I’ve been pondering my own self-perception as I’ve been doing the housework today. I’ve forced my far from perfect stomach into a pair of jeans which technically fit but could potentially do with being a half size bigger, but here in the UK there is no midway between a size 12 and a size 14 and you’re lucky if two pairs of jeans bought in the same store are the same size, clothing manufacturers don’t seem to adhere to the same size standards as each other, ever.
My hair is bugging me today, think the fringe could do with being a bit shorter (will get that fixed at my next hairdresser’s appointment), but I’m happy with the colour and the overall length otherwise. I feel like me when my hair is short and more able to express my gender identity. And in regards to expressing my gender identity, can I please be flat chested, or at least a cup size or two smaller?
But wait… under my left arm, close to where the breast begins, my scar starts. That most perfect imperfection I could lay claim to. That imperfection it took over twenty years to learn to love and not be ashamed of, but it’s there. That beautiful line that runs up my back and stops around about my shoulder blade. That scar that for years I was teased for but now own with pride. I’ve actually considered enhancing it with a tattoo as well. You know those half scissors with dashed lines you see on packaging? Something like that. Because that scar is the reason I am alive. It took ED teaching me that it was to be loved, but now, when I accidentally brush it in the shower or when getting changed it makes me smile. It’s a reminder of the heart bypass I had as a baby that has given me a longer life than even the doctors expected.
So despite the arthritic knees, the insane sinuses and the endometriosis that leaves me exhausted and in agony, I can honestly say I’m happy to be alive. I may not always have things the way I want them or the easiest time, but a team of medical staff, thirty and a half years ago, opened up by back and fixed my aortic coarctation and thanks to them I am still her. I love that scar and it helps me in turn to love my crazy dysfunctional body.
So to honour the work done by that amazing medical team, each day I am going to try and learn to love something knew about my body. Even if it’s as basic as I love the way my legs look in a certain pair of trousers.