I went to the dermatologist the other day. Every time I go for something health related, such as a suspicious looking mole, my doctor can't let me go without saying, "When those lines start bothering you, let me know we can take care of that." Implying that A. I have wrinkles and B. They should bother me. To be fair, they have started bothering me. I don't know if it's because I don't feel myself any more or I think they make me look like I'm on Star Trek or because they bother the rest of the world so therefore they should bother me. This last visit, I asked him specifically about botox. He explained what he would do to my forehead, eyes and mouth. Prior to this explanation he of course threw in a compliment, "Women would kills for skin like yours, so I just want to keep it that way." He said, "See this line here around your mouth, people see that and think oh she's sad, we want them to see you're happy." Am I not allowed to be sad? Oh right, doc, women are supposed to be happy at any cost so we starve ourselves, put chemicals into our face and smile when we feel like throwing up or punching someone in the balls. I didn't get botox from him. Don't worry, I didn't punch him in the balls either. I left the office with that little taste of throw up in my mouth, but also a sense of pride in celebrating all my emotions, sadness, happy and disgust when someone wants me to hide away. I looked in the mirror and started to get curious about my lines. Why do I have them? Well, the ones on my forehead are from 11 years spent playing mermaids at Hill Trail Pool. The middle ones above my nose are from my son. He got the flu at eight weeks old, we rode in an ambulance, he was admitted to the ER twice, had a spinal tap and spent several nights in a horrendous hospital. So I have spent a good portion of his early life furrowing my brow. The ones around my mouth are from smiling, imagine that! They're from laughing and being truly happy. When you get lost in your imagination pretending you're Ariel you forget to apply sunscreen. When you care so deeply for another human, you worry about every aspect of their being and sometimes that worry goes directly into your forehead. And when you're happy, you smile. Years and years of smiling gives you those little lines. Don't get me wrong, I still may get Botox. I probably will actually. It will make me feel good and I deserve that. It will be for nothing more than that. I will still be sad, I will still worry and as much as we all want to push that away sometimes, I'll celebrate that all of that mess is part of me. But for now I'm looking in the mirror with a bit more compassion remembering what has made me, me.
I write about when the shit hits the fan, but then you see a fan full of shit and it's actually funny. Darkness brings light. I hope to offer you that today.