I look so old (Maturity + Beauty)


I look so old (Maturity + Beauty)

Whenever there is an end to a cycle in my life, I always look in the mirror and am a little shocked. When did my hair get so long? Do I have the beginnings of wrinkles? Since when are my cheeks somewhat hollow; you can see the cheekbones now? Weird.

In the past, I used to look in the mirror and wonder what I would look like when I got older.

It’s a weird feeling. I wasn’t ready to accept growing up all the way until I could really get some time out, having accumulated a certain amount of knowledge, and come home and do it right. However, you can tell what has changed when you look at me. Whereas I used to be somewhat shy or indirect (even though I was made to just say it), I will look you in the eye now. I stand up with the posture Myriam tried to teach me in Chile, when she pointed out several weeks running how bad my posture was, having lost so much weight. I’m somewhat graceful here and there, it’s strange. I have more tact without thinking about it. And wonder of wonders, I still hate nail polish.

I don’t believe in Myers Briggs, but according to various websites, being female and of the personality type I “have” is somewhat rare: a supposed 1%. It seems like teasing to not reveal what it is, but who even cares? I still believe that if you want to know me you should just talk to me, and I think that tests aren’t very reliable or kind to the people that take them.

I don’t believe in limits; not like that. I think we all have a little of everything we need inside us if we allow it to be there. It’s just weird because when you physically look different, you never realize what was always there until you try to look.

I’ve been overweight since around when I got very depressed, and it is weird to look in the mirror and see something I’m not ashamed of. It is the truth. Now, my weight hasn’t changed all that much since I’ve been home, but I’m at peace with the concept of beauty now. I can just be. Feeling terrible in pounds is a very real reality, and not everyone who would mock people for looking different really knows what it is like to hear it in every place except kindness. I know it from experience: words matter. But maturity was more about letting all of it just be long enough to decide not to care than being afraid of the shame I might meet with external criticism.

I will admit it, I do like attention for what I look like. I do like people to think I’m pretty. I don’t let it control me, and I certainly know I could. I don’t like feeling like a pariah when I dress cute because I want to and everyone else showed up in their Monday best. I dress pretty because I am pretty, and I don’t need to prove it because I’m happy.

It’s so strange though, to be content at any age. It isn’t popular, but it’s also this coveted treasure that everyone living feels like is some magical grail. It isn’t, but it’s a living your life kind of thing to discover. Some of us are lucky, if lucky means resilient. But apart from that, beauty just is.

I still want to be brave before I am beautiful. If I had to pick one trait that I would keep for the rest of my life and savor, it would be Humility. If I could share one trait, it would be kindness. And if I could invent some magical solution to the world, I wouldn’t, I would live like the solution was a gift we already have always had. There is so much here, in each person. I’m grateful. I wish the same for all.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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