Friday, March 02, 2007

Being a girl

When we're little we don't care. We have one outfit we love and want to wear every day. We don't judge ourselves on how tight our french braids are, or who has the coolest outfit from gap kids. We just don't see other people as metrics to compare ourselves to.

We spend our middle school and high school years constantly comparing ourselves to other girls. We think we are never pretty, popular or liked. We worry about small imperfections on our faces and bodies: zits, nicks, bumps. We never see our own beauty. We are overly harsh on ourselves.

We spend our college years learning to like ourselves and the way we look. We begin to see beauty in differences, instead of in same-ness. We see unique features as desirable. We start to see ourselves how our mothers saw us...pretty, loved and special. We start to let passing imperfections go. We start to see that beauty truly is only skin deep.

After college we really start to love the way we look. We pride ourselves on the "style" we've created for ourselves. We start let the importance of looks go.

Which is why what has happened to me in the past few days seem like such a cruel joke. In the past couple of years I've really felt that the way I look is for me, and not others. I've come to appreciate how I look and even like the things that I used to hate. Thanks, in no small part to the ear doctor, I've begun to really feel pretty.

And even though it isn't serious, or permanent, or life threatening, getting Bell's Palsy at 25 is kind of rough. I do not feel pretty. In fact, I feel very very unpretty bordering on monster-like. Most of the time I just want to stay at home and avoid the eyes of everyone but those who really love me for what is on the inside.

The doctor said it will go away in 3 weeks. I'm confident that after 3 weeks of a lop-sided smile and constantly leaking right eye (because I can't close it) it won't seem like a big deal. I'm sure if I could just get some perspective that this wouldn't seem so bad.

But right now it is.

It sucks.


TRS said...

Oh that stinks.

The good thing is ... it's not a permanent condition.

I worked with a TV News reporter who developed Bells Palsy early in his career. Imagine how you feel about how you look and sound - and having to do it on camera - on TV.

I'm not sharing that to say your frustration isn't warranted.... but it can always be worse. Which I understand is little consolation.

Hang in there chicka - at least you're in love.

Anonymous said...

I have lurked on your site a bit over the past few months and wanted to tell you that sucks to hear. You don't know me - I just think you have a cute site. I have had tear duct issues where my eye constantly waters and I know how frustrating and embarassing something like that can be. I sure hope it clears up soon and that you don't have to deal with it for too long. Women everywhere already have enough to live up to as far as looks go that we all deserve to feel our most beautiful all the time - but it's hard to remember when something like this happens! Good luck!!

jordan said...

So sorry. That sucks. Get better soon. Go buy something pretty.

erinannie said...

I had Bell's Palsy several years ago- the result of a really bad case of sinusitis I think. You expressed how stupid I felt quite well. Hang in there! It will get better soon.

Matt and/or Kathy said...

I am so sorry that you are going through this. At least the ear doctor is there to comfort you since I can't be. I hope that you feel better really soon. Call me if you feel up to it.

Edge said...

My wife works with a woman who got it after pregnancy. It went away, no big deal, and I'm sure that your case is mild and will go away just the same. I'm sure it sucks though. It's a good time to remember that you are not what you look like but what you are inside. My dog is probably about to die, so life probably stinks for both of us right now.


Kelly said...

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear about that. I hope it clears up quickly!

Anth said...

Oh KT I'm sorry! I can't imagine how annoying and tough this is to go through! So glad it's temporary! I VT a gal who had it for a few months after she had a baby and it sounded crappy. Hang in there.

k8 said...

this is such a perfect reason to go out and splurge on something really pretty that you probably shouldn't buy.

hope you get better soon : )