Open Letter to Myself
Hey there, gurlfriend! It's been awhile since we've communicated and brought all of our 'parts' together in unison to achieve a goal. It's hard, I know...each of us busy doing what's required to keep The Body functioning. And yes, this whole aging thing is constantly keeping us on our toes. We might need to form a union, discuss overtime compensation and such.
But, that isn't the point of my letter to you. It is this...
I'm making you a promise - one day you WILL look in the mirror and like what you see.
I know you don't now, because I see you glance in the other direction when passing big windows. I see you take wide arcs around mirrors in department stores. I see your glance quickly glaze over every surface that might offer a reflection.
I get it. You aren't what you used to be. But let's be frank, you never were much for embracing your reflection. This avoidance of shiny surfaces isn't new to you.
And, really...avoiding seeing friends, new and old, because you feel embarrassed that you look the way you do isn't healthy. Granted, you've done it...but only after much goading and internal debate over which excuse to use to avoid seeing them.
The reason for this promise is because of last week.
You know that moment when you were 3/4 of the way up the stairs after already walking the big hill and you looked up to see there were at least 50 more stairs to go? You were thinking you couldn't possibly take one more step, you were tired and your legs hurt and you were sure that final step would shatter you into a million little pieces. Then you wondered what would happen if you didn't think of yourself as so fragile - so, you took that step and the next and the next. At the top you swore you were done, you were not going to have a heart attack out there in front of everyone. The next thing you knew, you were back at the base of that big fucking hill for round two - staring up and thinking, "What the hell am I doing, I'm insane?" But you took that step and the next and the next.
You came home proud - drenched with seat, feeling every muscle in your legs and knowing that sitting on the toilet was going to wreak havoc on your gluteus maximus . All was good until you stood in front of that mirror, nekkid.
But you can't fool me. For a brief moment, before you stripped your clothes off, you had a glimmer of appreciation for the red swollen sweaty face in the mirror. You saw changes happening in your body. There is hope for you and your reflection coming to an agreement on what makes you happen when you look at each other.
One day, you WILL like what you see, because you are working hard to make the skin you live in healthy. One day you will no longer compare yourself to other women your age who look thinner, stronger, prettier and less jello-y everywhere. Your reflection will tell you you are someone who is loved and desired, maybe not by that guy who plays Thor or George Clooney, but most certainly by the man who married you 20 years ago (you should know this already by how handsy he gets all the time). Your reflection will tell you that smiling brings light to your face and it draws people in, you know this because you smile all the time at people you don't even know, causing them to smile back. Sharing that smile is beautiful, even if you feel that you are not.
So, keep on eating healthy and climbing those hills, because your interior needs it...not just your exterior. Also, too? Remember we are each graced with the ability to define beautiful in our own terms. You may not look in the mirror now and agree that the woman staring back at you worthy of liking, but I'm sure it is because you haven't given her the benefit of doubt. She really isn't so bad. Get to know her, allow yourself to think her image pleasant. Maybe you should smile at her, I bet she'll smile back.
I promise you, some day you WILL like what you see.
p.s. We all know that if I were to have a heart attack it wouldn't be on the stairs, fully clothed. No, it would be in my shower so that when the paramedics came to take me away all my wrinkly droopy lady bits would be right there on center stage. I just hope that Thor doesn't quit acting to become a paramedic - that would be just my luck.