Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In Your Own Skin

       Skin - interesting stuff.  It's the largest organ in the body.  It has several essential functions, including protecting the muscles, bones, ligaments and other organs.  Skin serves as a barrier, preventing pathogens from getting in and excessive fluids from escaping.  It separates the inner and the outer world.

     I never gave much thought to skin when I was a kid or even a teenager.  It got scraped, black and blued, and even chopped open from time to time.  One of my charming older brothers who shall remain nameless even smashed open the skin on my head with a baseball bat once.  It was an accident.  Really, it was!  I remember from time to time examining my skin for some reason or another and actually liking it.  I remember being 15 and being thrilled to return from the beach with the classic and cool bronze tan.   As a 20 something, I remember liking my skin a lot.  I was spared much of the agony of acne and my skin really was relatively flawless.  No makeup applied.  Self respecting hippie girls didn't do that. That was then.

    Here's the shocking part:  I don't like it so much now.  You knew that was coming.  It no longer meets the cultural standard for attractive.  It still does an awesome job of protecting and containing stuff but it is multi toned and, yeah, not so smooth.  There's no bronze now, only stupid patches of brown pigment.  I've got some scars here and there and some veins that might scare little kids.  These days I do apply a little of this and a little of that (emphasis on little) but am not interested in expensive skin care products or procedures.  My skin continues to serve me well and I deal with its changing landscape.

   What caught my attention recently was the phrase "comfortable in your own skin". Back in those days when I liked it, I can't say that I felt comfortable in my own skin.  Those teen and early adult years were about figuring how who it was who really lived in that skin.   I needed time to get to know her.  I was awfully busy checking to see if she made the grade.  Was her school and work performance of the highest quality?  Did she dress and look right (whatever the current "right" was)?  Did she say the right things and laugh the right way and blah blah blah?  I don't think I was a whole lot different than most younger people.  I know there are a few people who grow up feeling comfortable in their own skin and I think they are very fortunate.  But I wasn't one of them.

    I guess it comes to mind because I finally feel as if I am comfortable in my own skin.  Yeah, it's not so pretty maybe but it finally fits really well.  I have an ease now that took some serious years of living to acquire.  I still have lots of expectations of myself and I am no where near ready to turn into a frumpy   woman, but, on my good days I can also be much more accepting of me in the present moment.  I am doing the best I can with whatever comes my way.  My skin might be a bit lumpy or crinkled but my eyes are pretty damn shiny and I can sparkle just as much as I did when I was 21.

    How about you?  How's your skin fit you these days?







17 comments:

  1. Congratulations! This is the first blog post I've ever read for which I don't have a suitable comment. SKIN??

    I liked my skin a lot better when I was young and tender and not afraid to look in a mirror.
    The hot, dry Texas wind and the Tides of Time have given me wrinkles and sags. I seldom look in mirrors now for fear that I'll cause cracks.

    Despite the dangers of the sun, I've always liked my skin as tan as possible (a vanity I learned when I lived in Southern Californa).

    I'm very thankful that I'm not a woman, because I sure as hell wouldn't want to disguise my skin with piles of makeup.

    This turned out to be too long - - considering I didn't have anything to say.

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    1. You always have interesting stuff to say, Jon!
      Women are not required to disguise their skin with piles of makeup - they choose to - I guess to feel as if they are not so crinkly. Like I said, I spent at most three minutes with that stuff and then I don't bother to look in the mirror. Ever.

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  2. oh... um...
    I don't have a good response at the moment. I can't figure out which I way I want to take this. Plus, I'm somewhat impaired at the moment because the dang cat wouldn't let me sleep last night.

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    1. And the firecrackers will not let you sleep tonight - at least out in West Co - Analy is wild tonight. I don't go. Surprise!

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  3. I like my skin a lot better in the summer than in the winter since I get dry skin so bad lol.

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    1. Yeah, that dry skin thing is a b**ch too! Itchy as all get out!

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  4. That's a great photo, and your skin looks wonderful.

    Skin is fascinating. Mine is pale/freckled, and I always wanted to be tan when I was younger. I tried. But I wish I would have know then what I know now. (Don't we all?) The upside is that I'm more comfortable in my skin now than ever.

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    1. I started wearing sunscreen on a daily basis when I was about 25 - not soon enough, for sure , but better late than not at all. It's crazy to think how we would slather ourselves with some kind of coconut oil or something to encourage skin damage - aka a tan. But who knew?

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  5. This made me think of the phrase: "youth is wasted on the young".

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    1. Amen to that! Oh to be young and know what I know now :)

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  6. I love that you are in such a self-accepting place--and even more that you are willing to admit to the gaps in self-acceptance you still face.

    I know that "skin" in that expression "comfortable in your own--" is intended somewhat metaphorically, but here's my brief (and somewhat rueful) take on that expression in an old blog post: http://maskedmom.blogspot.com/2008/11/just-askin.html

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    1. OMG!!!!!! "Doesn't it seem possible that we're more comfortable in our skin because that skin is all stretched out and baggy like a worn-out sweatshirt and a broken-in pair of jeans?" CLASSIC and PERFECT! I love it, MM!
      You are the best!
      and that self acceptance? Yeah, it's on my good days......

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  7. Makeup is not botox. It doesn't puff out the wrinkles. Instead it makes mud puddles in the cracks and crevices. So, I don't wear any makeup at all.
    I have resigned myself to the fact that I probably will never be comfortable in my own skin. Perhaps I should try on someone else's, it might be a better fit.

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    1. You look great by the way!

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    2. I like that idea! Try on some different skin! On the makeup thing? I have this 26 year old daughter who is awesome. She WILL NOT let me wear anything - especially in the makeup department - that detracts rather than adds. I trust her and am eager for her input. I don't know how she got that way - not from me!
      Thanks for the compliment - that photo was taken on one of those "good" days (and, clearly, I was at the beach - always a relaxing time).

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  8. I like my skin. It keeps all my icky parts from showing. Bad enough I have toe fungus.

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  9. Hannibal Lecter would probably be comfortable in my skin, too.

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