October 9, 2013

UNSKILLED AND UNAWARE

Have you ever heard of someone being unskilled and unaware? I learned about it briefly in my Education Psychology class in college. It's why you always see people try out for American Idol and then are shocked when the judges tell them they sound like a dying cat.
Andrew and I had a special moment together the other night while driving home from his grandmother's house. With all the stresses that pop up somehow magically once you get married and the added on responsibilities when you have a child together, our conversations have changed from the frivolous, care-free conversations of star-struck lovers whose only stresses are school, and when they get to see each other next, to more serious conversations, like what we are having for dinner. I turned to Andrew in the car and told him that I wanted to have a conversation like we used to. I wanted to talk about the stars, about our favorite fruits, music, movies, anything but whether or not the kid pooped today. Of course, he obliged.
The conversation turned to my own unskilled and unaware period of my life. I told him about the photos I was flipping through when I came across the few that were proof-positive of it.
I have never struggled with self-image. I've always felt I was beautiful and was always confident in that. Of course, I had flaws in my appearance, but none of them really seemed to matter so much that I broke down and cried. I can honestly say that I have never had a day where I just felt down-right ugly. But looking at these photos, I don't know why I haven't.
My skin was dotted with imperfections (the details are probably TMI), my hair was lousily done, and the photo was just, well... very unattractive. As I looked at this photo, I simply wanted to cry. How had I allowed myself to become so unkempt? How did I even think I was beautiful at that period of time? How am I sitting there, smiling like a fool, at a camera that shows no mercy?
All of these questions boggled my mind, but the one at the forefront was the one that I asked Andrew. How did you still love me during that time?
His answer was both obvious and profound. Obviously, he loved me for more than my looks. He saw past the acne and bad hair day into the person that I really was. At that time, Andrew loved me for a lot of things. He loved our conversations, that I was easy to talk to, that I made him want to be a better person, that I worked hard, and that I had passion in everything I did. Now, although the love has changed, it has only grown to include that I was a good mother, that I take care of the house and make him dinner, and that I am willing to do hard things for our family.
It was at this point that my eyes started to tear up. Andrew doesn't wear his feelings on his sleeves, so when precious moments like these come, I know that they really mean something. I knew that Andrew wasn't just saying these things to make me feel better. He was being truthful and sincere. He loved the woman that I was, and he genuinely thought, and still thinks I'm beautiful.
Maybe in a few years I'll look back on the photos I put here on the blog and wonder, "How did I ever think I was beautiful," but I don't think so, because Andrew reminded me of something. Being beautiful is more than your skin, teeth, or hairstyle. Being beautiful is treating others with kindness, doing your duty, caring about others, providing service, and sacrificing for others. I am so grateful for this man who reminds me of the important things.


video c/o Dylan Bitton

 photo signature_zps1d365f9a.jpg
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