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Look into the mirror, who's inside there...same old me again today.

Beauty is a word that I have always had a strange relationship with. I see it everywhere. The light that comes through our park when the sun is going down. The perfect curve of PJ's cheek. The sounds and smell of a thunderstorm. There are so many beautiful things, everywhere.

It took me a long time to find a beauty within myself. As soon as I was tall enough to look into a mirror, I viewed my reflection with a critical, unforgiving eye. It's certainly not something I was raised to see- my parents made it clear that the sun and moon revolved around my sister and I. But I was never able to look below the surface, and I wasted a lot of time worrying about what everyone else saw. Or rather, I wasted a lot of time worrying about what I thought they saw.

Finding my own beauty has been a struggle. It takes a lot of wisdom to truly understand the components of beauty, to peel back the layers and get to the important stuff, and if I never said I was beautiful, I sure as hell never said I was wise, either! What I am is older, and while it's not likely I will ever see myself as a beauty, there are things that make me feel beautiful.

When I am patient with my son, I feel beautiful.

When I am wearing my Mom-Mom's diamond earnings, even with a sweatshirt, I feel beautiful.

When I am singing, and something lovely comes out of my mouth, I feel beautiful.

When I am laughing with my friends, the kind of laugh when no sound comes out and you pee a little, I feel beautiful.

When it's humid out and I am having a great hair day, with perfect rings, when everyone else is praying to the alter of their hairspray, I feel beautiful.

When I wear a long dress, despite the fact that I am entirely too short for them, I feel beautiful.

There's still a long way to go. Miles. And although I find more within myself the older I get, it's likely that I will run out of years before I run out of criticisms. There are places within me and roles in my life that need to have their beauty drawn out, but I'll be damned if I know how to do it. There's still a long way to go, but I have found a little of my beauty as each mile has passed. Fingers crossed I can find a little more.

Comments

Gwen said…
I think you're beautiful inside AND out!
Jennifer M said…
Nice Blog! New reader from www.gibmee.com :)

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{...stream of consciousness}

Today is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, and it is Autism Awareness Month.

The month begins on the heels of news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Autism is on the rise. 1 in 68 children in the areas followed by the CDC are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from 1 in 88 just a few years ago. In New Jersey, the numbers are far higher then the national average at 1 in 45. 

You can view a summary of the latest CDC report here, but there are two points of the report that stood out to me:
Less than half (44%) of children identified with ASD were evaluated for developmental concerns by the time they were 3 years old.Most children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2.Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
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