The battle

The endless struggle between what type of person I want to be versus what type of person will I be happy to see looking back at me in pictures and through the mirror is not something I have conquered yet.

I hear a lot of people say that they never get passed that however I believe that this has become my number one goal. The way I grew up was very nonplussed about the way I looked. I owned mirrors of course, and I always attempted to keep some sort of style to my cloths. Most the time that style was a tshirt and jeans with some sort of tennis shoe. Not very classy. I didn’t wear a lot of make up nor do much with my hair. To be honest I was probably in high school before what I did with my hair really became an issue.

You see, I was the tomboy. The sports girl. If it wasn’t one sport it was another. Basketball, volleyball, soccer you name it. I love riding my bike skateboarding and rollerblading too. I jammed to too loud of music, mainly some sort of r&b concept, mixed with rap when I could get away with it. I watched the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox every chance that I could get. I fell into a relationship with a kid that was in a school play with me one year when I was convinced to try something new since girls basketball was over and the only active sport at my school was cheerleading. (Don’t get me wrong, I was drug into that too since I was the loudest person in my school. Trust me you don’t want those details.)

I stayed dating that guy for a couple of years off and on (like almost all relationships at that age) but to this day I can’t figure out if he knew and liked me just because I was just like one of the guys. He died, so I can’t ask.

So instead I find myself in my old age of 30something going through and learning things that me peers learned as a teenager. Acne? Never learned how to handle that so these constant shifts wearing masks has me looking like I’m pubescent again. Multiple layers on makeup to guarantee all day wear? Wow, here I was still hoarding pressed powder I bough five years ago. ( Yes I now know there are expiration dates.) Silly problems to be having I know.

So as I edit pictures from my last family function I find myself having weird feelings about seeing myself in these pictures. I have lost some weight recently, not that you can tell in any one of these pictures. I thought it would be more obvious I guess. I find beauty in the natural state of my hair and face. I knew I would be in the pictures so it wasn’t like I didn’t have time to do myself up. I just fought with that tomboy side of me that said it didn’t matter.

More so however, I find me. The me that I try to not see in the mirror when I walk by. The me that welcomes me every time I see a picture, mirror or reflective glass. The one that never minded sweat therapy, never worried about guys opinions and was exponentially happier than the me of late.

I’ve missed her.

The phrase

One day when I was in my teenage years and my father said something that stuck with me. He told me that in a conversation with HIS mother at some point they had started saying phrase when they would get overwhelmed. There must have been multiple things that they came up with over the years but this one stuck with me.

Maybe it was just because he said it to me as often as he did. It could be that because I looked up to her so much that it stuck with me stronger. Whatever the reason was it is now my daily mantra.

Live Life Lightly.

In times like what we are facing with this novel virus we rely back onto the things that give us comfort. I am still scared, nothing will change that. However I have regained my footing and am forging ahead. I am a pretty lucky front line person, working in a room off to the side of the patients rooms more often then not. This change is usually something that I hate actually but during this process I appreciate it. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty when I know that they are having a hard day. That is something that I will continue to deal with because guilt doesn’t understand common sense.

So I remind myself of that small phrase as often as possible. The memories of one of the strongest willed women I have ever known keep things in perspective for me. When that doesn’t work I let the lifestyle and words of my father persuade me.

Live life lightly