I’ve never been much into selfies. Since having my kids I find I take more, not of myself but of me and the kids. My sister and I actually invented the selfie years ago, we just didn’t know the name. haha. But on my phone there aren’t many pics of just me. And of those that exist none were taken in a bathroom and I guarantee there are no ‘duck lips’.
Kudos to anyone who loves taking selfies. I wish I had that confidence! But I generally don’t need to see myself that close up. Any time I do take a pic of myself, if I’m having a good hair day or like my new eye makeup, I tend to not like the pic, blame the lighting and delete. Snap. Delete. Snap. Delete. Snap *gasp* DELETE!!!! I recently wanted to update my facebook profile pic and considered a selfie. I took 24 I’d say. 3 were maybe’s. I was so unsure, I sent the one I hated least to a friend to ask her if I looked weird. Then I sent the same pic to my husband and also asked my kids for their honest opinions. Despite getting approval from all of the above, I still haven’t posted it.
What I did post recently on Facebook was a trip down memory lane. I put up 30+ pictures from the last 20 years. I generally don’t like myself in pics so of course I chose the ones that I didn’t hate. In fact, some of them I actually liked and I couldn’t help but wonder if at the time the pic was taken did I like what I saw or did I pick myself apart (like I do now). We are all our own worst critics after all.
There were two things I noticed about these pics. 1) My hair hasn’t changed in two decades (give or take an inch or side bang versus full) and 2) I looked younger. Keep in mind these pics spanned 20 years so in some of them I was in my teens. But even the ones from 10 years ago, I looked like a baby. I was completely carefree, had no real responsibilities, lived at home with my parents, worked full time, had someone cook all my meals (thanks mom!), do my laundry (thanks mom!), and I slept well. Frig, I used to come home from university (okay and work) and take a nap for an hour before supper. So no wonder I looked younger. I also looked relaxed and rested. Because I was. Why the hell didn’t I take more selfies back then??? Lol
Recently (even months before I had this trip down memory lane) I have become obsessed with something about myself that seems to have changed over the last few years. It was something I noticed in pics. I looked different somehow. My eyes, they looked tired (and not just during the 2 year zombie stage when Camryn refused to sleep at night). From what I could tell, my dark circles were more prominent and I had these little lines that weren’t there before. Hmmm……how did that happen? When did that happen??
In reality, of course I don’t look the same as I did 20 years ago! I’m not the same person. How could I be? I’ve had so much more life experience. From graduating university and getting my first car and job to moving away and starting over, getting married, buying a house, pregnancies, kids, miscarriage, and struggling with post-partem and anxiety. It turns out the everyday stress of life, love and motherhood has a funny way of wearing on your face. I guess in my mind, it was that somehow my eyes were revealing my truths.
And the biggest truth of all was that I’m getting older. It was like I was suddenly announcing to the world that I was not 20 , or even 30 years old anymore. So I started spending way too much money on creams and serums designed to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. When I bought an Oil of Olay anti-aging cream at the drugstore last summer I was hoping the young perky 20 year old serving me would ask me if I was buying this cream for someone else because SURELY it wasn’t for me! Of course she never, but I was just glad she didn’t ask me if I needed a pack of Depends to go with my eye cream. What I did need was 8 new under-eye concealers. Yes, 8! I bought any concealer (any price) that promised to brighten my eyes and conceal dark circles. You know the ones that give you the instant ‘awake ‘look! Well, I call bullshit. It turns out if you don’t sleep well and you’re not in your 20’s, no cream or concealer can make you look rested (or younger). It’s a fact of life. Suck it up and deal with it.
I’ve decided to do just that – to stop worrying about stupid shit like my under eyes (which, when compared to friends my age are no worse than anyone else’s. Sorry ladies, I’ve been Zooming!!) Why? Because the reality is, in this day and age, I’m lucky that I don’t have more serious issues to deal with. There are women my age with breast cancer and other diseases who have to worry about such things as how their kids will manage if something happens to them. This realization makes me feels so foolish and yet so lucky. I work in a job where I’m reminded daily how blessed I am to have the life I do. I have the luxury of getting wrinkles and I hope and pray I get the opportunity to have a face full of them. I want to earn each and every one.
I also have a husband who loves me, and has since I was 17 years old. While he may have contributed to some of my wrinkles (from both laughter and tears), he doesn’t look at pictures of me and suggest we try from another angle because my face looks fat (he’d get a punch if he did!! Lol). My kids don’t look at pictures of me and say ‘wow mom, your dark circles are really noticeable in that shot, can we re-take it?’. They don’t notice if my hair desperately needs to be cut (or washed, depending on the day). They see me as I am and they love what they see. They see ME. And I want to see myself the way they see me.
So from today on I vow to criticize myself less. I plan to take more pics, maybe even selfies, and to be less concerned with my new found ‘fine lines and wrinkles’. I will take more and delete less. While I still find it weird to think that I am closer to 40 than I am 30, I plan to take care of myself (and not in the form of expensive eye creams) so that in 20 years time when I look back at pics the only thing I will think to say is, ‘my goodness, look how happy I look”.
Take care of yourself. From the inside, out.