My arm is getting tired.
I’m trying to get the perfect line of eyeliner across my eyelids but for the 3rd time I have washed it off. It just won’t go right today. And in the middle of another wobbly, crooked, much too thick line, I realize this isn’t what I want. I don’t want to be the perfect woman. I don’t want every strand of hair to be smooth. I don’t want to have flawless makeup. Well ok, that’s not true. I do want that just not have it be all consuming. I want to be messy.
I want to showcase my scars. I want to see the pink, healed skin that reminds me I’ve endured immeasurable pain.
I want the proof of my eye surgery to show how close I came to losing my eye.
I want the scars on my legs to speak the words of absolute desperation and give a voice to my depression when I had no voice of my own.
The deep crevices and ridges and lines on my upper body speak a story for itself that tell about how a car and winter road conditions tried to shred my body, piece by piece, and crush my bones, drain my blood, crumble my skin, and kill everything in me, right to my very last breath. My missing arm and breast. All proof that I am a fighter.
The more I strive to be perfect the more these things get hidden and by trying to maintain perfection I am diminishing the proof of my strength as a woman and my fight for continued survival.
I want my eyeliner to be as heavy as I feel on days when depression overwhelms me. I want the length of my eyelashes to be disappointing because I know, far too many times, I am too. I want blemishes to be as apparent as my faults and my scars so that you can see that I am not perfect.
I want to be comfortable wearing clothes with lingering food stains because I worked hard cooking that dinner for my husband. The paint splatters are ok too. I’ve been creative today. And the two paw prints on my hip from earlier today show you that I have a furry baby that loves me and loves to jump up on me while she’s waiting for her ball to be thrown across the yard. I want to be proud of the time I’ve spent with her, away from a full inbox and updated facebook statuses.
I want to just pin my hair back when I don’t feel like dealing with it, usually on days when I don’t feel like dealing with anything at all. I want it to be an afterthought, like my failure to follow the latest trends.
I want to wear holes in my jeans, not wear holey jeans. I want proof of how much I’ve traveled, skinning my knees with hopelessness and destruction. I want to wear the tears in my heart and the rips in my soul and the cracks in my confidence with a confusing happiness that no one but me could ever understand.
I don’t want to paint over the things that make me real. I don’t want to pretend I haven’t lived such a gorgeous, chaotic, messy life. I want the scars and stains and tangles and differences and holes and rips and broken pieces of my constantly growing self, to be the things people see first.
I look at myself in the mirror and sigh. I’ll try one more time. I lean in, my nose touching the glass and start to drag that dreaded black line across my eye lid. And, again, it’s wobbly, crooked, far-too-thick.
I stand back and stare, smiling at the difference between both eyes. We can’t all be that perfect woman. Some of our flaws are just too big.