Today I am 41.
I don't color my hair. All my body parts are unaltered.
When the wind blows, like it did today, and my hair is down, like it is today, you can see the grey hair sprinkled through the brown.
My skin isn't as tight as it once was, and I am more diligent about sunscreen and putting lotion on every day.
But the freckles that are the result of my years in the sun will never fade.
There are lines around my eyes. I have never minded them. They are from laughing, mostly. The stretch marks on my breasts and belly? From creating and delivering a child.
I have lost some weight over the past year....but not because of vanity. My blood sugar, you know. I have to think about that now, and I really like my feet...so I can't eat many carbs.
This last year has been hard. Terribly hard and I wonder sometimes if you can see it on my face, read it in my body. The body I left a year ago and return to now, its prodigal daughter.
I have been abused and neglected. I have been lied to and abandoned. I have been humbled and overwhelmed with 41 years of sadness. I have seen things I believed in with all of my soul shown to be false prophecy.
As I head into my second half of life, I am battered and bruised. Yet, I still stand.
Sore, Yes. Weary, Yes and even reluctant. But I stand. If not for myself, than always for my daughter.
Maybe this year is the year I learn to love myself.