Last weekend I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. What's new? Well when I was done running errands, going store to store, washing makeup brushes, threatening my children with I don't know what if they didn't settle down and finishing a one year old's smash cake, I realized I had lost my belly button ring.
I'm 25, still in the prime navel piercing appropriate age group. BUT, as you may have noted I've had a couple of children. Being that I'm as tall as a shrub (five foot to be exact) my abdomen space is limited, and Mino and Nelly left mama quite the mosaic of stripes. My sister has been in town, and while I was looking like a goober walking room to room with my shirt up looking for my belly button ring, she looked quite startled and asked how can I stand for my tummy to look like that. She also asked if my husband asks me to keep my shirt on. Well here's the answer to that question for the world:
For the sake of perspective, I guess I should let you know that I was diagnosed at about age 17 with Endometriosis. For five whole years I hadn't known that bleeding to the point of weakness and cramps that made me slither like a snake were NOT normal for 10-14 days a month. One of the complications of Endometriosis is that you can have a more difficult time conceiving. So when I was told at 18 that I would probably not have children, I gave that diagnoses the bird - and at age 20, I had my beautiful boy, Mino. So the stretch marks, They're no big price to pay for me. I was never much of an exhibitionist anyway and crop tops just aren't my thing.
Fortunately, I had children with and married a man who is far less vein than me. He could care less about a stretch mark or a love handle, and I kept the navel piercing because he likes it. And who the hell else am I trying to impress after all?
My sister pointed out that it was just startling because she's known me all my life and it's weird to see the formerly flat tight tummied me with a set of zebra stripes and the ever present mini mama pouch. Well, those are the breaks sister!
Trust me, like all women, I have areas I am always striving to perk up, pick up or tighten. But all in all, I've embraced myself and my body for who I am and what it is. I used to be far more insecure as a cute size 0 than I am now at my still-petite size three or five. I used to think my face was too flat, my lips were too big, I had no butt to speak of or hips for that matter, even though my mother was shaped like an hourglass, I always wanted to be lighter skinned, I HATED my eyes... The list goes on forever. I used to be very mean to myself.
But once you move on in life to adulthood and lose that "everyone's looking at me" attitude and truly embrace what you're working with, well now you're cooking with fire. I've got stretch marks, I've got a mama pouch, I still have big old lips and teeny tiny eyes, my lashes are short, my butt's still mal-proportioned to my boobs and I haven't gotten a lick lighter in color. HOWEVER, I have learned not only to love but to flaunt every single one of those imperfections because they are what make me, ME. I no longer have any desire to wake up as anyone else. And in a world that loves to define beauty for me, I dare to call myself not only beautiful, but extraordinary and genuine. I'll take all of what I'm working with over anything else because it's authentic after all.
If you're anything like me, love those lines. Love your skin. Appreciate all the little quirks and nuances that separate us from one another. As Groove Armada said, "If everybody looked the same, we'd get tired of looking at each other!"
Oh and just so you know, I bought another navel ring. And I'll take it out when I'm good and ready. BOOM.