Those who knew me more than fifteen years ago, or even ten or so will remember I was a pretty girl. I wasn’t terribly vein I don’t think. In fact, until I was about 30, I really didn’t think I was anything special at all. But, I was slim, had long silky hair, pale with green eyes that held a somewhat steely glint at times, and…I was pretty. I took it for granted, and at times enjoyed it. It was not the most important thing to me certainly, and why I didn’t spend too much time on it.
I held my looks I think until I was about 40. Certainly when I look at my wedding photos I look good, and definitely not 40, lucky me. Sadly, with the birth of Orla, recovering from a traumatic and gruesome delivery, her colic, sleepless nights without end, her illnesses, and nary a full nights sleep in five years etc, have taken their toll.
I don’t know when it was exactly that I suddenly looked old and tired, and most definitely not young and pretty any more. I also can’t seem to remember when it was that I lost interest. I was photogenic when I was young, and loved having my picture taken. Now, I avoid the camera at all times, and stay behind the lens if I can rather than in front. These days, unless carefully composed, it’s almost impossible for me to get a good shot of myself without looking old, tired drawn, exhausted and a face that looks positively sagging. Being overweight doesn’t help I know. I look in the mirror now, with the knowledge that on this day, this is as good as it gets, and this premise will apply for every day here after.
This is not a whine though, it really isn’t. For after all, what can I do? Starve myself and end up looking like an old chicken, fill my face with poison and look like a piece of sweaty playdo? And indeed, what I got in exchange was infinitely more wonderful than looks. I got my little girl, who I could not live without. The most amazing, vibrant, exciting, loving, funny, clever and adorable little creature that brings utter joy to my life.
No, one must accept it, and I do. Beauty is purely subjective anyway, and being a middle aged woman is now become quite trendy and cool, but, I do sometimes miss being young and pretty.