Monday, February 28, 2011

Self Esteem

Yesterday, I saw myself briefly on television.  In the spot that the reporter did about Justin shaving his head, he did a teaser for the segment with Justin and me, standing in front of our house.  And I got a good look at myself.  I'm not going to lie.  I wasn't very happy with what I saw.

I've struggled with self-esteem issues my entire life.  I've never felt I was pretty enough or outgoing enough or "good" enough and it's a problem.  The older I get, the worse it seems to get.  I wake up sometimes and look in the mirror and think, "Oh, my God!  What happened to "me?"

I just don't recognize myself anymore.  My clothing clearly has nothing to do with my "self," but I am in a wardrobe crisis of epic proportions right now.  Because of a really weird medical condition that I'm not going to go into, I am unable to wear anything...and I do mean anythng...that is in any way restrictive around my waist.  I hope this is going to go away, as dresses seem to be out of style and "skinny" jeans are in.  (Have you tried shopping for dresses lately?  You can't find them.)  I've always worn jeans, until now, and I have reverted to sweat pants just for the comfort of it.  Not a good look on anybody.  Try it on a 46 year old housewife/wanna-be-writer who hasn't had a haircut since last June, doesn't believe in hair color, has nails that shred if they're more than 1/4 inch long, and just looks "dumpy" in anything she puts on.  How did this happen?  I mean I used to be the skinniest kid I knew.  I used to wish I had curves instead of angles. 

Okay, wardrobe aside, the hair is a problem.  It really is.  I have never, in my entire life, found a hairstyle I liked and so now, it's just hanging there growing and going gray.  I don't know what to do with it.  I really don't.  So much of how you feel about yourself is tied up in your hair if you're a woman.  Why is that?  Maybe I should join Justin and shave mine off.  Just start over?

And let's talk about the glasses I thought were so cool last year.  Do you remember seeing these (or something like them) on Danny Gokey in American Idol a season or two ago?

Okay, here's something of an idea of how they look on me:

This, in a nutshell, is what's bothering me!  The cat looks great, if fat.  The woman, not so much...?

I need a makeover, which I'm not willing to pay for, and a personal shopper to find me some clothes, which is really never going to be a possibility.  Even if there were such creatures in Winchester, Virginia, we don't have a lot of clothing store options here.

What I'm asking myself is what on earth has happened to me?  Is it the passage of time?  I don't even recognize myself.  And I keep making these horrendous fashion choices, like these glasses that I'm completely dependent upon if I want to walk without running into walls.

I've been restless lately, feeling out of sorts, not myself.  Definitely on the depressed side and really not wanting to go anywhere.  My therapist said it's normal that when everyone around you seems to be coming down with deadly diseases (i.e. cancer) to reassess where you are in your life.  Kind of like a mid-life crisis that I didn't see coming.  Have I done everything I want to do and if I haven't, what do I want to put on my own, personal "bucket list?"  This isn't about things I haven't done.  I try not to have regrets because everything I've done in my life, especially things I'm particularly not proud of, have shaped me into the woman that I am today and I kind of like that person.  But what about my looks?  Why is this so important and why is it bothering me so much?  Why does the inability to wear a pair of jeans for more than an hour without crying, necessitating wearing the same three pairs of sweat pants repeatedly, make me absolutely not want to get out of bed in the morning?

I'm not talking about making major life changes here.  I just want to look decent when I go to the grocery store.  And I can't quite seem to pull it off, no matter how hard I try.  When I see pictures of myself or I catch a look at my unkempt hair in the mirror (which I try not to do, if at all possible), it just makes me cringe.  And it was definitely a cringe-worthy moment, seeing myself on television for all of about 10 seconds.  Because there was everything that's bothering me about myself on a 40" screen in my living room.

I think right now I'm sounding a lot like a whiny three year old that needs a nap.  And I seriously do know how trivial this is in the grand scheme of things.  But am I asking too much to have hair that looks good on occasion and a pair of pants that fits and flatters me?  Don't get me wrong.  I'm extremely grateful and appreciative to have what I have in life.  And I am grateful to just be alive, despite the fact that my diet and lack of exercise has been inviting a heart attack for my entire life.  But there's something about that reflection in the mirror that is really bothering me.

I'm on the spending diet, so I don't see much changing in the near future.  No new glasses, no new clothes (unless I find the shorts that I bought last year will no longer go over my hips when the weather turns), no haircuts or perms or coloring because it's okay for it to grow.  It's not like I really have a better idea for it anyway.  I guess I'm going to have to accept myself for who I am and how I look and be okay with that.  But that is really not easy.

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