I, too, am writing a post before I really give an introduction. Because this is on the forefront of my mind today, and because due to current life circumstances, I may not get many chances to chime in for a while.
I’m sure there are several instances I could write about where I’ve felt beautiful (despite a majority of a lifetime of not feeling beautiful), because I have try to be a generally positive person. On a good day, I can say “Hell yes, I feel beautiful,” without pangs of worry that I am coming across as proud. On most of these, I am still saying it as a mantra to myself that I will eventually believe if I repeat it enough. And still on many other days, I feel far from beautiful. I’ve been having a string of those days recently.
My mother (who lives by herself 5 hours away from me) has been struggling with the onset of a sudden, dementia-like illness brought on by kidney failure, poor medication management, and a UTI. I, being the only child, have been frantically immersed in making long-distance medical decisions, calling doctor upon doctor, and multiple late-night drives to my hometown. I’ve nearly been fired from my own hospital job in order to stay with her in one. And I’m drowning in a sea of worry and anxiety that when all is said and done, her long road to a hopeful recovery may indeed be merely the beginning of the dreaded decline into Alzheimer’s or some other condition which will put her in need of a nursing home at the all-too-young age of her early 60’s.
I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. I feel unchecked, uneducated, uncapable of doing anything correctly. When I interact with my friends and boyfriend, I feel needy at best, and red-faced, covered in snot and ugly tears at worst. I feel so far from myself and the mantras of positivity and beauty that I worked years to develop. They just aren’t a priority when you’re sleeping on a hospital couch in yesterday’s clothes and make-up, stumbling bleary-eyed into the hallway at 4:30 am to ask a nurse to unhook your mom’s IV so that you can help wipe the ass of the woman who gave birth to you while secretly feeling sorry for yourself.
Nope. Not a lot of time to feel beautiful over the last month.
Not until the following moment.
I posted this picture on my Instagram last weekend:
A friend whom I haven’t really seen in a year, and whom I don’t have much contact with outside of sporadic social media “likes” and commentary, made the comment underneath. It definitely stopped me in my tracks, and nearly brought me to tears.
I wanted to share this as my story because it brought me to a whole different level of understanding about myself, and about how others recognize both inner and outer beauty at times we feel so far from it. Also to encourage those who make that brief decision to double tap versus take a few extra seconds to leave what they feel might be idle commentary…it’s not idle. It’s not pointless. It’s just what someone might need to feel beautiful.