img_1477I love this t-shirt I recently picked up at Torrid with a Marilyn Monroe quote. I never considered myself beautiful. I have acne scars, stretch marks, eye bags, floppy skin, and some (actually a lot of) extra weight, in addition to scars from falling off bunk beds, falling off bikes, wrecking a motorcycle, getting my gall bladder taken out, and basically living life. One of the greatest things about getting older is that first, I don’t care so much about that stuff, and second, I know that I have earned every bit of it.

Just because I don’t look like the women in magazines and on TV doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful. I’m beautiful in my way. My husband thinks I’m beautiful, my children think I’m beautiful (I think they do anyway), and my grandchildren think I’m beautiful. I know that because they have all told me so. And still, when I look in the mirror the first thing I see are the scars and imperfections.

In high school, I had terrible acne. When I was 30, I finally used prescription medication to get a handle on the acne and have since not had so much of a problem. Now, however, I have the scars to prove that I didn’t die from acne, my boyfriend (now husband) loved me even though I had acne, and I was still able to make friends and be in the top 10% of my graduating class–even with acne.

I have stretch marks both from having my two children and from gaining and losing (and gaining and losing and gaining and losing and . . .) weight for the last 40 years. The having children part was worth those stretch marks and remind me that I carried them both for nine months and loved them from the minute I knew they were there.

The eye bags are hereditary, so when I see them, I see my mom. I also see that I don’t sleep as much as I should and that I get too involved in too many things. I also know that my involvement will never change–it is an important part of who I am. Sleep, on the other hand, could change, but my daily choices so far keep me kind of sleep deprived. I know that is something I need to work on and make better choices.

So I’m not perfect. Some days I’m not even presentable. But I know that I’m beautiful in my own way and any imperfections I have are earned and are really only imperfections to others. My goal is not to be perfect but to be me–scars and all.