10 Year Challenge

I didn’t participate in the 10-year challenge where one compares two photos of themselves taken a decade apart. I had a moment of temptation where I felt an urge to find a flattering photo, (taken in the right light from the perfect angle, of course). A photo that would warrant many likes and “Oh, you haven’t aged a bit!” But that would be complete bullshit. I have aged. We all have.

I’d love to tell you that I am above all this vanity, but I just spent the entire morning planning out a tattoo that will cover the varicose veins on my right thigh. I don’t plan to ever let my hair go grey. I’m doing my best to take care of  the shell I’ve been given to house my soul through this life. It’s not the “smoke and mirrors” selfies on the ten-year-challenge that bothers me, it’s the incomplete picture they present to the viewer.

For those that have fought personal battles these past years, you understand. My own battles have been depression, bankruptcy, business failure, addiction in my family, three miscarriages, divorce, and starting over. What my photos may or may not reveal is I am happier than I’ve ever been. If photos could capture one’s soul, mine would show a woman coming out of a gray prison into a colorful meadow, with lots of battle scars and a giant smile. She’d be giving her own thumbs up.

I’m writing this for those that don’t feel proud of their outer shell right now, and don’t feel inspired to post a “ten year later” photo. Maybe you’ve earned some battle scars that aren’t pretty. Maybe you have gained or lost weight, got wrinkles, or had your hair fall out. Maybe you are currently in the middle of a battle that is wearing on you. Keep fighting and remember you are beautiful and strong and so worth it.

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