Bring It On

Today is my fortieth birthday. Lately I've been getting lots of "forty isn't so bad" and "you wouldn't want to be thirty again, right?" Truth is though, I wouldn't want to be thirty again and I wouldn't go back to twenty for all the tea in China.

I spent too many years to count feeling unhappy with what I saw when I looked in the mirror. My imperfections glared out me in a blaze until I shielded my eyes and looked away. Every day.

The rampant malcontent among young girls in American culture is not news. I am only further proof of it's existence.

Something changed for me though, somewhere in the years following my divorce — long after my first born was in school.

I started to appreciate the lines in my face for the stories they told. I looked upon my body with wonder and awe for how it nurtured my children. I began to admire my unruly hair for it's distinctly identifiable silhouette. And I stopped looking away.

I don't wear much makeup or color my hair. I hardly remember to put on earrings and I live in comfortable jeans and sweaters.

And I still feel beautiful.

Not every day. But most days. I believe it comes from inside and it is a reconciliation of sorts. A true understanding that beauty is individual. (It helps not to read magazines or watch too much television as well.)

I don't envy the mother of girls the monumental task of imprinting this understanding on their babies. My mother told me I was beautiful every day and yet I didn't believe her until I was well into adulthood. No one ever made me feel less than, but I still wanted to be more. Why was that, I wonder.

I'm finished with it now though and I'm welcoming my next decade with open arms.

Thanks for visiting.