I’ve lost the feeling of pretty. It’s been months since I’ve looked in the mirror and thought “I look good” or “Wow, I like ________ about myself”. It’s been months since I’ve had a desire to dress well, to do my hair, to invest into my appearance. My focus has been on everything BUT my looks. I’ve been chasing dreams of mine, I’ve been supporting family members, I’ve been growing as a person.
This might sound odd, but I feel like I’ve been emptied of my “pretty”. I look in the mirror and I can’t believe I am the same person I was 8 months ago when I felt so appealing. I see what was once my lush lash line, replaced with sparse lashes due to a lash-extension nightmare. I see my new bangs and something about them makes me feel like I’m back in grade nine. I see my blah outfit and wonder when I’ll ever be motivated to dress up again. I’ve hit a lull.
Because of this “lull” I now I see myself as a vessel, ny body is something that enables me to live. Not feeling pretty is not an insecurity thing. I’m not insecure about how I look, I’m not scared I’ve suddenly turned hideous. No, it’s been a different kind of shift in me.
I’ve been struggling to navigate this season. I miss feeling B-O-M-B, but I don’t miss the insecurity that it accompanied it. Last summer and fall, I felt the best I ever have. I had a lot of motivation to be dressed well and to do my hair + make up. I was acting out of the fear of not being enough. Not pretty enough, or whatever word you want to interject there.
I hate to admit this, but a lot of it had to do with male attention. A dangerous trap. A trap I’d suggest everyone avoid. Don’t rely on anyone’s affirmation. They’re fleeting, arbitrary, and are too easily relied upon. When they’re no longer around, its hard to rebuild that self confidence.
Now, I’m 7 months single, and haven’t even had a legitimate interest towards someone in that time. I feel as though I don’t really have anyone to impress. Actually, that’s not accurate. I don’t want anyone to be impressed by my appearance. I want someone who thinks it’s so cool that I’m pursuing my dreams. And if we’re being really honest, I don’t really want anyone at the moment. I want to continue to grow on my own.
Another aspect that has really altered my thinking, is thankfulness. I would be lying if I said I am not guilty of nitpicking my body apart. “My calves are too fat” or “My second toe is longer than my big toe” or “My hair line goes too far down my neck” or honestly anything that over looks the body that works PERFECTLY to provide me with a life.
The job that I work is primarily caring for individuals whose bodies don’t work like mine. As I’ve been deeply impacted by my job, which I love, I have grown to be a lot more thankful for what I have. If people look at me and see flaws, they are blind. Blind to the fact that my limbs let me walk, hug, work, run, dance, jump. Blind to the mind that runs my body. They have missed out on seeing everything I have!
Because of the nature of my job, I also don’t get dressed up for it. I usually show up wearing clothes I can move in and won’t be upset if they are dirty, stained, or ruined. The truth is, I miss dressing up, but frankly, my job isn’t about me.
I’ve come to a point where when I have a thought that can be simplified to “Poor me”, I become very frustrated with myself. How can I, someone who has every advantage in life, for a second, feel sorry for myself?
I’ve been learning to stand on my own two feet. I’ve my beginning to make choices without considering what others might think of them. I’ve grown to be confident despite what I’m wearing, or how well groomed I look on a particular day, or regardless of how many people are texting me. Exciting things are happening in my life, doors are opening for me, and I’m quite content with everything.
I am hopeful I will look in the mirror someday and have mastered a balance of feeling beautiful and yet still be able to not rely at all on that feeling. For now, I have lost feeling pretty, and gained something much deeper, and I’m not sorry about it.