December 18, 2018
My husband, best friend and daughter surround me in my bathroom. This morning a clump of hair fell out. I made the decision tonight would be the night. I was going to shave my head. I was nervous but felt a weird sort of excitement. I had documented through self-portraits my whole journey up until now. I knew this day was coming and I wanted this picture. The tripod was set up. Lighting was brought in. Camera set. My daughter was going to take the first swipe. With the razor plugged in, panic followed. Wait! This is real. The fun is gone. Tears steam down my face. It was just hair. Matt guided Edi’s hand. The buzzing of the razor got louder. Closer. I did a weird swerve move, ducking from the razor. My nervous laughter echoed in the small room. We tried again. Long strands of hair fell into my lap. I let out my breath I didn’t know I was holding. Staring at my reflection, I cried.
I struggled a lot with my appearance. Clothes fit different. Who knew almost every shirt I owned had a dart across the chest. My hair was gone. My shadow would catch me by surprise. I really would truly forget and see my shadow and be like, “Oh ya, that’s me.” I gained weight. I somehow thought I would lose a bunch of weight and be frail looking. Nope! Actually, a majority of people gain weight. Another fun surprise.
This time around wasn’t much different. I still struggle with my reflection. Both times my hair never completely fell out, just severely thinned. I got a reaction to the chemo, a terrible rash. You get the gist. The self-love department is lacking.
I wonder what the statistic is for how many women over the age 30 find themselves beautiful. Really for any age? My guess is the number would be low. Society and media convince us we are not and that we need their product to help us feel better about ourselves. Most do it in a way, somehow or another, “telling us we are beautiful but…” If there is a “but” are we still beautiful? I take care of my body. I’m getting stronger everyday. My heart is happy. That’s what matters. Beauty shouldn’t be about appearance but more about the look of your soul. I want a beautiful soul more than I want a pretty reflection.
So, what is one way to boost our self-love or soul beauty? One way I try to love myself is to Living Room Dance. Sounds silly but I turn on YouTube, find some music and just move, dance, jump, flail, smile, laugh. No one has to see me. I can be with my family or completely by myself. The best part is I know I look ridiculous but I’m having fun. Having fun is loving yourself. Am I still bald? Yup. Do my thighs jiggle when I dance? You bet. But do I love myself anyways? Absolutely. Is my soul happy? Yes! Caring enough about yourself to set time for yourself, shows self-love. Not worrying about hair, make-up, and scale numbers but more about being happy in the moment. Lets face it, I’m not winning any beauty contests but that doesn’t mean I don’t think I’m beautiful. Just loving yourself for you, beats any award.
Today I am going to be vulnerable. I will share images of the raw me so I can look back and see how far I have come. Today I will dance, be present in the moment and just be happy and beautiful.