I remember the days when it wasn’t so important how I looked, how I presented my physical self to the world. When the state of my hair and face and body was inconsequential, when my days were filled with innocent, immediate concerns. I also remember the days when it was an all-consuming task to upkeep and maintain my outer surface appearance, the skin and hair and nails that envelope and contain my insides. I also remember the days when I purposefully pretended that it didn’t matter to me how I looked, that it was a possibility to care but I was distinctly choosing not to, and I let my self grow wild and tangled and smelly.
It seems almost silly to even distinguish transitions in one’s life, as life is, in essence, a simple (and not so simple) transition from birth to death. But I’m going to go out on a silly limb anyway and muse about the more immediate, somewhat tangible transition I seem to presently find myself in. I am moving into ecstasy with my physical appearance and enjoying the time and work I invest in upkeep. Applying scents, makeup, brushing my hair often, exercising for muscles, refusing clothes that don’t flatter, even shaving, all of these practices are new to me in that I’m gently, lovingly enjoying them, rather than fighting with the idea that I must pursue an ideal or ignoring the notion that I could put effort into polishing my outer shell.
On the other hand, there is a part of me, the inside, soft part of me, that is realizing the futility of putting time into maintaining a body that will only decay, will only continue to age and wrinkle and soften and spot. My face and hair and butt will forever give first impressions to all who behold me, but it’s my passion and character and ideas and musings and frustrations that keep folks around, that create the foundation for connection. Thus a transition, yet a branching. I strive to continue exploring the game of drawing others in with my physicality while keeping those around who I let through the doorway, through the bark and into the pith.