First shot. No makeup. Natural light.
I was looking at myself as I dried off from the shower, and I felt the usual things I do when I see myself naked – some disappointment, some stress, some disinterest. And then I really started to look.
I am not a young woman anymore. I have scars – from a miscarriage, from two pregnancies, from gall bladder surgery and breast cancer. My breasts sag from age and from nursing two children. My stomach is pouchy from pregnancies and food and drink and the medications I’ve had to take and life. I’m about 45 pounds heavier than I’d like to be and I have cellulite and a muffin top and bat wings. My skin is spotted with freckles and vitiligo and old tan lines. My head is virtually bald, my eyelashes and eyebrows thinning, my eye sockets slightly hollow from chemo and illness.
But then I saw my eyes. And I truly stood up a little straighter. My eyes, my father’s eyes, my green eyes – they are clear. I have been so fortunate in this short life that it is astounding, surmounted each challenge with which I have been faced, been blessed with health, wealth, love, and LIFE.
I looked at my eyes, and my face, and I realized – everything on my body is just as it should be. Only this body has been through the things it has. Only this body has known this glorious and lovely life. And if I look a little hollow, and little round, well that’s just as it should be. I am not 21 – I am 38 and damned proud I have made it this far.
I am NOT a young woman anymore – and I don’t want to be. I want to be just who I am, where I am, with clear eyes that have seen me through it all.