I just finished watching the new Star Trek movie, and I felt again, as I did when I saw it in the theater, that same sense of bittersweet nostalgia, near tears because it is so well done, so believable that a part of me thinks: it’s all ahead of them, it’s all yet to come ~ for them. Not for me.
It’s silly I suppose, as most days I’m not that old. Most days I’m not any age at all, I’m just me, being who I am, doing what I do. Most days, but not all. I’ve noticed in the last several months that I’ve never been satisfied with myself, never, except for moments as brief and rare as as a shooting star, felt ~ worthy, confident, fit, sexy, desirable, intelligent, attractive, or in any way, beautiful.
I’ve told myself it’s just a case of the blues I’ve got. I’ve been working so hard at trying to learn how to improve our financial situation via an online business ~ 6 or 8 hours a day after class during the semester, 12 or 14 hours a day on off days, weekends, and during the holiday break ~ in addition to keeping up with my “normal” responsibilities to students and family and friends, as well as continuing to try to juggle what money we have so that somehow $50 works out to be $100. And I haven’t been feeling well, my neck and shoulder out of place a bit, just enough to keep a low thrum of pain hanging around, just enough to snatch my breath for a moment if I stand or turn or move carelessly. I know it’s much harder to be positive and keep an upbeat attitude when you’re in pain a lot of the time.
So, it’s just a bit of the blues, post party depression I was thinking the other day, the let down after the round of holiday gatherings are finished ~ this year including a surprise party for Josh. I tell myself that. But it doesn’t feel that way.
When I look in a mirror and see the lines around and under my eyes, the imperfections on my skin, the veins on my hands, sun damage (“age spots” we used to call them), thinning hair, now more grey in the roots than the auburn brown it once was, one quarter the thickness it was when I was a girl, less than half the thickness I had even in my 30’s ~ thickness, now, that’s gone round my waist, of course, sedentary lifestyle, career, etc. and hedonistic tendencies toward high fat foods and sugar (they don’t call me “Sugah” for nothing) ~ when I see all that in the mirror, I think how it all seems to be going away.
I look at pictures of myself in my late ’30s and early ’40s ~ what few people were able to get on the sly ~ and I think how I wish I looked like that now, clear skin, wrinkles and dark circles and cholesterol bumps and “age spots” still some years in the future, a good 40 lbs lighter than I am now. Yet at the time I was just as dissatisfied, just as dismayed by my looks, my figure, my accomplishments ~ or lack thereof.
Then, it wasn’t my weight (okay, it was, a bit) or my skin or my hair (or lessening thereof), but it was always something. It was always easier to see the bad things in the mirror ~ the Jughead Jones nose, the too-high forehead, the too round face, the thin lips, the lop-sided smile. I never saw, then, the things that I look back at now, in those pictures, and wish I still had.
So what’s your point? you’re thinking, and this is one hell of a a poor excuse for a post in a blog that’s supposed to be about the power of belief to transform your life, right? Right.
But the thing is, belief can transform your life in ways you don’t want as well as in ways you do want. Better, in fact, more easily, because as Julia Roberts so aptly says in Pretty Woman: “The bad things are easier to believe.”
Why is that? Why is it so much easier to believe that little voice inside your head that’s always ready to point out those bad things about the way you look or think or act or do ~ anything? ~ those ephemeral and ultimately unreal until you give them reality by your belief imperfections? I’m learning the why’s from a book called Spontaneous Evolution. I’m looking forward to the part where I learn what to do about it, how to change that programing. I’m working on it.
There are many wonderful things in my life ~ I read Perry Marshall’s blog post about all the things he was thankful for the other day, and I could relate. I, too, have a lot to be grateful for and, I’m sure, tomorrow ~ January 1st of 2010 ~ I will remember what they are.
But tonight, just for now, I’m not feeling it. What I am feeling is old, and sad, and dispirited. Rebecca without Sunnybrook farm. Pollyanna has left the building. And I wonder how I got here ~ to a place where a movie that recalls a series I loved and so wonderfully sets beloved characters back at the beginning of their adventures evokes sorrow rather than joy, bitter regret rather than sweet nostalgia. I wonder why I’m here in this dark place and how I’ll find my way back.
To all of you, so many of you that I love so much ~ do yourself a favor, do me a favor: understand that you are beautiful now. When you look in the mirror, look for the perfections ~ your bright beautiful smile, your perfectly shaped eyebrows, your wonderfully curly hair, the sprinkle of freckles across your nose, the twinkle of mischief in your eyes ~ look for those beautiful things instead of the “imperfections” you usually see. Paint smiles and flowers on your face if you have to, draw the words “I love you” on your skin, with hearts and arrows all around them. Whatever you have to do to see, to know, to understand that you are beautiful now, just as you are.
Believe it ~ and I’ll try to do the same. Happy New Year, with all my heart, to my beloved all of you.