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My parents refused to drive with me until I had completed Drivers Ed. I turned the key for the first time with a stranger next to me and two random classmates in the back seat. I learned the finer points of accelerating, braking, and turning with a snickering audience who had the privilege of private lessons before performing in front of peers. I discovered blind spots and the carelessness of pedestrians. I learned to merge into highway traffic while a man forced my knee down harder and harder onto the gas pedal. I felt the rage of others. I had never been more afraid. This was one afternoon.
I still remember the thought I had when I first felt the power of metal and speed in my hands.
I could kill someone.
The enormity of such a responsibility was staggering; that understanding flooded my mind again as I considered the potential I now held in my hands.
There was no fear; the safety was on. I held a gun for the first time standing next to a man I trusted. I learned to check the chamber and load my gun. I passed over zombies and aliens to choose a target that didn’t easily allow for a flippant attitude during a lesson in deadly precision. I felt the weight of a ready gun in my outstretched arms. I centered my sights, held my breath, and fired.
° I can hear an owl hooting outside. I like it. My dogs don’t.
° I’m not usually that person who adds her pets’ signatures to cards. However. I left a gift at the door of my neighbor behind me. Seeing as how my dogs love him (he always has treats for them), I added a note from them. “We wuff you. Happy Howlidays!” I know.
° I’m trying this crafty idea for some gifts. I’m stealing cute photos off of people’s Facebook pages and transferring them to tiny little canvases. A few magnets on the back will turn them into pieces of art on their fridges.
° I normally can’t sleep with any light whatsoever. I even put a eye mask over my clock every night. (I can’t wear it on days I need to wake with an alarm, because I use a light alarm clock.) However, I love the warm glow in my room during December. I leave the outside Christmas lights on just for that alone.
° I’m working 12 hours this Christmas. I’m bringing a radio for background holiday music in the station, and I’m making pies-in-a-jar. Tiny jars are the cutest! I’m hoping to have enough so everyone who visits my station can take one.
° I’m happy to have spent a few hours over sushi with a pal who moved away. Obe rolls are deliciously spicy.
° I’m relieved my dog couldn’t get the wrapper completely off that fudge bar he grabbed off a table. And that the bite of fudge he did get was too chewy for him to eat quickly. And thankful for buy two/get one free specials.
° I’m still decorating the tree I got two weeks ago.
° My latest favorite easy dish: black beans, chopped grilled chicken, cheese, and a spoonful of cilantro paste (find it in the Goya section of your grocery store).
° I just found out that Dr. Scholl’s makes cute shoes. And yes, I’m old enough to be very excited by this.
° I’m looking forward to a New Year’s Eve dinner with good food and jazz. And the return of Downton Abbey!
I refused to look at a mirror in public when I was a teenager.
I especially avoided a certain mirrored wall at my high school.
I passed it day after day, and day after day I averted my eyes.
I told myself it was because I didn’t want to seem narcissistic; I didn’t want people to think that I thought I looked good.
The truth was that any time spent in front of a mirror was an incredibly vulnerable time for me. No one was allowed to look into that mirror with me.
I didn’t want to remind them of my flaws. I didn’t want them to see what I saw: linebacker shoulders, big nose, too small eyes, big forehead, frizzy hair, bad skin, no boobs, and knobby knees.
If I didn’t look at myself, maybe they wouldn’t look either.
I want to take that silly girl by her perfectly nice shoulders and shake away all of her nonsensical insecurities.
Ten years ago I would have jumped at the chance for some plastic surgery. Now it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Now I’m afraid of ending up with a stranger’s face and body.
My nose will always be big, my skin is scarred, and my teeth are still crooked.
The difference ten years later is that those things are not what I see when I look in a mirror. Instead, I see:
1. My curly hair. My hair was nice once I grew out those silly bangs that my forehead didn’t need and quit trying to beat it into submission.
2. My eyes. They look brown or green depending on my mood, and they are just the right size.
3. My lips. They are full and give me a natural pout.
4. My arms. They are lean and strong and soft at the same time.
5. My waist. It (along with a few other favorite parts) gives me a nicely curved torso.
6. My sides. I love the curves at my side where my waist meets my hips.
7. The small of my back. I love this little curve and the dimples found there.
8. My butt. It is one of my most complimented features, second only to my hair.
9. My legs. They are long and athletic. I even like my thighs most of the time.
10. My height. I’m 5’8″, and it’s perfect for me. Not too tall, not too short. I can reach most things and still fit into small places.
This year was the first year that I wore a bathing suit without (much) thought about how I looked at any given moment. I know that it isn’t my body but my attitude that has changed.
I love that each coming year leaves me more and more comfortable in my own skin.
*Post inspired by Kate’s Irrelevant.