India Arie is on repeat on our computer right now. The image of myself, something I have always, always struggled with; what do others think of me? What do they see when they look at me? What do I think of myself? How do I look in those skinny jeans? Some days I’m thin. Most days I’m fat. Every day it’s on my mind. Am I beautiful? Inside? Outside? What are my goals? I accomplished this, I didn’t accomplish that. I lost a pound. I gained a pound. I ran. I didn’t run. I wrote. I watched television instead. I ate that piece of cake.
This Romantic Monday (please click here for an absolutely beautiful post made by Mrs. Hotspur) for me, is all about self love. I may be stretching things here, since it is called romantic Monday, but with all of the different takes on the subject floating about, I figured I could make it work.
So here’s a stream of consciousness post, very true to what races through my mind each and every day, a sort of pep talk mixed with a few I-can’t-help-it downers. My thought process in all its vulnerable glory.
I hate how I look in the morning I love how I look in the morning, fresh faced with blemishes and eyeliner streaking down one cheek am I gaining weight? My face looks puffy but that’s just the sleepiness doing its thing, you won’t think the same way later, stop poking at yourself in the mirror. I’m in the shower do I look thinner today? You haven’t eaten breakfast yet it’s all empty I almost don’t want to but the hunger, the hunger is stronger than the thought of giving in to some disorder, he tells you you’re crazy every time you say it but does he really feel that way? You’ve come such a long way, a long, long way don’t do this now, she tells you, he tells you, what is there to be but happy. Either way I cannot win, too thin you’re disease, too fat he doesn’t want you, you can’t fit in, to clothes or crowds or friendships and you’re pregnant, they’ve whispered it so often you may as well be, I’m afraid they’re all thinking it. It’s the one way to stab at me to pull the tears out to force it all to the surface. Forcing off the layers I can’t even look I turn the mirror as I move and bend I closed the door I lock it so he doesn’t see but he has seen, he’s touched, he’s kissed, but mostly with the lights low a bulge here or there it lessens my value, my arguments can’t hold up my opinions do not matter I fade into the majority next to others, firm and uninhibited and strong and standing straight I am pathetic, I am lessened, I don’t know my way around it all, what good am I? You’re well-spoken, you are a graduate, you are valued, you are loved, you are looked at, really, really looked at when you catch him staring at you even in your pajamas, no bra on, no lipstick, stubs of eyelashes poking out from above those green eyes, sorry nothing on for show today, am I still me? Something else? But you like how those collarbones show themselves, I’m afraid they’ll disappear tomorrow, but do your pants still fit? They aren’t snug yet, stop paying attention to the number, how do you feel? I am broken, I am fixed, my mind is in shambles, my mind is piecing back together, you are not the only one. Never, ever alone. Don’t believe everything you think, repeat it back, go through the motions, feel everything around you, don’t waste a single second. Swallow the air and dance in the kitchen and kiss him on the mouth and force his hand around your waist at night and don’t worry about those layers of blankets in between it doesn’t matter, you are here, he is here, they are here, you’ve come such a long way, keep going, push, keep fighting, you are your own guide, you are your own destiny, you have the will, you look so good in that red lipstick.
– Nicole Marie