Confidence

It’s a funny thing, confidence. It comes in so many different forms, even in just one person.  Confidence in yourself can be comprised of confidence in your body, your mind, your spirit, your skills, your abilities.  The list goes on.
I suppose I’ve always felt that I am a confident person. I never felt the need to go with the group if they were doing something I didn’t want to do. I know my values, stick to them and think I make good decisions (for the most part). On the flip side, I lack confidence in different ways than I used to and it often gets me down.  My parenting skills (or a seemingly lack thereof on some days), my intellect (or lack thereof on most days), and my ability to multi-task or manage time has really plummeted of late.
I didn’t love my body in my youth, but I didn’t hide it in shame either.  It wasn’t until I became a mother that I truly marveled at the abilities of my own body. When I think about another human growing inside of me and then morphing into a little person who is talking back to me everyday, I can’t help but feel wowed by the human form and everything it can do.  Thinking about it from a Darwinist or scientific point of view, our bodies can adapt and overcome so much from creating life to living without limbs. I’m often awestruck when I look at myself in the mirror now.  Not because of how much my body has gone through and the scars there to prove it, but more shocking to me is the fact that I feel more confident about it with its many flaws.  I like my boobs with 16 inches of scar better than before my double mastectomy.  Sure, it doesn’t exactly look natural without nipples and placed atop my chest like two bowling balls, but it beats them hanging down to my ankles.
It’s a shame that teenagers or people in their early 20s don’t feel better about their bodies. Ahhh, age is so wasted on the youth.  Things sag, droop, scar, flatten or seem to bubble over and out as our bodies get older and lose their ability to bounce back from childbirth, weight gain, and, well… life.  Even the lines etched on our faces and the grays sprouting like chia pets out of our scalps seem to duplicate at exponential rates as years pass.  With this particular aspect of my own self-confidence, I can stare back at my reflection and see that I earned those lines from laughing and crying.  Those grays are itching to start peeking out from stress and worry.  Those muffin tops and saddle bags are there from my kids and from fun, if not glutinous, times with family and friends.  My body is evidence of a life well lived and I’m certain that’s why I respect it now more than ever.

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