Last night I was sitting in Maggie’s garden, she and her son were cleaning the decking, and I noticed my reflection in the long glass door, and it really surprised me. It wasn’t that my clothes didn’t match (always a possible) or that a bird had sporadically landed on my head (this would be impressive), it was that I looked really relaxed. And also poised which felt unusual to see.
I think it comes down to feeling pretty. It makes me smile as I say that, in a somewhat wry and self-depreciating tone. To me feeling pretty isn’t just about what I look like, it’s about how I feel. When I am confident, feeling self-assured, I feel mighty, I walk taller. And it genuinely doesn’t matter what I am wearing, or if I have makeup on, or whether my hair is scruffed up in a ponytail (although optimistically I don’t have leftover smoothie on my face, this has been a contention and no one ever tells me..and most of my smoothies contain spirulina. Which is green.) . When I feel pretty, I am pretty (irrespective of green cup lines on my face).
I guess we all have our own standard of deciding what it is that we think we should look like. From a myriad of variables, how long or short our hair should be, whether or not our clothes are on trend, or whether we are aiming for a particular physique. And I think it is generally a good thing to aspire to better, but what if that comes at a massive cost, or simply isn’t an achievable goal? I know myself well enough that as much as I might think some hairstyles are utterly beautiful, they are not for me on a daily basis. When my hair is done by somebody else, I love how it looks, but I also know that there is an incredibly slim chance of me waving my arms above my head to attempt the recreation of aforementioned incredible hair. So my hairstyle needs to be low maintenance. This could change at some point, but currently, I would hypothesise, unlikely. Because I understand this, I have much love for hairband (and also my hair!).
Having a realistic understanding of how I function is important to how I perceive myself. If I set goals that are not reachable then that is a world of sad. I don’t want to be in a position where I feel disappointed with myself, where I look at myself and see only things I have failed to do. When I look at myself, I want to see beauty that makes me smile. And that’s what I saw in the reflection last night.
It isn’t that I have changed dramatically, it isn’t because I was wearing new clothes, it’s because I am learning to feel content with myself. And now I feel pretty.
Map point. Where am I judging myself too harshly?