Friday, February 19, 2010

In Pursuit of Pretty

Lately, I have been hounded by the question "Is it important for a woman to FEEL beautiful?" Sounds like a simple question. Maybe it is to some, but beauty is something that has confused me for years. I feel like I'm the only girl in the world who is still dealing with this subject. Like I should have dealt with it at puberty. I don't think that the Bible has any opinions. So I feel lost. I don't feel pretty, but I have felt pretty sometimes.

Growing up and even into college, I was terrified that people would think I was trying to be pretty. As if I was trying to be something I wasn't. I wanted to be comfortable with the fact that I was not. I felt like a bit of a joke when dressing up. Again, it was like people would see through my facade and realize that I was just a plain or even unattractive girl being a try-hard.

My husband tells me daily that I am beautiful. I know he means it because if he doesn't say it with his mouth he says it with his eyes. And sometimes there's lust there, and sometimes it's just that he sees me as beautiful. He will say it in the morning and he will say it when he comes home from work. It doesn't really matter what I am wearing or how horrible my hair is or whether I have make-up on or not. One would think that would be enough.

But sometimes I still hear the boys in High school laughing at me for being ugly. I hear that boy in grade 8 say "she was ugly before... she's even uglier now" referring to a change in my hair color. I see that car of boys barking at me. And then I feel that maybe I don't have the right to feel pretty. I have never been "the pretty one" but the ugly friend, the side-kick, the funny girl.

Funny how, at 30, those voices are as loud as they ever were.

But, at 30, I think I should be over it. I have made 3 kids, a very womanly feat. I am symmetrical. My body functions mostly like it should. And I have a husband who thinks I am beautiful, and he sees me more than I do. So I have been wondering how important is it that I feel beautiful/sexy/pretty? Part of me thinks it may be worth the journey. Part of me doesn't want to try. I don't want to care. I want to just be a good person and allow that to satisfy. Some days it does, others I'm not a good person, or it doesn't make a difference.

I always look like me. I assume I always will. I'm just not sure when that will cease to be a disappointment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Either Or

Just a quick note to share a little thought that is constantly rolling around in my mind. I have been frustrated at the way I hear many modern married people talking about children. Many claim that they "need" to get financially stable before starting a family. I am not against this, of course. Children are expensive, but not as expensive as some think. They don't need to have the most modern stroller, or the $5,000 play equipment. Also, financial stability has nothing to do with "Dad" buying that new boat first. It makes me crazy when people say they want to travel first. I can totally understand if you have never traveled, your first trip to Papua New Guinea would be quite hampered by little guys. But there are opportunities to travel with children. Children can make a travel experience richer.

I know that kids take their toll on parents. But life doesn't end when one has kids. It's just that it is a changed life that begins. A life full of the wonder of little things, a slower life but a richer one. Every new phase brings it's limitations and freedoms.

My life did not end when my son was born. I like to think that he has only enhanced my life. He changed it, for sure, but I didn't die. I still have plans, too, for a time when after this very brief period of certain limitations.