So this week I've been working a small job in a city literally on-the-other-side-of-the-mountains and about an hour away from my house. I could have simply commuted from my house to the site but I voted to screw my bank accounts and stay in a Motel for the couple of nights I would be there simply to gain one thing I don't encounter very often:
Living in a house with 7 family members and camping in the desert with co-workers has it's own benefits but sometimes a person needs the peace and quiet of complete privacy.
These times are also great for self reflection and to open up to yourself over topics someone (or atleast me) is self conscious about. And after reading this post from one of my favorite blogs Losin' It I decided this would be a good time to have a tough battle; a battle where I never win but always gain some sort of new knowledge, Facing the mirror.
That dreaded mirror. It's not like I haven't seen myself in a mirror. Or have stood in front of a mirror before but I decided to REALLY look this time.
I stripped down to the bare essentials (that's underwear), turned the light on, put my hands on my hips and looked. I REALLY looked.
Of course the second I started doing that automatically all my negative (and well rehearsed) thoughts started popping in to my head.
"Oh god how disgusting."
"Oh god my skin what have I done!"
"Uggh look at that flab. Look at those marks, look at those scars!"
and the ever popular;
"What have I done to myself?!?" AND
"You are the ugliest thing I have ever seen."
I allowed myself to have these negative thoughts and I started noticing my slumped posture, how my face gradually started making a grimaced expression, even how my hair seemed flat and dull.
and then I stopped. And forced myself to inhale deeply and stand up taller.
Straighten my back, fix my posture. I placed my feet strongly and kept my hands on hips and forced myself to think:
"You look good."
It was hard but I decided to force myself to look at the difference when my body was standing tall. How I suddenly had the beginnings of a figure. How my legs are well formed and how you can easily see how strong they were. How my skin was soft and how the natural ringlets in my hair made perfect swirls.
I stared at my sunburnt face and remembered that I've always loved my eyes and my big eyebrows (I have never really thought about making them thinner. I love how despite them being big they worked well with my face) and then I looked at my mouth and knew that I had to smile.
Let's back up a second and let me tell you a lil story;
Once upon a time there was this little girl about 12 or so. She hadn't been the most popular girl in school from that point (far from it) and by this time she had been slowly gaining weight for a few years and was now known as the 'fat girl'. This girl was NOT happy. This girl almost never smiled. This girl believed she was misunderstood and spent time talking down to herself like it was going out of style.
After years of this one day (I don't remember exactly what the trigger was but it was honestly almost like a transformation over night)she finally decided that being quiet, not talking or socializing with people, wasn't working. She realized that the best way to get her parents off her back was to simply do what she had to do to make friends.
This little girl stood infront of a mirror and attempted to smile.
Her face hadn't stretched that much in years! This shocked her. How could she have gotten as bad as having her face hurt when she tried to smile?? So she stood in front of that mirror and did it again. And again.. and again until it didn't hurt anymore.
Then she played with it. Big smile. Little smile. Grin. Side smile. She was trying to find something that would work. But it wasn't. None of the smiles were working because none of the smiles were genuine. So she thought of something happy. Something that would make her laugh.
When she did that she noticed that as she was thinking her face would gleam up and her lips would slooooowwly start turning up; gradually until her lips were pulled back and all her teeth showed.
She realized it was the gleam in the eye that did the trick. The teeth and the gleam. So she practiced again. Slowly grin, keep that gleam, until you smiled.
And there it was!! Elina's smiling face!
That's the one
Her face TRANSFORMED! It was literally like magic!
So now that we're back in the present and looking at a mirror again I new I had to smile. It wasn't that hard this time. I've had years and years of practice, up to the point of professionalism. I stood there, still in my undies, with my hands still at my hips.. and I slowly started to grin, grin turns to little smile little smile turns to big smile. *cheeeeeese*
I did it again, and again until it became genuine.
I was smiling at myself.
And again it was like MAGIC! I was looking at a young woman. A tall standing young woman with beautiful eyes and awesome hair. A young woman with a bright smile and great legs. A young woman who had a long way to go but couldn't ignore the curves.
I was looking at the real me. The confident me. The great me. and then I repeated the same phrase.
"You look good." and I believed it.
For that one moment I believed it.
After that I simply gave a quick chuckle and moved on. Put some comfy clothes on and watched Glee.
But it was there. The moment was there. I could see the person inside of me that needed to come out. And she will you guys.