I love Mason, and we definitely celebrated this somewhat-silly holiday via skype, but I need to take a moment and send a Valentine to myself.
I need to sit down and tell myself “I love you.” It’s hard. It really is.
This is the first year of my life since early, early childhood that I have been able to look at myself in a mirror and still love myself. Clothed, unclothed. Close up, far away. At my best and at my worst. Not that this has been recent, nor was it constant, but there were times a few years ago that I legitimately thought I was ugly and kind of hated how I looked. I wasn’t fat but I wasn’t thin enough. My face wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t pretty. People who loved me would tell me I was nice looking, but I usually attributed it to them caring about me. It was never something that made a severe impact on my life, but it was just the perspective from which I saw myself.
In the last year or two, I have fought so hard to start loving the body I’m in, from my hair to my lips to my thighs. And I think… I thiiiiink… I might have actually started to believe that I’m beautiful.
That’s not to say that the battle is won, or that I will never struggle with body image again. I know that to stay in this healthy place, I will need to keep working and keep rejecting the media’s representation of idealized beauty. But for now, I can step out of the shower in the morning with wet hair and no make up, look in the mirror and say “I love you.” I love myself not despite my imperfections or curves or my downward-pointing nose. I love myself because of those things, and for many more. Because more importantly, what I see in the mirror, while it may be beautiful, is not what defines me.
I love you.
I love you.
I. Love. You.