This I Believe

Kathleen - Modesto, California
Entered on February 23, 2007

My feeling is that nothing in this world is impossible if you have faith in yourself and your abilities. Right now I look in the mirror and I like the woman I see there, lines and all. Those lines are hard-earned and I would not trade them for the world. Some people are under the impression that those lines are from sorrow and despair (because of the whole prison/convicted felon/ bipolar thing). When I look at myself, I see a woman quick to laugh, tell a joke, that has a voice to sing and has (admittedly bizarre) stories to tell. I have rediscovered the joy in life and the miracle of freedom after being stuck in a cesspool of my own making. I am one who has always learned the hard way so these lines are a barometer of the life lessons that formed the woman you see standing before you with her head held high because she learned from her many mistakes.

This is not to say though that I am not vain and often narcissistic. On occasion, I find myself studying ads for plastic surgeons and wondering if I should take this old girl in for a tune-up. As I watch my breasts go south for the winter, I sometimes wistfully (and unrealistically) wish there was a remedy for gravity — sooner or later everything falls victim to it. Gravity is akin to death and taxes– it’s inevitable. Then I shake it off and am once again grateful for Victoria’s Secret’s Miracle Bras (aptly named I must say). But I quickly come to my senses once again resisting the lure of plastic surgery’s siren song and do a quick reality check of all my blessings (which are many). My mom always says she’d “go back for the body but not for the head.” I don’t agree. It’s so easy to try and erase time’s handiwork. Every woman has the right to make that choice. I think it’s much more important to work on the interior; the exterior is only so much window dressing. I mean how many of us has given in and spent an exorbitant amount of money on a new outfit hoping against hope that it will give us the ability to conquer the world (not too mention make us look ten pounds thinner and ten years younger).

It’s our belief in ourselves that gives us the necessary self-confidence to achieve our dreams not a brand new pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. When we are born, we have the faces of angels, when we die, however, we have the face we earned. At this point, I am excited at the thought of having my experiences etched onto my face for the world to see. Age is not something to be feared, it should be embraced. If welcomed, age can bless us with “the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”