To begin today's ramble, a short tour down memory lane:
I was a splay-footed sloucher with nails bitten down to nubs, and cuticles that often bled. I must have looked a wreck. I was told in nasty, pestering voices “don't slouch”, “stop picking at your fingers”, “quit biting your nails”, “point your feet forward when you walk” and a myriad of other critical admonishments. I would think; "Why won't they leave me alone! It's my body and not theirs." I didn't care about 'superficial' things like my appearance. Hatred of my body knew no bounds. It went on for years, ending only since I stopped suppressing my true feelings about who I am.
What was missing was any kind of positive self-image to live up to. The way I saw myself in the world was not something to work toward, but to be avoided.
Fast-forward to the present. Taking care of myself is just part of who I am. Now and then I backslide and catch myself slouching or find myself about to attempt a nail repair with my teeth. I remind myself that a nail-file does a much better job. I pull in my tummy and put my shoulders back. The change has to do with an internal image of myself that I really like and want to live up to.
A new influence in my positive self-image arrived a little over a week ago. An opportunity to buy some hair, and fill out the wardrobe with some jewelry and create a 'look' for myself presented itself in the form of my sweetie on holiday (my own version of 'Home Alone' I suppose. LOL).
Skipping over the boring details, I had a chance to see what I look like; a 'mature, but hopefully somewhat stylish woman', top to bottom.
It gave me a chuckle to see how much I resemble my great aunt and great-grandmother at the same age. Looks really do skip the generations! LOL
The glow from that experience is with me now; sitting here in everyday drab, comfy clothing. I can replay the feelings it brought, and especially how comfortable and natural it felt. The experience has confirmed that taking pride in one's appearance only comes naturally for someone who likes who they are. That is a very nice turn of events. What next? Time will tell; it is not a concern at the moment.
By ignoring the demands of society to conform; now dressing in gender-inappropriate clothing and feeling good about myself for once in my life, suddenly I don't need any help with these 'superficial' things that my parents pestered about. More important than that; I do not feel like a visitor in my body anymore. More even than that, I have time and interest in others and their lives.
All of this, just because I like who I am and who I am becoming; taking things a little at a time. “Baby steps” is working very nicely; not worrying as much about the future, and not sweating the past. It has become possible to really know that who I am is truly between my ears. Today, that feels right to me, and what else matters?