And other body parts. And my soul, and personality too, of course, but my god we’d be here all day. So we’ll stick with my glorious mug, and it’s features.
Generally, I’m the most content I’ve been with myself and appearance for a long time. I used to pore over my reflection, with a list of faults and flaws and feel disgusted. Tears of revulsion, forever self conscious. Full mask of make up at all times, immaculate outfit, I even had plastic surgery (ten points to whoever guesses the procedure!) I thought everyone could see the gargoyle that I was convinced I was, and of course this added to crippling low self esteem, self doubt and awful self worth. Which went on to fuel a love of alcohol… and we all know how that turned out.
But lately, I’ve felt settled with how I look. I can see myself, in all its glory (?) and be ok with it. There’s still bits I’d rather were different, but overall I’m happy with my lot. I’ll leave the house cosmetic free, and happily lay on the war paint at other times, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to do it. I don’t obsess, or feel ill, or hate myself anymore.
Then occasionally, I’ll be taken aback by a photograph, or reflection, and think ‘man. I look so old/tired/hideous.’ Pretty standard stuff, I know, and a beauty regime of three hours broken sleep a night plus a vat of caffeine each morning does not hasten a glowing complexion or fabulous all natural appearance. I know this. I know I’m getting older, too, and I’m usually thrilled and excited by this (given I genuinely never thought I’d see in thirty, every day is a blessing to be thankful for).
But still. I scrolled my instagram feed and literally froze. I look old. Tired. Haggered, even. Bad photo…? Perhaps. But I also know my skin is changing, I’ve wrinkles and deepening lines, and let’s not talk about the many strands of glitter that spout from my aging scalp (why are they coarse too? Different colour is fine, but a different texture too?! Come onnnn!)
And I realised, it’s not really that I’m sad to be getting older, or looking older. Not really. It’s a reminder that I’ve wasted so many years of my life – literally pissed them away. And spent them being so unhappy – with myself, my relationships, with every car crash situation I veered into drunkenly. I didn’t make the most of my younger years, at all. And I now wear my resentments on my face, seemingly – I have more frown lines than l have laughter lines. My face is settling into a rather stern, worried expression. Which again, makes me a little sad. I spent many years worrying, anxious, sneering and cross. It feels like I am literally wearing the hangover from those days.
So. I am not wallowing in this revelation. Or making silly resolutions or booking madcap treatments. I may treat myself to a fancier face cream/moisturiser/sun block, and dye my hair. But mainly, I’m resolved to laugh more. To smile more, to make sure that the next set of wrinkles and lines are a result of the happiness I feel. Bring on the crows feet from laughing so hard I can’t breathe, from squinting at the sun going down, from smiling at my blessings in life (of which I have many). Let my face, body and soul free of worry and frowns! I’ve always believed the happiest people are the most attractive, and I’m determined to wear my joy for life with pride. I have years to live, make the most of and enjoy, and I’m hopeful that will reflect as I get older. I am lucky enough to love, and be loved. I’m content.
And in the meantime, there’s always make up and a bloody good filter on an off day.