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beholding beauty

December 21, 2015

A few minutes ago (in the previous post), I wrote this:

“Nobody else would like any of it. But I would recognize it as being me. It doesn’t have to be attractive, but it does have to bring me joy.”

Ever since we moved last year, but especially since I began my 7 weeks of nurturing myself, I’ve been getting rid of stuff. Lots of clothes and accessories, in fact. Things that, when I bought them, seemed like other people would find them attractive. Other people would approve. ‘Elegant’, ‘professional-looking’, that kind of thing.

Nothing like me.


I think the crisis of confidence in my appearance I’ve been having for several years now — that I thought was due solely to being a gender most people insist doesn’t exist — might actually be related to how… I feel like my actual self is fundamentally unattractive by other people’s standards. A new style, of blue and green hair; and a pretty outfit… can’t fix that.

Looking ‘professional’ ain’t gonna help neither. In fact, the whole idea of ‘professional’ is likely part of the problem. “Maybe I could trick people into thinking I deserve to exist… if I can Contribute to the World by Having a Professional Job!” I did have professional jobs, for several years. My parents couldn’t have cared less. They weren’t proud of me. They didn’t want to hear anything about any of it. “Saving the world”? Or at least, “Improving water quality in Indiana”? Please. What could be more ridiculously useless??!?

The projects I did at work… no one else remembers.

95% of the art I’ve ever created… has never had any admirers except me.

My hopes and dreams and inner life? BORING. WEIRD. INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

{Jeez, is she still talking? About herself? What an egomaniac! It’s like she thinks she matters, or something.}


I’m warm and funny and a decent listener. I retain a childlike enthusiasm for anything I find interesting, which is a great many things. I’m always up for learning more. I love frogs!

I remember details about people’s lives. I wonder about people, and their details, when I’m not seeing them. I think about them on their birthdays, although I don’t send a card since I guess that’s weird when you’re an adult. (I love birthday cards, but I rarely receive any. Sometimes I buy them for myself. Pretty ones.)


I’m not sure how to ‘fix’ what’s wrong, beyond doing the things I’ve been doing. I can’t relive my childhood, I can’t give myself different parents.

All 4 of those clauses are incorrect. Somehow. So I could delete them, but then the potential insight would be lost… before I even figured out what any of it means.


Why am I so sure that something that brings me joy will be unattractive (to others)?

Why is their reaction more important than my own anyway? Where did that come from?


I’ve been married to Spouse for almost 23 years, but I believe this apartment is the first one where I’ve decorated the common rooms, in small ways, according to my own taste. Spouse has commented, admiringly, several times already. He doesn’t feel he has a knack for decorating.

I wasn’t thinking of him much at all; I was trying to please myself.

How do I know a similar thing couldn’t be true in other contexts?

It’s definitely true that I don’t think like other people. What if that means I’m adding something cool/interesting/useful that wouldn’t exist otherwise?

Other people seem to have friends who encourage them to be braver in their creative projects, including perhaps their own visual presentation. Me, I’ve always been the most outré of my friends. So there’s no one who feels comfortable, I guess, encouraging me to be even more flamboyant. Can I do that for myself?

Can I retrain my ‘eye’ to see beauty in whatever pleases me/brings me joy?

Since I bring myself joy, I would then become beautiful to myself again. Inside and out.

{That seems too easy, but on the other hand, it couldn’t hurt.}

What else can I do differently?

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