Over the weekend at a restaurant, I overheard a conversation happening at table of friends catching up over a meal. Somehow, the conversation had drifted to one friend’s recent nose job. I heard them rationalizing the surgery to their attentive and supportive friends, and didn’t think much of it other than it seemed a bit shallow. However, when I was talking about it to my boyfriend later that day, I dissolved into tears.
Let me make one thing clear: I do not give two shits about any alterations anyone does or does not make to their face. So why had this conversation made me cry, hours after hearing it? It made me mad. Not because it was a nose job, I don’t care about that. I was envious because they were the ones that got to decide that they wanted a new nose. It was a TRULY elective surgery, they got to decide to improve the face they were born with.
In 2018, I had five surgeries on my face, all of which were performed by plastic surgeons. Those weren’t plastic surgeries, though. Those were reconstructive surgeries. My accident, my facial paralysis, stripped me of the right to just change my natural face because I don’t like it. I don’t get to do anything to my face for improvement, everything I do is a step back to my normal. I don’t like my face. I don’t like it because it’s a lingering reminder of a terrible point in my life. I don’t like it because it doesn’t really work all the time. I don’t like it because I miss how it used to be.
When I am getting botox injections, it will not be to prevent wrinkles. It will be to partially paralyze my working side, so that my face looks more symmetrical. I know this is an odd point, but wishing you could change your face is a privilege- take a minute to revel in it. Maybe your nose is too big or too crooked or too round, but it’s yours, and you are in total control of how it (or your attitude) changes. In general, I avoid thinking about the things I don’t like about my face. Most of the time, it’s because I choose not to dwell on the things I don’t have. Sometimes, though, it’s because I’m afraid to know how long the list really is.
Reading through this, I’m unsure of whether or not to share it- it’s not exactly light hearted. That said, it’s a good reminder to myself and everyone else to be nicer to ourselves. I still don’t like my face but I will stop picking on her for tonight, she got seriously hurt and she’s doing the best she can to recover. I will be kinder to myself if you do too, deal?
2 thoughts on “Being nicer to myself.”
I just took a moment to revel in and appreciate my face–which I am SO mean to sometimes, poor thing. As always Amber, you sharing your hard-fought wisdom is a gift to the rest of us. I know it’s not something that you wanted or that you planned for, but many people would just withdraw into self pity instead of opening up about the lessons it is teaching you–and because you are sharing, we can all benefit from your journey. Thank you. Whenever I see a post from you, I savor it. xoxo
Bravo Ambys!! So true. I can relate…a little. But, my hurdles involve the inevitability of aging…
Ok so, when we were in Mexico this past month, Me & Genna were sitting around talking and suddenly she goes, what’s that under your arm?! OMG Heather, you need to shave that shit!! That “shit” was a tuft of barely visible LONG hairs under my arm. Mind you, I’m in a sundress & had shaved like a MFer before and during the trip to avoid this moment, somehow missing that one tuft of random long gray old people hair.
So, Johnetta rushes over with a razor and we’re hacking away at this wispy jungle clump of hair…under my arm…that was present for every lunch & dinner…for the past 3 days. So gross.
Anyway so, we can’t cut it. It won’t shave. So, Genna runs to get…wait for it…NOSE CLIPPERS. No, I’m serious. It was humiliating. And they worked!! The evidence safely wished away, I was saved from further obvious old people moments…for that day.
So, thank you for the reminder to love ourselves better & not get stuck in those momentary reminders of our flaws & the inability to do much about them, except surrender to them. We all have flaws, but, unlike my randomly sprouting ugly old people hair that I now have to pinpoint and cut with nose clippers &/or I will miss completely for your viewing pleasure at lunch while I’m wearing a sundress, your flaws make you MORE beautiful, as they are scars of the warrior you are, and will continue to be. I love you Ambys.