Do you ever look back through old pictures of yourself? Somehow I found myself mindlessly clicking through my old photo albums on Facebook.
I used to be tan. I worked at a fitness facility where I had access to free tanning. I don’t believe in tanning anymore. It just feels wrong to my body and my heart. No judgment if you enjoy the artificial rays; honestly. I did it about one month a year since I was fifteen. Just don’t want to anymore. Sunscreen feels better.
I used to be leaner, more toned. At least I think I was; it seems like I was in pictures. The layer of fat–I can hear your groaning–that encased my body whilst carrying Finn is encroaching upon my pregnant body yet again. I tried on all my jeans this morning and separated the ones I now hate (because the top button won’t close) and the ones still in my good graces. Unfortunately, the hated ones are a larger stack. I did not have this problem in 2010. But whatever. This new body I’m learning to love has more character than my pre-baby one, right?
A c-section scar (soon to be traced over once more), slightly wider hips, the occasional low back pain, an aching right ankle and wrist, a couple extra pounds, stronger biceps for carrying a toddler, and an unsteady, stubborn right knee. They remind me of the struggle (if you can call pregnancy that?) that changed me, making me stronger…like a soldier limping home from battle, head held high.
I used to think I was stressed; tired.
This is just laughable. What did I stress about as a single or newly married person? A load of laundry? Which movie to see in theaters? Is the weather perfect for mountain biking?
I used to be blonde. I was born blonde. I think of myself as a blonde. I have never really been able to afford highlights, so I saved up for them about 2-4 times a year prior to Finn. Then I felt bad using the chemicals while pregnant, so I let my hair go. About three weeks after Finn was born, I eagerly made a hair appointment, grasping for that blonde person I’d known all my life. I think I felt prettier blonde–like I was Archie Bunker’s Betty or California Barbie. Something cartoony and childish. Although I miss the lightness that framed my face, I’ve gone natural and I think I like my newly discovered hair color. Auburn-ish dark blonde.
I used to look so young.
I was told to return to my classroom more than once as a young high school teacher. Nowadays, if I sleep just right, my pillow will create indentions on the left side of my face that resemble the cracks in a thirsty ground. Much like the wrinkles in my palms. I think I was born with old lady hands.
I used to be so sure about God.
I thought I had Him figured out. Black and white. Right and wrong. I thought my faith was solid. Some days I am so confused about Him and what is really “right.” So startled by His mysteries. So in love with His goodness. So in awe of His power. I think this posture is better though, because it places me below Him. My rightful place.
Maybe I don’t want to be who I used to be.
Maybe happiness is found in liking myself (and the people I love, for that matter) for who I am now, not who I used to be. This presents me with the task of continually being and becoming someone I would like. Someone I’m proud of.