Life, The Universe, and Fractured IDs

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I always assumed I would grow old with a purposeful ungracious universe that hinted at a certain self-confident pugnaciousness of character.

Until a few weeks ago, that is, when I happened upon some images that a friend had taken of me and was struck to the core at the person I saw captured within those few frames. It seems I’m more human and more female-minded than I thought. As it turns out I cannot separate the physical me from my id. I am grey and wrinkled at my core and frankly ashamed to admit it.

How is it that I find myself suddenly pondering the imperfections of my skin or the amount of weight around my bottom? I have always been a woman who endeavored for a life free from the cares and opinions of others towards my person.  Those who know me well would confirm that vanity is not one of my (admittedly many) flaws.

I’ve often joked that when I peer into a mirror I see the fractured image of a Picasso painting; the nose slightly askew, one eyebrow higher than the other, a mouth which droops melodramatically towards the left. I was never bothered by this reflection; I took as it a mark of personal integrity that I was less than perfect in this universe.

While those in my circle were being botoxed, breast lifted and wrapped in seaweed I was happy in the knowledge of my bodily mediocrity. Secure in that state of ‘middle of the road’, I was milk toast and more than pleased with the crumbs. I could blithely go on about my day without worrying that my lipstick needed retouching or my blush freshened.

Yet here I sit today with my head firmly ensconced in an oversized fedora hoping no one will see the hair peeking from beneath, long overdue for coloring. My glasses are perched on my nose to hide as much of myself behind them as possible while my hoodie is zipped up, tropical temperatures be damned, to cover my mid-section.

I wonder what’s faded most, my youth or the strength of my beliefs. I know that many might say I’ve caved to the pressures that society brings. Perhaps this is true. Yet the pressures were always there, it’s only now that I’ve noticed.

I don’t know how this battle of the self will end. I can only hope that it will be in blue jean overalls with silver hair and not designer clothing hiding the scars from plastic surgery. Either way, I know that at least I tried to be me for as long as I could. Crooked nose, chubby bum and all.

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