Secret Things #10: Mirrors

March 23, 2014 - Week 15

This week's task:  Mirror gazing.

I cannot stop myself. Every time I go into the bathroom [*mutter mutter*I hate peeing*mutter mutter*], I have to look at myself in the mirror. I examine myself from all sides. I hold my stomach in as much as I physically can. I completely relax my stomach and try not to crinkle my face in disgust. I scrutinize the tiniest difference that I can notice from the last time I was in the bathroom [approximately 15 minutes ago, it often feels like].

I have a problem.

I want to look different. I want to look pregnant. I want to see the outward evidence that I have a person actively growing inside of me. I want a perfectly symmetrical and round stomach protrusion that shouts to the world that I am going to be a mom.


But if I cannot suck in my gut as much as I used to or if I see an extra cm of "fat" nudging itself over the waist of my pants or if I notice the silhouette of my back is slightly lumpier than I previously remember it being... I come running out of the bathroom to Jason in despair that I look ugly and gross.

What is wrong with me?

I have never considered myself as having low self-esteem. In fact, I think I often esteem myself higher than probably is deserved [or is that just low self-esteem butting its head in?]. I like to think that I am just straight forward with myself, whether it is about my personality or my skills or my looks. To time-stamp my current opinions on these matters, I will resort to bullet points.

  • Personality
    • Does not interact with people well. 
    • Withdrawn in unfamiliar situations. 
    • Weirdly spazzy in familiar situations. 
    • A tad boring/dull/uninteresting in social environments. 
    • Content. 
    • Humor borders on pleasantly quirky to downright odd.
    • Judgmental and quick to form opinions or impressions. [I feel inclined to point out that they are often quite accurate... See? I esteem myself quite highly. :D]
  • Skills
    • Slow to learn but intelligent with a very high capacity to learn.
    • Randomly observant.
    • Little ambition.
    • Excellent muscle memory.
    • Terrible at running.
  • Looks
    • Short extremities.
    • Asian...ish.
    • Round face with average features.
    • Thick torso.
    • Good back.
    • Squat knees.
    • Cup ears.
    • Nice hands.

In summary, I am an unexciting person who has excellent insides and a physical appearance that holds steady between meh and nice. I think this is an accurate summary. It may not sound like a glowing review but I do not think it is disparaging either. It just... is. That's me. I'm okay with being okay.

I realize, however, that this may sound like I do not think very highly of myself or that I am wallowing in some degree of low self-esteem, especially when it comes to the bottom line of how I view my physical appearance. And I cannot decide whether this is the case or not. It is true that I do not consider myself to be "gorgeous" or even just "beautiful," but I do think I can have my "pretty" moments. Generally, though, honestly, I look at myself and come to the conclusion that I look "decent." And I don't think "decent" is bad. It is fine. It is okay. It is neither awesome nor horrible. It is.. acceptable.

Is this low self-esteem? I don't think so. I am not esteeming myself higher than I deserve, but I also do not feel like I am degrading myself.  I am even reasonable enough to fully accept that physical appearances have a huge component of subjectivity from one person to the next and that others [i.e. Jason] can honestly believe that I am beautiful without me thinking he's completely full of it.

SO. What in the world does all of this have to do with my pregnancy mirror gazing? Yes, I may have strayed off topic a bit, but what else is new. What all of this has to do with my mirror gazing is that, apparently, despite my straight forward opinion about my looks and subsequent acceptance of them, I somehow keep letting my brain feel ridiculous things and my mouth say ridiculous things, things that I often do not even believe [when I truly think about them]. I am not gross. I am not ugly. It is one thing to believe I am [which would be an entirely different problem, but luckily that is not the case for me], but it is an entirely different and even more ridiculous of a thing [in my opinion] to not think this and yet allow my mouth and brain to spew it out at random moments of insecurity. It is just downright silly.

I can't suck in my stomach as much anymore because all of my insides are being jostled about and there is that tiny issue of a person growing inside of me. That extra cm of "fat" around my waistline is currently noticeable by no one, unless I make Jason stare it at for 15 minutes, and even if it was, again, there's a person growing inside of me. And don't even get me started on the "lumpy silhouette" discussion... [Note: The lumps are there, but they currently have zero affect on my overall appearance.]

I greatly dislike when my normally rational brain starts making irrational declarations that it may or may not contradict 15 minutes later on the next bathroom trip. This must stop.

I must remember the bottom line. I am who I am. I am pregnant. I may not feel like I look my best at times. I may never think I am gorgeous. But I know I will never truly think I am "gross and ugly." The lies must stop coming from my mouth. And this applies to post-pregnancy as well.

Additional note:  I do not look pregnant yet. I have not gained any weight yet. In a moment of impatience at my own body, I may have googled "What does a pregnant Asian look like?" I can neither confirm nor deny this happening.

Addendum to additional note: I did google that. I did. Conclusion? They look like Asians who are pregnant.

Who knew a tiny little apple-sized person could stay so perfectly hidden inside of my body?

Dear Tiny Little Half-Asian kpluBlet,

This week's ridiculous milestone is your ability to sense light. I don't even know what to do with that. The fact that I could shine a flashlight on my stomach and you could sense it through your little closed eyelids is... mind boggling. You're only 4 inches long! You are such a cool baby. When I read about this flashlight trick, I thought for sure it was a joke. Several internet articles later, I decided there must be some truth in it. I then proceeded to pound down the bathroom door to excitedly tell your daddy. He was impressed but did not nearly express as much enthusiasm and awe as I did. This may, of course, have had something to do with him being in the bathroom... Who can say really? Either way, please expect some random bursts of flashlighting over the course of the next few months. We apologize in advance.

Also, please do not feel rushed to grow quicker or show yourself sooner just to fulfill my desires to have a pregnant belly. Grow at the pace you're supposed to. I will attempt to get a handle on my impatience and illogical/irrational thinking now so you will be subjected to as little of it as possible upon your arrival. Oh little kpluBlet, we like logic. We do. You will, too.

I need to go pee again now. I blame you, but in the ever-est of good ways. Sprout on!

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