There's a moment, every morning, when the two Me's face each other in the mirror, Clint Eastwoodesque gunslinger theme music floats in the air. It's her or me. Me or she?
The first me, the one that lives in the mirror, will see her reflection and think, "Hey...I'm looking pretty good today. That 25 pounds I lost is showing!"
The other Me, the flesh and blood version, appraises that same reflection in the bathroom mirror, but this Me is more guarded - not willing to get sucked into the enthusiasm spewing forth from that other Me. This Me knows there are nefarious factors at work - like, pictures.
There is nothing like seeing a picture of oneself to completely suck all the wind out of sails puffed up with a bit of esteem. A reminder that while 25 pounds lost is a big accomplishment, it is also a drop in an otherwise large ocean.
Many mornings I've spent primping and dressing to boost my self esteem. I'm not expecting these efforts to yield wolf whistles and cat calls from everyone I encounter (ONE would be nice, it's not like there is a limit on how many can be dished out a day, people...sheesh...stingy much?). Still, I'm putting my second best foot forward in an effort to feel less...frumpishly large.
I've achieved that feeling a few times, only to catch a glimpse of my reflection in a window or store mirror reminding me I haven't come far enough. It's even worse when I see pictures of myself...that aren't REALLY close up. Pictures I take of myself are feats of magic and manipulation. I can hide in my own self portraits, but I cannot hide from someone else's lens, which tells a different truth.
These are the images that bring me to a screeching halt - the ones that make wanting to go places and do things less interesting. The images that squash down other ambitions. Because, if I THINK I'm looking good, but I'm actually NOT...then I must also NOT be good at other things that I think I'm good at.
Do NOT roll your eyes at me. You cam here to read me knowing exactly how my brain works. This is the mental minefield I navigate every day. I cannot switch it off because someone pays me a compliment. Nor is this an attempt to solicit compliments. Rather, it's sharing with y'all the parasite that eats away at me (ha, I might have to move on from zombies to brain worms or something equally icky...I'll start working on this next potential apocalyptic plague - lucky you!).
Really, this whole post came about because of the Amanda Palmer song I've been listening to a lot lately. As well as the phase of life I'm in where I'm trying to figure out how to emerge from stay-at-home mommydom into a world where my friends move on to find their niche - while mine continues to hide from me (because it is an asshole, apparently). This inner turmoil has built a damn in my brain where it is holding all the creativity hostage. It douses the flame of an idea the instant it ignites. Perhaps it is also that I don't really know how to nurture and grow an idea once it is born. That's a whole different blog post!
By now you are wondering how the hell I ended up here when I started with visual self image body issues. Again, I need remind you that it's me...I do this all the time. I'm not sure HOW it happens - I can't explain it. You see? You see why I'm in the mess I'm in! Rhetorical question - you just nod and say, "uh huh".
One last thing before I leave you shaking your head, wondering why the hell you started reading in the first place - I'm searching for the Me I want to be. There is a chance I won't recognize her, it might be one of those sudden realizations (much like the end of this song). When I DO realize it, I'm going to channel Amanda Palmer and record myself singing this song for y'all...because I will finally be the person that I want to be...fuck YES!
p.s. I apologize in advance for any singing I'll do in the future.
p.p.s. You should buy earplugs now.
p.p.p.s. Or, I could stop paying for my daughter to have singing lessons and go in her place.
p.p.p.p.s. Na, that would be selfish.
p.p.p.p.p.s. Of course, singing on camera for y'all would be mean.
p.p.p.p.p.p.s. It might cause fizzling in your brain, which could lead to deterioration, which could leave you in a zombie-like state....OMG....the zombie apocalypse is all my fault!