These days my hair is only growing on one side of my head.
I went to my beloved hairdresser to have my lop-sided folicles evened up. I came home with hair much shorter than I’d anticipated. Not my hairdresser’s fault, he did the best he could with what he was presented.
On June 30th, 2010 I went to a friend’s house to watch a movie. That night her dog took a bite out of the left half of my upper lip. I’ve had a couple of plastic surgeries and treatments since then. I now have 1.5 lips. The plastic surgeon did the best he could with what he was presented.
For a long while after the dog incident I wore light lipstick in an effort to minimize the shame of only having 1.5 lips. After all, I was quite proud of my original set of 2. To high light my “best feature” I wore the brightest, boldest lipsticks- shocking pink, flaming orange, ruby red-my lips were my thing. Then one day I found myself presented with only 1.5 of them.
For a long while I believed I’d be infinitely better looking if I had long hair. So, amidst my divorce I wore hair extensions for several years. They were costly, time consuming, likely looked fake, and I always felt a slight embarrassment/anxiety about them, lest the wind should blow and someone would see I had someone else’s hair attached to my head. Last year I decided enough was enough. I was tired of walking the world in slight embarrassment/anxiety.
I carry lipliner and all shades of lipstick with me everywhere in a white pencil case that says, “I can and I will.” Some days I draw a set of 2 lips on better than others. Some days I notice people noticing my 1.5 lips and some days no one notices at all.
Also, two toenails on my right foot are still cranky thanks to my days as an alleged marathoner. Also, my right index finger is screwed up because it got cut off and reattached when I was two. Also, I’m aging. Also…
Here’s the thing. What do we as women choose to make our imperfections mean?
Am I any less attractive, less sexy, less feminine, less womanly, less intelligent, less creative, less worthy because I have shorter hair and a list of some other stuff? Only if I choose to walk around the world believing this crap.
My friend Heather told me post dog-bite that my new lips would just add to the mysteriousness of my beauty. For years I thought she was just being nice. These days I choose to believe her. Even if no one else agrees with me and Heather, it’s better than the self-defeating alternative.
None of us are perfect. How about we let our inner and outer imperfections be what set us apart?What if we allow them to add to our mystery? Wouldn’t it feel GLORIOUS to release the pressure of perfectionism?
It took me until my 40s to really believe this, but beauty does come from the inside out. Sometimes we do have to make the inside choice to do the best we can with what we’re presented. At least I have 1.5 lips; I could have been left with no lips at all.
Whether or not the left side of my hair chooses to grow back is God’s business. Until then, I shall rock out chin-length hair and adorn my 1.5 lips with bright lipstick wherever and whenever I feel like it.
In the words of Marie Forleo, “The world needs that special gift that only you have.” Don’t hide your light under a bushel because your body isn’t perfect yet. Hint: it likely will never be. I am so much more than my hair, my lips, my weight, my body. So are you.
Get out there and rock whatever you’re presented with.
With Love, Short Hair and 1.5 Lips,
PS. If you’d like to share with me how you’re doing the best with what you’re presented-leave us all a comment, or email me privately, firstname.lastname@example.org I would LOVE to hear from you.