Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Musings: On Beauty

I think it's funny how a change of setting can sometimes change your state-of-mind. I am a highly self-conscious person. Henry James said, "A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost," and I ascribe to this theory, and so I try never to let anything be lost on me. When it comes to people, I love to watch them, analyze them, pick them apart, dissect them, criticize them, study them, write and talk about them. (Just ask my husband as he is often the subject of my "deep observation.") But there is no one with whom I am as harsh as I am with myself. I anazlye, pick apart, dissect, criticize, question, and, while I hate to admit it, sometimes really berate myself. And usually all this nonsense comes in the form of obsessing over my physical appearance.

Anyway, this weekend while I was in Point Reyes, I noticed something. I didn't really care. I didn't really care that I had a massive, volcanic zit in the middle of my forehead (even though J. did mention he was looking at it throughout dinner). I didn't really care that I ate half a brick of cheese at the creamery. I didn't really care that I was pretty much solely rocking fleece, stretchy pants, and Tom's. Being in the presence of amazing, expansive, breathtaking natural beauty kind of makes those mean little in-side my head voices shut up for a while because they're busy taking in the scenery. What's a zit in the face of a coastline as far as you can see, or a mountain covered in trees that look like they've grown in conjunction with the movement of the winds?

Whenever I get nervous about something, I cope by obsessing over my appearance because it is something very near, very concrete, and tangible. The thinking goes, if I look good enough, am thin enough, dress well enough then all those external stressors will either go away or be easier to handle. And, while I am fully aware that I do this, and I am also fully aware that it doesn't work, I have been going 100 miles per hour in the self-criticism lane as of late. Even though when I got back to the city, I thought, "Girl, put some cover up on that thing. You look like a hillbilly," it was nice to have a few days to kick back, move into the slow lane, put on some stretchy pants, and take in the view.

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