When I was in grade school I felt small because I was shorter than all the other girls in my class. When I was in high school I felt ugly because I hadn't developed into my body and I looked like a skinny little boy. In college I felt fat because my body was changing. The last few years I felt old because I started to see wrinkles.
I was never ever happy with who I was. I never felt beautiful. I always wanted to be someone else.
I think one of my biggest regrets is not loving myself properly as I was growing up. I never would have said the things I said to myself to any other girl, woman or person. Why are we so harsh on ourselves? Y ou're ugly, you're fat, you're disgusting, you don't deserve to be loved, no one will ever love you ... would you have said this to your younger self? To a child? I know I wish I didn't. Unfortunately, through the years I think it became a habit.
Self deprecating comments became a part of who I was and it slowly ate away at my soul, my confidence, my life.
I started blogging earlier this year and then I kind of stopped for a few months. There was a week that I shared about singing the National Anthem, I was really scared and happy. I had accomplished a life long dream. But I saw a comment about my legs being weird (I'm double jointed so they're a bit inverted) and then I saw this comment:
Usually when I see negative comments it's things like: you suck, go kill yourself, stop posting, you're ugly, you'll never make it, you're done.
I feel like they come from a place of such anger that I just try to brush it off. But this was different. It was true, yes, my age is starting to show. Sure, I could get defensive and say - "Hey I was so nervous I hadn't slept in 3 days or eaten anything for 24 hours, yea I was in bad shape". Or I could also say, "these aren't photoshopped and the images of women you're used to seeing are photoshopped to look younger". But the reality of it is, I AM getting older. I AM starting to show age. This is natural and normal. But why was I so ashamed? Why was I so sad? Why did I want to stop posting, stop writing, stop sharing?
Society has made Age Shaming such a normal thing. We rarely see a women in her true beauty because everything is so polished and "touched up". It's as if the media fears older women. But this needs to stop. Why do we shame others and ourselves for things we cannot control? In my late 20's was the first time in my life I could look in the mirror without cringing or saying something terrible to myself. I was finally maturing. Learning to love myself and my body the way God created me. Took me a while to get there, shouldn't we be celebrating maturity?
I dont know what what kind of wrinkle cream or eye cream to use. I don't know how to stay looking young. I guess I'm just starting to learn those things but I don't want to obsess over it. I love seeing a woman who has gracefully aged with wrinkles, silver grey hair and the beauty of time on her face. It's natural and beautiful.
My my mom used to tell me I wouldn't blossom into a beautiful woman until my mid 30's as she said that was her prime age, when she was the prettiest. Unfortunately society loves to age shame so much that I haven't even reached that point in my life and I'm already starting to feel old and ugly. But now that I catch myself doing that, I'm going to stop. The only thing I want to fear as I'm getting older is potentially becoming stuck in my ways, stubborn, bitter and not discovering or learning new things.
My physicality will will always be changing but it doesn't define who I am or change my worth. I want to continue learning, laughing and living with a healthy mindset. Shouldn't growing up be fun and beautiful?