Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Age 19

When I look in the mirror I see a journey.

Two years ago my body was tight, slender, muscular and smooth. Today my body has scars, stretch marks and deflated breasts. There are so many stories written all over my body, I do not have a perfect face or body by the world’s standards, but every day I marvel in what my body has done and been able to survive. Both sides of my face are distinctly different, my eye is smaller on the left and my head indents where my skull crushed part of my brain. I have long jagged scars that go from my eyebrow and disappear into my hair. On the right, I see faint scars on my cheek where the skin was scraped off. I almost died that day, yet I pulled through, and my face tells the story.

Traveling down my body I see my breasts - they hang low and are barely recognizable to what they used to be. I cherish these breasts which I used to despise. I had inverted nipples and wanted no one to see them. Now my nipples point out, far out, because they are nursed on 6 times a day for a year so far. My belly is soft, not like pudding, more like an expensive down pillow. I love it - the stretch marks make the skin even softer to the touch. My defined abs have disappeared behind the loose skin, they did well carrying my babe for 9 months.

Farther down I see my thighs - what an embarrassment they used to be. To think I had 5 stretch marks when I was 15 and refused to wear shorts! Now these winding tears have multiplied by a thousand and traveled all the way down and finally reached their final destination in my calves. These are the illustrations of a story, my story.

Should I be embarrassed that my body has been through a lot? Should I be ashamed that I was given the gift of carrying a child? I used to be. I won’t lie; it's been a long journey, a journey where I've discovered what really matters and what true beauty is. I can safely say that when I look in that mirror, what I see staring back at me is not an ugly, distorted, worthless girl, but a strong strikingly beautiful and confident woman.