Last night I was hanging out at Panera, working on some writing (*cough*, staring into space). I had been there for hours, writing and reading with a tall cup of iced coffee by my side. One of those early summer nights that make you want to go jump into a pool with your clothes on. You know the kind.
Anyway, it was late and I had to go to the bathroom and I was doing the hand-washing thing and checking my hair in the mirror. I don't know about you girls, but I'm one of those people who knows store mirrors. Like, "I look okay in the dressing room mirror at that boutique downtown, but any mirror at Target makes me look like pond scum. Panera, ehhh, it's iffy." Does anyone else think like that?
For years I have had this down to a science. It wasn't fun, always afraid of catching a glance of myself in the mirror only to find that I looked like the bride of Frankenstein on what I had thought was a good hair day.
But I've noticed something lately, over the past few months. When I look at myself in the mirror these days I don't look for "pretty" or "not pretty", desperate to know ONCE AND FOR ALL. Sometime between my disastrous post wedding haircut* and now, I've come to recognize that girl in the mirror as me, not a face of features to be scrutinized.
The days when I feel most confident are the ones when I can look at my frizzy hair, uneven skin, and orange eyebrows and say, "Oh, hey, it's me! I like her." I wish I had learned this years ago.
I still have bad days and feel like these dumb bangs aren't ever going to grow and I may even say prayers like, "Please don't let me get hit by a truck without knowing what I would at least look like with long hair! I've just got to know." But those things don't have a say in my attitude towards my self. My hair doesn't make or break my day.
I had coffee with a friend the other day, one of those times where you just talk and laugh and don't even realize how long you've been sitting there until you get up to leave. As I got into my car, I realized that my eyeliner was totally smudged and that my bra had been showing the entire time. I like to think I at least make others feel better about themselves. And I just had to laugh. Because, at the end of the day, who remembers other people's smudged eyeliner anyway?
*Tip: Don't ever get your hair cut by a girl whose cosmetology license was issued a month ago and says, "I'm pretty new at this," as she cuts your hair literally strand by strand.