We all pick ourselves apart. Whether out loud with friends or at home, alone, staring at ourselves in front of the mirror, it's a terrible habit that most of us can't quit. I certainly have a problem doing it. Granted, ever since having Claire, I'm much more conscious of what I say aloud. I'm doing it in my head all of the time though.
I'm extremely confident in most areas of my life. In my work. In my writing. In my friendships and relationships with my family. In little things too like being able to put together the perfect outfit for any occasion or holding my own in conversation. I'm really good at making most people giggle. But when it comes to love, my self-esteem is at an all time low. I've obviously pinpointed the culprit. I know where this comes from. You know where this comes from. In fact, there are some details that are still coming out as to why I feel certain ways when it comes to intimacy or just my physical appearance. I feel like I shouldn't be blamed for it though. I was in a decade-long relationship with someone that knew everything about me and decided I wasn't worth very much. And I know there are so many women and men that can relate to that feeling. It trickles down to every part of ourselves. And frankly, it fucking sucks. Even when a thought pops up that I know is completely irrational or nonsensical, it doesn't stop it from being very, very real for me.
I put myself under a microscope a lot. I find myself almost warning people who show interest in me of my flaws. It's like a subconscious form of self-sabotage that I've constructed. I don't do this to all of them though. It's only the ones that could be real. It's not the fun ones or the ones playing games. I spoon feed myself to those, knowing what the end result will be and allowing myself to get hurt by it. That's so dumb and, this too, is a habit so many of us have. We are too smart for that behavior.
I'm very in tune with my flaws. I can list them out for you quite quickly but that doesn't make me any less great. That doesn't mean someone who wants to take me out will be disappointed. I have to rewire myself. I don't want to find that confidence and base it on someone else's validation though. It's nice to have but I've got to hold strong to how I feel when I look at myself in the mirror. And, most days, I'm pretty amazed at myself too. Why do I constantly make men, men who want to date me in particular, question that? I don't know but I know that I have to be more aware of it. Having a sense of humor and making self-deprecating remarks within my writing that people can relate to is one thing, but assuming that a first date will end badly because of me is a terrible feeling. I know I'm not the only one either.
I like looking inward at myself though and putting down on paper what I see. Sometimes I learn more about myself. Sometimes I walk away liking myself a bit more. So I did it again. I put myself under a microscope but this time it wasn't with an attitude of disdain or hatred. Instead, it was just the facts.
I started with the easier of the two: the physical.
I stood in front of my mirror earlier in black panties and a black bralette. The back band cuts a bit into my sides but it keeps the girls high and it's far more comfortable than an actual bra to which I have a severe dislike for. I've been curvy since puberty hit. And by curvy I mean curvy with actual curves. I've been chubby and thin and all in between too but I've had curves through it all. Even more so now that I've birthed a child and am nearing 30. I started my period one morning when I was 12-years-old. I was in London, because why wouldn't Grace "becoming a woman" happen in a less dramatic way, with my family on our big, two-week European adventure when I woke up and screamed. I knew what it was, obviously. But I was also really pissed. I had to sit on a double-decker tour bus in the heat with a pad that was more like an actual, size 4 diaper than a "woman's napkin." It sucked. But I digress, since then my hips have been rather ... hippy. I like my hips though, no matter if I've twenty pounds more or less they're rounded and look rather sexy in long, tight dresses which I frequent. I've got to remember that when I'm complaining about my legs.
I don't have the best legs. I never have. Even when they were cellulite-free, I always made the joke that when I stood up my knees would disappear. So, I don't wear shorts. Instead, I wear a lot of tight pants so the eyes can be on my hips and my not knee-less gams. My feet are thin. They can fit into any shoe and most of the time they don't even look like they belong to my body. I like them though, ya know, because I really love having the option to wear any shoe I want. The same goes with my hands. Long, thin fingers gave me the ability to throw an extra screwy screwball, so I like them too. And when I get around to painting my nails and wearing a few rings, they're not bad to look at either.
My hair is golden. Now I mean that in both a literal and metaphorical way. It's a strange, blonde shade that I've never dyed before because it's ever-changing all on its own. It's big and bouncy and if there's one thing about myself I can always count on it's that my hair will always do its job. When I smile there are small divots near my jawline that I've never loved. Although, I love them more now because my dad has them too.
I'm always really tense. So even the softest parts of my body always feel a bit hard. My shoulders are broad but they give me a bigger presence. I like that. Although, I do wish I could relax them a bit more. I think I may get a tattoo back there one day. But so far I've marked myself in three places: my neck, my chest and my forearm. I love all three of those spots. Next up, I'll be tattooing my stomach, on the left, quite high up.
Inheriting wrinkles is funny. It's like a curse and a kiss from your family all at once. I don't have many wrinkles but the few I do have sit all in the same spot; above my nose, in between my eyes. I'm starting to get the same two that my mom has developed over the years, which come from her father. Did you know my grandfather looks quite a bit like George Clooney? Yes, he sure does. And then the one directly above my nose that is subtly getting more and more apparent, that's from my dad. I've got to stop squinting.
I'm such a walking conundrum though. As I sit here writing all of this out, I'm completely confident in myself. I rarely get embarrassed. I'm goofy and a bit offbeat and rather awkward in tons of scenarios. But I'm also composed when I need to be. I'm confident enough to let anyone willing to look, read all of my most intimate thoughts, moments and memories. But when it comes to dating, I question myself. I question the men who are interested in me. Are you sure? Are you sure you want to take me out? That's such a dumb question though, because I'm great. Even the squishiest parts are great.