But it wasn’t all stupid.
It was 55 and rainy.
The photo prompt was my favorite color.
My bosses brought me lunch. Buffalo turkey poutine.
My mother sent me flowers.
My husband offered to take me to dinner, but I was too full from lunch, so he brought me this coffee instead.
Took my annual progression selfie.
For some reason, there’s been a big to-do about photos from ten years ago v now, so I pulled mine together for this occasion.
Do we all want me to get highlights again? I think we do. The gray just isn’t as bright and sunny. Yet.
A reminder, it’s not sunburn, it’s rosacea. We lives with it. It prefers Indiana winters to Georgia summers, same as me.
The 2009 me isn’t as satisfied as the 2019 me. That poor woman is riddled, positively riddled with anxiety. She is not livin in gratitude, she feels burdened. I can see it in her bluer eyes. She has a brighter smile, but it’s not as frequent and doesn’t come as naturally.
At 40, I started this Every-Year-On-My-Birthday blog post thing as a way to combat society’s insistence that we partake in all things anti-age. I’m the perfect candidate for this campaign because I do not think now, nor have I ever thought that my value as a person is based on my appearance EVEN THOUGH I’m a woman.
I am function over form. Our eyes are windows to our souls, our faces our canvas for expression, our bodies are tools. Nearly everyone gets a broken model and a strange environment to begin with, and it’s what we do with it, how we use it, that takes us places.
My mother, a proponent for me pulling my hair out of my face and applying lipstick, still told me it’s what inside that matters — along with a host of other aphorisms too long to list — point being she taught me to cultivate my interior. Cultivating one’s interior takes as long as it takes. Every day granted for personal growth is another day that ages our faces. And?!? Eventually they’re going to fall right down. Our faces are gonna hang there off whatever cheekbones we’ve been given, our giant noses growing, thinning loose skin composed entirely of hatch marks, freckled and blemished, drooping eyelids that are surely tired, alien hairs sprouting from hell knows where, and about this natural process, we should all be concerned? This is what you’d like to win at in life? I think I will be a lot more concerned about the quality of my life than the reflection in my mirror. As I am now.
I encourage you not just to accept your face, but to appreciate it. Moisturize it, put sunscreen on it, give it a hat — but also, smile at it.