Wow, I don’t know what to say about this post, only that the phrase that sticks with me the most is “the loudness of flesh swelling against my clothes.” I cannot say how often I have felt that, the way the flesh dips and bulges when I bend over, the shelf of my stomach over my pants’ waist band, the softness of my shoulders and arms, the soft roundness of my face that doesn’t fit the woman I see in my head.
I never think about it, though, until I think about seeing myself in another person’s eyes. I’ve been called pudgy and gapped toothed and even worse, the shoulder shrug when questioned by someone else how I look. Where they don’t know what to say or how to say it, but they sure as hell aren’t going to say it in front of me. 🙂
That’s not what has stayed with me, though. What stays with me is the woman who looked up from a shelf in Walmart and said, “So beautiful. What nice eyes.” When I wore only lipstick. The guys approaching me for hugs when I wore my “Free Hugs T-shirt” to a beach. The woman at McDonald’s who told me a face without freckles is like a sky without stars. And the man who every time I walked in to the store, would call me Miss America as he was cleaning out the trash. I don’t know if these people will ever know the affect their kindness has on others, the way they not only see beauty, but pronounce it at random, spontaneously lifting a day by the pure sweetness of their souls. I’m so grateful to have known this type of person, to see the kindness in another’s eyes, to know people that beautiful, that in my mind, even when their faces fade, I will always remember them by the way they made me feel. Beautiful.
I’m working to accept who I will become. To hold my by back straight and my shoulders square, even if it makes me feel like I’m trying to thrust my breasts out. It’s silly. They’re my breasts and that’s sort of how they work, since they’re sitting on my chest and all, but it is so hard to learn to do this, to be the self-confident and assured person I desire to be even when I’m worried and scared to be out in public when I feel like I’ve laid my soul bare to a page and I’m naked even as I’m clothed.
To be proud. To be strong. To be eloquent in your wants and desires and honest with yourself. And to grant as much kindness to yourself as you want to give others. I wish I could be as gorgeous as those people who state the best. I desire to have that strength of character in my soul.
Perhaps one day I will.
(Below is the post that inspired me so to write this. It was written very well and I’m so glad I had the chance to read it.)
Living through the verdict of someone else’s eyes, we are always vulnerable. Eventually we must reclaim our own seeing.