I was sitting here thinking how the stuff in my apartment is slowly being overtaken with moisture (it is Portland after all) and finding it strangely comforting. It made me think so many thoughts..
I think of it as a step up- this being comforted by imperfections. It humbles me and reminds me of the inevitability of loss. It makes me feel closer to nature.
These thoughts led to me thinking of my feeling as an outsider, especially around other women- in the sense of a certain plainness and a certain shoddiness I wear and feel comfortable in (now more than ever) and it gives me peace.
I was raised by a single dad and my mother was sick with a psychological condition for much of my life. She was far away from me. Growing up, I found it hard to be close to women, to know how to relate to them, be like other women. I mean this in the sense of vanity. This chasing after an image of perfection.
I’ve struggled with self-confidence. I guess what I am saying is: As I am not yet thirty, yet approaching it slowly, I now know who I am and what I am not..
I succumbed to the pressure when I was younger and tried so hard to figure it out– makeup, nails, hair, style– It’s just not me. It’s just that I don’t much see the point? It feels grasping to me, desperate. On style, I guess I developed my own. I’m eclectic.. I’ll leave it at that.
I’m fascinated by other women- all types. I people watch all day. On their different looks I’m often thinking.. how do they do it? It’s amazing. It’s hard. Men hardly ever get a second glance from me.. I see the work women do to look attractive, too please. Some women.. it’s fascinating. It’s art.
I guess for the first time the other day, (since I was younger, 19/20, pregnant/with a new baby- which – at the time -was the prettiest I ever felt -because it made me healthy and strong. I am naturally frail- if this was Jane Eyre times I probably wouldn’t have made it- let’s just be honest..) I saw a glimmer of it- I actually thought I was pretty. Me. At 29 years old… finally. Just me. With my plain, honest face, beat-up old boots and well-loved corduroy jacket. It was just for a second, but it gave me hope. ❤
This also raised a lot of issues and some stifling rage and righteous anger for my childhood self and all the people who made me feel like I wasn’t, couldn’t be, pretty. A Grandparent who made fun of my strong nose and big ears and called me ‘Dumbo’. (I just realized how extra-cruel that was. Dumbo’s mother was locked up. Mine was too.) I was a kid for Christsakes! For all practical purposes I just lost my mom and these were the people who were supposed to take care of me.. They jeered at me- at my skinny, knock-kneed self, made jokes about my outsize hands and feet.. I looked like an extra straight out of ‘Annie’, but that’s superficial. Where were the adults to tell me they believed in me? If my mother was there she would’ve. My mother may have been sick, but I never doubted her love.
There were others.. bullies at school. Then later the boyfriends, the guys, making comments, judging my body..
Well you know what? Fuck them! Seriously. I wish I could go back in time and tell my 9-year-old self to tell them to fuck off. I wish I could be my own guardian angel then. My daughter is 9, the same age I was then, and it’s really doing a number on my emotions. She is getting to that awkward stage..
I am laughing. Divine justice. A small mercy. I had no one looking out for me, but here, 20 years later, I am there for her.