostril where a pimple was coming in (I popped it later in the day, so it’s slightly bigger and redder, but at least now it’ll heal). The ever-present dark circles under my eyes, for one because I don’t get quite enough iron and for another because I don’t get quite enough sleep. And my eyes, behind my fairly stylish and comfortable glasses. Eyelashes that are just thick and dark enough to be pretty, brown eyes that are warm and clear. One eyelid that droops more than the other, which runs in my mother’s family.

And then I just sat and looked into my own eyes. Mesmerized by what I saw in that face, so many stories of my life and so much about who I am, a map that I can read without even having it in front of me. I sat and stared at myself, falling in love with this beautiful girl a little, as she smiled back at me in the mirror. She certainly wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot. And she isn’t what many people would find attractive. But she has mostly clear skin, lovely dark hair, and eyes that speak a thousand words without her having to utter a sound.

I don’t know if I’ve ever looked so closely at my own face before, without being acutely aware of every flaw I perceived in it. And while there were minor things I wouldn’t mind being changed (the bushy brows and dark circles), I don’t think I would want another face.

I always want to be intimately familiar with my own face. To see pictures of myself and not feel like I’m seeing a stranger. To know without a doubt who I am out the outside, like I know myself on the inside. I’m not there yet. I’ve made progress in the past few years, since I began with Fat Acceptance, but I have a very long way to go.

But I think, from now on, if I have a really bad day, if I begin to feel like there’s nothing worthwhile about me, or I’m ugly or unlovable, that maybe I should just look at that girl in the mirror again. Look in her eyes, and see what I can find there. Maybe it won’t be the same thing, but whatever it is, it’s something worth looking for.


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