Yesterday was the first day I felt “pretty” in a very long time. The suggestion of feeling pretty to me, always felt like a weird dance — the perception of beauty and perception of myself, always swirling around one another but never combining. Regardless of how I feel about myself, my appearance does not change. Or does it? I’ve discovered that the happier I feel, the more I notice myself looking “pretty” in the mirror. When I’m not worrying, being anxious or nervous, being in pain and/or anti-social, I forget that life seems a lot… lighter, fluffier, easier. Floating around on clouds is a hell of a lot easier than trudging through the mud. I’ve always had a misconception that having ones’ head in the clouds was a bad thing. I remember connecting with Sebastian in Neverending Story –what was so wrong with daydreaming and finding yourself in a mystical, mythical, fantastical world? I remember the range of emotions that movie made me feel — why was he being told to keep his feet on the ground? Dreamers make bad situations look better all the time. And what could be wrong with making the best of what we have? Or, when what we have is true crap, creating new and better realities?
Thinking of looking in the mirror and seeing beauty never really occurred. I’d seen beauty in so many other things, but the things I found beautiful about them were not qualities I could see in myself, and thus did not feel I possessed. So what if I could imagine beauty in a different way? What if I could just see past what others might consider flaws, and see the beauty in my soul as it shines through me?
This is where “feeling better” really begins to affect “looking better” — because I have felt active and productive and found comfort in a routine that most people are already accustomed to, I have put more time into how I present myself to the world. And when I present something that looks so different, I forget for awhile that I’m seeing the same person that has always been there. But because my frame of mine has changed, so have my habits, and so has my perception of beauty.
I can’t say I’m fully “there” yet — there are always days when I will feel ugly, where I may look in the mirror and wonder why I bothered getting out of bed. But the days that breathe new life into my lungs and hope into my heart always remind me that there’s nothing I can’t overcome, if I learn to be more resilient. If I can bounce back from sadness, fear, uncertainty… if I can find comfort in the small things… if I can see tomorrow as another day to change my life instead of just another day to suffer through, life becomes a little easier to process and enjoy.
It’s been a productive weekend of cleaning — I put on a pretty face, and a pretty outfit yesterday, just to go window-shopping. I could have easily worn sloppy clothes and left my hair in a scrunchie like I do many times when I leave the house. But I decided to make myself look the way I was feeling — hopeful, cheerful and alive.
It’s good progress.