Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Steps

Brushing your hair in the morning is probably part of your daily routine. 
Congratulations. You exhibit good grooming skills. Snaps for you.

Now, time for a little admission on my part: for the past month my hair brushing has been hit or miss, to put it nicely. I know - eww. I wake up, run my fingers through my hair so it doesn't resemble a fully constructed bird's nest (I prefer for it to be in the foundation laying stages, before drywall and shingles go on) and throw it into a low pony-tail because my hair is currently too short to do anything more exciting. I then take a couple of bobby pins and cement the crazy flyaway pieces to the side of my head.
As you can tell, this is less then stylish and not what you would call "attractive". It fits more under the headings of "pathetic" and "lazy". It is sad to admit that this has been my go-to look for, er, at least a month. Possibly longer.
I blame feeling like crud for weeks on end and being frustrated with my appearance in general for the lack of interest in beauty practices. I weigh practically nothing and am totally not into trying to look "good". When I get dressed I'm more focused on covering up protruding bones and transparent flesh. My goal in fashion is to not look like a walking skeleton. This is a different goal then most fashion-istas, I assume. Most girls wants to flaunt what they've got and cover up the areas that have an extra 5 (10...20...) pounds. My guess is most people aren't worried about getting awkward stares because they are shockingly thin. This is part of the burden I carry from this health battle that I can't hide from the world. Wearing baggy clothes makes me look like an ant. Wearing tight fitting clothes makes the sticking-out bones and lack of any body fat dramatically apparent. I can't win. I try to hit a balance but it is nearly impossible.
With this frustration has come a complete lack of motivation to look attractive. The other parts of style, apart from clothing selection, have completely fallen off my radar screen. I cover up skin imperfections and throw on some mascara every day. That is a far cry from the makeup precision I used to strive for daily, no matter what I had planned or where I was going. Now, if I'm not going out I'm not getting dressed up or "made up". I used to care even when I was at home by myself. Now, not so much. Like I said before, hair went down the tubes with this, too.
Until today.
Today is a new day and I broke out a new brush. The other day at TJ Maxx I had the sudden urge to buy one of those large round brushes by "Ceramic". Catchy name; spiffy brush. I had been thinking over the past few days that maybe I should tend to my (sort-of) golden locks. (okay, they aren't really golden, but a girl can dream can't she?) When I saw this brush I decided to take the plunge back into hair and beauty maintenance. This was one small purchase for TJ maxx, but one giant leap for my self esteem and confidence.
Today, I awoke and brushed my hair. You may call it routine but for me it is symbolic: I'm back!
I hope I don't become an appearance obsessed, made-up bimbo who won't be seen without her "face on" but I do want to be conscious of how I appear to the outside world and want to be attractive. I don't want people to look on me with pity and "aww, that poor little ragamuffin". I want people to look at me and think that I look like a modest, presentable human with nice looks and good taste. I think that starts with combing my hair.
My days of not caring about how I look are behind me. I put on eye liner today, too, after being inspired by the brushing ritual. Crazy - I know!

It has been over two years since my struggle to stay and be healthy began. It has been a mystery and frustration for most of that time. But today I turned a corner. I'm thanking God for each step in the right direction and every improvement, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.

Like Bob Wiley says, "Baby steps."

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