Monday, August 12, 2013

On Feeling Pretty: Finding Beauty in Aging

First a little musical accompaniment for this post. Today I've selected 13th Floor (Growing Old) by Outkast.

Fat t*tties turn to teardrops as fat a&& turns to flab. 
Sores that was open wounds eventually turn to scabs.
Trees bright and green turn yellow brown. 
Autumn caught 'em; see all them leaves must fall down.
Growing old.  

I've been greying for a few years.

Weirdly enough, I really only get grey hairs in my eyebrows.  My mama told me that's how she began to grey as well. I had a few rogue greys in my scalp, but I haven't noticed any since I cut my locs. 

Cool image, right? Go here to learn more and see more about this photograph and others. 
I've been staring at two grey eyebrow hairs for a couple of days, and I'm torn about plucking them for two reasons. One, I have a mean eyebrow threading lady who will probably notice and fuss at me. Two, I kind of like them. They remind me that I'm grown, as if these bills don't.  I earned these greys.  Yup, worked hard for them.

I'm greying.  I'm not at my optimum weight.  I need to have my eyebrows tamed.  I had an acne breakout last week.  In the midst of all of this, can you believe I have the nerve to feel pretty? Yup. Greying, pimply, chubby, bushy-browed and all. See, the older I'm getting, the more I know for sure that pretty comes from the inside.  I knew this in theory all along, but I'm really coming to know this is true as of late. Accomplishing one of my biggest life goals has left me feeling beautiful in a way that I can't even describe.

The other day I blogged about learning to coach myself as a spiritual lesson I learned in the dissertation process, and I think that knowing I am beautiful without consulting a mirror is a part of my self-validation process.

I think about how I used to let my outer appearance be overly influential in my relationships.  When I was in the dating world, and a fleeting romance would go awry, I'd often look for my wrongdoing in the situation and badger myself with questions like "Wasn't I pretty enough?" I spent way too much time thinking I deserved way more or less in my relationships based on my appearance, thinking things like, "How could he do me like that? Does he see me? He's lucky I gave him a chance." or "I don't look like what he usually dates. Maybe that's why he's treating me this way."


If I could talk to 16, 19, 22, or even 28 or 30-year old me, I would offer her this little bit of wisdom that I read the other day:
"You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.”-Diana Vreeland
Preach and teach, Diana. My pretty belongs to me and no one else.

Now, I don't say all of this to say that I'm not trying to preserve.  Nope.  I like for my husband to compliment me.  Health is wealth, and I'm still trying to exercise and eat good things.  I love fashion and makeup as much as the next girly girl, but I'm over doing it for other people.  I've learned that when I take control of my pretty and shine from the inside, people notice.  My prettiest days aren't always the days when my hair is coiffed just right or my makeup is perfect.  They are the days when I'm allowing the best of what's inside of me to be shared with those around me.  They are the days when I'm smiling from the heart.  They are the days I honor God the most.  They are the days when I use my gifts.

Knowing that I control my pretty allows me to be more forgiving of the little extra chub at my waist, these grey eyebrow hairs, and all of the other small signs from Mother Nature that I'm growing older. Here's the thing, though, I'm not just growing older, but also wiser and more in control of myself and my pretty.

Until next time . . . I'll be over here owning my pretty and determining the fate of these greys.

Happy Monday!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. I feel the prettiest after a hard run or a hot bike ride when my hair is a mess, and I do not have on one drop of makeup....Beauty really IS on the inside!!