My curls look pretty good today. Maybe I'll take a confidence-boosting selfie.
Ugh. My hair looks so dry and frizzy.
My mouth is just huge. And crooked.
My skin maybe looks a bit smoother after the treatments on my scars. They were worth the money.
My hair is so greasy.
How does anyone ever look past this ginormous nose to make eye contact with me?
My skin actually looks pretty dewy and clear.
This is the longest I've ever gone without picking my skin. It shows. That feels good.
I look old.
I look sad.
I look tired.
My body feels and looks strong.
My skin is so bumpy.
This haircut really feels like me. I'm going to keep it forever.
Everyone must just stare at that scar all the time. I guess it's nice that they've never mentioned it.
I like my outfit today. I finally really like my wardrobe. Feels like me.
Should I get plastic surgery? How much would it cost? Could I bear the humiliation of the consultation appointment? There is no plastic surgery to make mouth or head smaller or my face less long and wide, so I might as well save my money. A smaller nose and mouth would just look stupid on this ginormous face anyway.
My teeth look straight and white.
My teeth look huge. If I don't smile, it looks better. No huge teeth, and my nose isn't stretched as wide.
All of these 30 or so photos look completely hideous. Every. Single. One. I'm done.
I share these very personal thoughts I had recently (all in a matter of about 10 minutes) because, though they don't represent reality all that well, they are very real. At the time. And powerful. Wow are they powerful. So convincing. Day-ruining. In fact, week-ruining, if followed by a skin picking session, like they almost always were, in the past. And though thoughts like these are not constant, they are frequent. Maybe they ring true to some folks out there. And the shame I feel at the vanity and frivolity of them (the wasted time alone! UGH) when facing them in black and white like this, may be relatable as well. Relatable to my fellow folks suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (an estimated 2% of the population). Relatable to my fellow folks suffering from the patriarchy (an estimated 100% of the population). But maybe they aren't relatable to you. Just believe me, then. That's all. And know that for SO many folks- folks who suffer much worse from our racist sexist ableist gendered thin-centric sociatal rules of how to look- it is SO much worse. Just trust. And don't feel bad if you laughed a little at me, at the roller coaster ride of positivity and insecurities in my brain. I can sometimes laugh a bit too, when Iooking back. If I'm looking back from a good place.
This morning at 10:30am I had a dance class. Which meant that my first brainwork of the day was listing all the things that could go wrong, all the ways in which my dance skills don't measure up, and all the solid excuses for skipping the class. (It's pretty amazing how swiftly I can compose three mental lists right after waking up. My brain is POWERFUL, y'all.)
And while I love all the pro-mental health memes about it being okay to cancel things to stay home and take care of yourself, the memes that tell you that believing every thought and worry you have is dangerous business: those are also true.
I don't know that there is anything in my life (save cuddling my dog) that brings me pure joy as quickly and consistently as dancing.
I have been prioritizing creativity more and more lately, and for the first time ever, have kept my yearly resolution of dancing (outside my home) at least once a week. And the rewards my body and mind and spirit and relationships are reaping are ENORMOUS.
Sending you positive vibes, dear readers, that you can carve out more time for creative expression, and push past the voices of doubt and insecurity.
Below, enjoy one of the undeniable wonders of capitalism. A commercial that makes my heart soar. (Full disclosure: I also love Levi's. So yeah.)
is a health-seeker and health educator living in the US in San Francisco, California. She is also a former (and maybe future) high school English teacher, and she loves words. Maybe health seeker looks better with a hyphen, or maybe it doesn't. You should just get over it. Even if she cannot.