I’m Not Beautiful Enough

All my adult life I have struggled with my own definition of pretty
Incorporate the unrealistic and unreasonable standards of American beauty into my already fragile psyche and you come out with
“Yeah I’m cute but not really”
Others would tend to think I was fishing for compliments but the reality is I was struggling to see what others saw.

Further saturating myself with body image shame and a highly questionable understanding of who I am and you end up with
A grown woman who sees herself in parts as she looks in the mirror not actually looking at herself at all for over 30 years because she saw no real beauty only flawed excesses of skin that fluctuated with her eating habits and self deprecating persistence of death by denial
Yet, she could spout to her daughter all the things she wished she felt within herself

I have a long and delicate history with affirming myself
Yet I was “conscious” enough of it to at least attempt to not push it on my children

My supreme nemesis…
The camera lens

I don’t “do” video
I can stomach my image in still pictures
But I am hyper critical of myself in moving parts
I look for every nuance
The way my mouth moves, I over concentrate on its shape and how I hold my mouth as I talk
The way my belly fat shakes
and the cellulite in my legs jiggle
How big my nose is
Let’s just stop this while I’m still in control of my emotions

I once purposely Skyped a guy while laying down because I knew it was the most unflattering look I could come up with to make him stop calling
He never called back and his Skype number was disconnected

Mission Accomplished

It has taken me over 20 years to look at myself without critiquing ever minute detail
It took me 10 years not to compare my pictures from 20 years before
I finally can look in the mirror and NOT section myself off but see me
But I still haven’t taken the plunge in to moving pictures
To me it is my ultimate acceptance of myself
As long as I can look at still pictures I can hide but the moment there’s video
All my challenges become real

I have to accept who I am
Be willing to see me for real not as I wish me to be

My inability to accept me
As I am
At any given point in time
Has led me to make
Life changing decisions based on an illusion
I have chosen to perpetuate for the sake of vanity
And an inner conspiratorial need to be accepted
(Of what and of who I’m truly not certain)

I’m nearing a point in my life where
Accepting myself is a necessity since I choose
To work on my authenticity and my need to be free
Of delusional ways of thinking

I am not perfect
Because there is no such thing

My beauty may or may not be accepted by anyone other than those I love and cherish
But I have to stop hiding inside this idea
That I must be ANYTHING
Other than who I am at this specific moment in time
And I have to be okay
With me and my imperfection of wanting to be any different
I have to accept MY reality of beauty
And not in parts

Shout Out to All Those Old Folk Who Knew Life Better Than Me

I’ve come to admire older people
They seem to have figured out the secret to living well
Nothing gets to them or if it does they don’t show it

I used to get upset about every little thing
If the mortgage bill came in
I would stress over making sure it was on time, check my bank account 50 times a day to see if it cleared and if it didn’t I spend the next 40 minutes calling the management company to see when they would deposit it, then I would hyperventilate over when my next mortgage bill would come in. If I had enough in my account to cover the water, the grocery bill, my co-pay and any incidentals I hadn’t yet thought of.

Every morning I would get up and start this whirlwind marathon of getting ready for work and the kids ready for school. It always involved yelling, turning the radio up to 20, nagging kids to get out of bed, standing on the stairs watching to make sure they got in the shower, rush downstairs to get breakfast ready and push them out the door before they had a chance to finish.

By bed time I was grateful just to have them shut up for 10 minutes and I know they were grateful to have me go to sleep for 5 hours of peace and quiet.

Fast forward a few years

My house is quiet, the only noise is the refrigerator humming in the kitchen or the dog piddling around trying to see who he can wrangle to walk him before leaving for school and work.

There’s no loud voices, only a slow round of good mornings as we pass on our way to the shower, no radio blaring most days, although the occasional anime tune will break the silence from time to time before 7:30.

This is life in my world

Relatively stress free and easy

If by chance there’s some payment or appointment I’ve forgotten I pretty much shrug and call to reschedule or make a quick arrangement with apologies for the short notice.

No longer do I yell and scream
once in awhile a little agitated because I swear teenagers move extremely slow when they know they’re already late for something.

I love my world its slow and steady and it makes me feels not so out of place.

I’ve resolved that what ever happens will get solved one way or another so no sense in me getting all bent out of shape about it.

I’m pretty much looking at old folks and saying “So this is the secret to living better”

I wish I’d figured this out before my hair turned gray.

X’s, O’s and Other Completely Contradictory Outlooks

I’ve found now that I’m over forty

I’m pretty much a walking contradiction in terms

I LOVE my music loud and pumpin

BUT I have got to have complete silence for thirty minutes at least twice a day

and I’m okay with that

There’s something about being over 40 that makes me comfortable with being different from other people

I used to subscribe to that age old rule that “Now that you’re of a certain age” you have to act a certain way

DEAD preferably and don’t stink up the joint

I was told when you hit 40-something you had to wear dark colors, mom jeans and flats

I guess these neon green sneakers I’m wearing would not be invited to the party

I don’t feel old,

those creaks you hear coming from my back…

are just reminders I shouldn’t try to swing from the chandelier with a wine bottle in one hand and a bottle of Tequila in the other

I hate the prescribed “Old Skool” R&B…

Some have been considering revoking my Black Card because I can’t get with Barry White, the Whispers and Teddy Pendergrass

yet I love Ol Skool artists like Rose Royce, Prince and Teena Marie

I told you I’m a contradiction

I bang my own drum

At no other time in my life have I been this free thinking and open

I don’t mind that people may call me flaky or weird

look at me side eyed

because I am and its kinda fun

I don’t get headaches,

I don’t have anxiety attacks like I used to

I don’t look like I’ve lived a hard life

I don’t take multiple medications for a variety of ailments

I am overweight but if I get my ass off the couch and stop watching Korean Dramas on the weekends

I’d probably lose about twenty pounds

but then again I’m good with me

Every woman should feel this reinvigorated and sexy

(TIGHTS have revolutionized my wardrobe, gurl let me tell you)

We are born contradictions

Be strong but soft

tough but gentle

good but bad

bitchy but sweet

We breathe contradiction because we’re constantly told who we should be

We fight our spirits for telling us to live outside the boxes, the lines and the curves placed on us

More and more I look at women around me who have succumbed to the bumps and bruises life will give you

We as women have taken on so much baggage that’s not even ours

(it used to be just older women but more and more I see younger women with the scars my elders share)

We try to solve our worlds problems; children, spouses, significant others, work, bosses, friends

and it leaves us drenched and saturated in pain, ache and tiredness

it weighs us down

So that our eyes, our bodies and our speech

are a cascade of reminders of our poor decisions, our disappointments, our losses and our shames

Our heads hurt

Just trying to get through a day without snapping somebody’s neck just to lessen the load

we put on our backs

Yet we forget that we are in control of our lives

And we don’t have to enter every fight that ends up at our doorstep

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I lived with constant headaches

I ate so I would be able to have fun with people I didn’t really like

I dated men who made me feel self conscious and ill at ease with my sexuality and my body

I forced myself to fit a frame that made me look ugly and drab

I made me be an X when in my heart I was an O

because I was shown being an adult meant being miserable and responsible

We are only responsible to be of good moral character

Everything else is pretty much a freak show waiting to be played out

I am a contradiction

I like my ice cream hot with nuts

I refuse to be weighed down by the mental mind games and guidelines of people who are more confused and screwed up than I am

So what if I wear plaids and stripes together

I hear its a new trend walking the runways of Paris this year anyway

I’m finally in season

From Beneath the Covers

I’m a writer by design

I was born a writer

My life revolves around words, they fascinate me

words can build you up, tear you down, reverse your belief, strengthen your motivations

words can change lives, invigorate ideas and push through dreams to become reality

I’m a writer by design

words are important to me

Unfortunately I struggle with maintaining momentum when it comes to words for my blog

I don’t require immediate gratification so I’ve figured out that my problem isn’t the number of people taking a peek at what I’ve written

I don’t require a huge audience so I’m not influenced by dreams of being picked up by Vanity Fair or Salon and becoming famous, trendy or even socially relevant

So why is it that I can’t get this one little thing done once a week

Well let’s just say I’m lazy

I know its not original but its the truth

all it takes is one shiny object placed near the end of my nose and its a wrap

My ADHD kicks in and I’m off to another round of mental festivities like writing my book or working on my latest seminar

O I’ve got a million things to get done before I can sit down with you guys and just let the words flow unencumbered by vanity or self criticism

But what I’ve discovered is that if I can’t commit to once a week with you guys how can I get commit to finishing a whole novel or a series of lectures or creating the niche where people learn that they are more valuable than they’ve been told by world.on an occasion or two

so here I am

once again

beginning again

(I have begun again so many times I’ve run out of fingers, toes and hairs on my head)

but yet….here I am

plunging into the wilderness of my brain hoping to find something that connects us

so to ease myself into this world I’ve given myself an out so to speak

every two weeks

(I’ve set my alarm to remind me to get it done)

words fail me

which doesn’t happen often

but today

I just don’t have any words that don’t end with

“once upon a time…”

I love words

they fascinate me

let’s just hope I can do them justice