Last week (or maybe two weeks ago, my days and weeks tend to blur together) I reached the point in the year where the weather has turned warm enough, and I'm busy enough, to be truly lazy about my hair style. Every year, around this time, I stop doing anything with my hair. I comb it out, throw in some curl-enhancing goopy stuff, and call it good. To be perfectly clear, I do this because I am lazy. I do not especially care for my hair when it is au natural, mostly because it feels out of control and always in my face and stuck in my lip balm. In fact, I generally find the wavy/frizzy mess to be annoying, just not annoying enough to pull out the blow dryer, flat iron, or curling iron. Eventually, I reach a critical mass of annoyance and I go back to styling it on a regular basis.
The irony of this whole exercise is that these weeks of hair laziness are when I get the most compliments about it. Everyone but me seems to love the wavy/frizzy mess. They, apparently, do not see it as a wavy/frizzy mess. They see something completely different. Something that I don't, can't, or won't see.
During the first week of the laziness, I was speaking to a friend and coworker who told me to stay where I was, ran and got her phone, and took a picture because she thought the wavy hair and the sun shining on it through the window looked great.
When she showed me the picture, I couldn't see what she was talking about at all. I immediately saw the messy hair, the lack of make-up, the signs I need to be more diligent about my diet, the way my smile is all upper gums and no bottom teeth, the decades of difficult-to-bad skin, the sausage fingers, the dark circles under my eyes, all the flaws on which I base my mass of insecurities.
This, along with the multiple posts/articles people keep sharing on Facebook about it, got me thinking about how I see myself versus how other see me.
I see the flaws; they are usually all I see in myself. I don't see them in everyone else and they don't see them in me but I operate under the assumption that they do. I assume that they must see the laundry list of things I see, small and large every time they look at me, and are judging me for them. Nearly all my insecurities rest on this list, the things that make up why I don't date, why I can't get a job in my field, why I'm not married, why things don't seem to ever go my way.
I need to find a way to stop my way of seeing and find a way to see myself the way my friend and coworker did. I need to stop feeding the insecurities, starve them into submission by refusing to fixate on what I see as flaws, when it is readily apparent they aren't the neon signs I believe them to be. Because if I'm even a little bit objective, this is not a bad picture.