I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I stare at the lines that now decorate the lower portion of my stomach. I trace the noticeable line on my abdomen. The scar that reminds me of the surgeries and babies that came from that wound. I look closely. I see an aged version of myself. My eyes seem the same, but the rest of my body has found mature changes and slow transformations.
The grey hair has begun to sprinkle itself into my hairline. The wrinkles have found my forehead and hands. There is less elasticity and perk to most of my body. It does not resemble youth. It does not resemble the magazines or celebrities. It doesn’t resemble the images of sexiness, appeal, and desire that society has taught me to believe in.
This body tells a story. It showcases experience and adventure. It tells a story of life grown and love encountered. It doesn’t mirror the definitions of beauty defined by society, but it mirrors true evidence of life and love and time. It serves as a visual representation of moments and memories.
It has taken time to appreciate my body. It hasn’t always been easy or effortless. There are days where I look in shame. There are days where I look with pride. Most days are a blend of missing its youthfulness, and also appreciation and gratitude for the body that has carried me through decades of life.
It doesn’t resemble a lingerie model.
It doesn’t resemble a sexy seductress.
It isn’t without wrinkles, grey hair, or a few extra pounds.
It isn’t flawless or imperfect.
And that’s what makes it mine
Each line, each mark, each scar.
It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s mine.
It’s flawed. It’s imperfect. It’s experienced.
It’s beautiful and it is loved.
As I walk away from the mirror, I take one last look at myself, and I smile.
I don’t look like I’m ready for a magazine photo shoot, but I look perfect to walk into my room and kiss my husband, and then further down the hall to hug my sweet children. This body wasn’t made for a magazine. It was made for a life.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.