I look rough these days.
That’s not fishing for compliments, I promise. I’m not getting down on myself – I’m not even saying it with a negative connotation. It’s not a falsehood nor is it a problem needing to be fixed. It just is.
A couple of weeks ago, I was having an awesome time with my small family of three. I can’t remember what we were doing. Or what day it was. All I remember is that it was a really bright, happy moment with a lot of love and laughter and, “This is exactly where we are supposed to be.” I felt in love with time and space and all the particles that make us up. It was glittering goodness.
I went to the restroom, a smile still on my face. A quick glance in the mirror. My smile faltered. But just for one second because it returned even bigger and I laughed. I laughed at this creature staring back at me. Who even is this person? God, this poor woman. Breathing my air, beating my heart. Her skin sags, tired and worn from stretching and emptying out again. Off-color and rough from lack of sleep, water, good nutrition. Grey-blue-yellow circles drag her face down, down, down to the core of the Earth. Stretchy, comfy pants. Flowy, comfy top. Shaggy hair. Someone wrap this woman in a warm blanket and feed her soup! It’s a miracle she’s even standing without assistance, really.
It was astounding to me in that moment I could look so different than how I felt. Do not misunderstand me, sometimes I do feel exactly how that woman looks. But not all the time. Not anymore.
Sometimes I feel guilty for my appearance not being on my “Shit I Have Together” list (it’s a very short list, by the way). Like I’m doing a disservice to moms everywhere by not breaking the stereotype that we’re all diaper bag toting slobs but-don’t-worry-my-kid-looks-impeccable. Or that strangers (hopefully not friends??) will pity my poor husband for being forever linked to a ball&chain that let herself go. Twenty six is still pretty young, right? Does that mean I still have to be young and cute? Whoops.
The other day I went totally barefaced to work (not a huge feat considering I usually just have mascara and concealer). Do you want to know how many times someone asked if I was ok? You don’t. It’s embarrassing. Someone even asked if I was pregnant again. Fuck.
Once more, I had to just laugh. Like, damn Rachel. Nobody ever asks the cute girl if she’s in her first trimester. And why do I weigh less than pre-pregnancy but still have a pooch? Whatever, it makes a pretty comfy seat for my baby. Snapback? No, honey. My rubber band is broken.
I’ll probably look marginally better when my baby sleeps. But not for long. I cannot escape age. Nor do I want to. Life happens, shit happens and I don’t want to apologize for my soul being in a body that reflects that. I love makeup and I love clothes. But it turns out I don’t mind looking like crap either.
I’m happy, she’s healthy. And my husband still tries to pinch my butt when he thinks no one is looking.