Every day it’s the same thing. The same feeling. The same temporary burst of confidence. It lasts the longest when I first wake up and go to the washroom. I stand over my counter and look at my reflection in the mirror. Just before I’m about to wash my face, you want to know what I really think?
I think I’m pretty. I think my face has flaws, but for a moment, I look past them, because in that moment, I see me, for who I really am. I see the beauty mark under my left eye, which I used to wish I could scratch off when I was a kid. I can see the scars under my skin from the sensitive skin I had. I see that dent in my chin I wish I could fix. I see my oily complexion. And despite all of these imperfections, for a second, I’m frozen in that moment and I allow myself to feel beautiful.
It’s quick and it’s brief. It’s very temporary and lasts only for a moment. But that moment makes my heart smile. It makes me wish I could carry that confidence all day long. It makes me envious of the women who wake up and naturally love themselves. They are self-aware. They accept themselves for what they are. They realize beauty is only skin deep.
We all know that what makes a person beautiful and remarkable isn’t the features made up on their face. It’s how their personal attributes come across and make them someone you’re drawn to. Someone you’re attracted to. Are they selfish? Are they kind? Are they empathetic? Are they negative? Are they cold? Are they considerate? It doesn’t take much for someone to open their mouth and have you be so disappointed in what they have to say, that it makes it easy to see them as unattractive, despite their actual physical appearance.
We’re all guilty of giving advice, but never taking it. And I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t take my own advice. But it’s easier said than done most times. A prime example is that I think everyone should start their day off with looking in the mirror, and appreciating every single thing about themselves, and to look further than what’s on the surface. To question if they like the person staring back at them. If they’re satisfied with who they turned out to be. But it’s never as easy taking our own advice. It’s much easier to stand objectively and just hand it out.
So after that brief moment in the morning disappears, I get on with brushing my teeth, washing my face, throwing on my make-up and doing my hair. You’d think since I’m putting some effort into myself for the day, it would be hard for me to feel insecure. It’s not. It’s almost easier.
Now I can see the enhanced me, and now I’m left questioning what was wrong with the naked me. I get in my car and drive to work. Stop for a coffee, and as I’m walking in, I keep my head down, because no one wants to see my face. And I can’t hold my head too high because then people will think I’m better than them. And I’m not. I grab my coffee, and quickly head out the door. If someone is walking behind me, I’ll gladly hold that door open, but keep my head down as I respond to them saying, “you’re welcome”.
I get to work and make a minuscule amount of eye contact with anyone, as I make my way through the building. I don’t want them to look at me long enough to see the beauty mark under my eye, or that I have a dent in my chin, or that I put on a lot of make-up. So if I avoid the personal eye contact altogether, I avoid feeling insecure about what they could be judging me for.
I finally make it to my desk, quickly put all my things in the drawer and sit down and get to doing my work. I sip my coffee and pay attention as people filter in and head to their desks. But don’t be silly, I look up only for a second. God forbid I lock eyes with anyone. My colleague gets into work and comes over to say good morning, and I start getting a bit of anxiety. I get warm. I get nervous. Now they’re at my desk and looking at me. Like any normal person would. But my insecurity level at this point is at an all time high because they can now see me. Up close and personal. They can see my face, they can see every flaw on it, they can judge me for what I’m saying or how I look today. I feel vulnerable. Completely exposed and left open for criticism.
Finally, they leave my desk and I feel like I can breathe because no eyes are on me. The focus has shifted.
I’m not unkind and I’m not selfish. I’m disciplined, I’m honest and I’m respectful. So even though I’m this wildly insecure person always overthinking what negative comment people have to say about me, I will never raise my head higher than it has to be. I want to be equal to everyone around me. I want them to know I don’t hold myself to a higher standard.
For reasons I’m still not able to fathom, I’m insecure. To the deepest degree. I still smile because I’m happy. I still go out with friends because I enjoy their company. I still socialize with others because I’m outgoing, on the outside. But on the inside, I’m scared. I’m scared that everything I say, I’m being judged for. I’m terrified of someone pointing out a flaw. I’m nervous that someone will notice my being insecure.
I like to fly under the radar. I like to go unnoticed. I like to have anyone other than me, be the center of attention.
So in that moment, when I first wake up and go to the washroom and I’m standing over my counter, looking at myself in the mirror, it’s my favorite part of the day. Because in that brief moment, I see me for everything I am – as a whole. I see beauty.
Featured image via phiaphotography.