When I separated from my EX, I kinda left in a hurry. Things had become volatile and my 8 year old daughter and I were out from one day to the next. My big brother Ben took Daisy dog in for a bit during my separation transition. When I told him she was gone he said, “She was a good dog and we enjoyed having her. I’m sorry that I never knew her on the other side of pretty.”
The other side of pretty?
The other side of pretty!
Some days, I don’t know which side of pretty I am on. I do know that the unhealthy relationship made me feel like an old lumpy sack of russet potatoes and at one point, I began to manifest that thought on the outside.
In my former house with my EX, we had few mirrors and none that were full length. I suppose neither of us wanted to see what we had become, as a couple or as individuals. Even though he was still handsome and slender, his six-pack was now short a few notches. Not that I care about that, but he does.
Buddism teaches that if you want to learn about something, observe it. I know that I was content to see our lives through peripheral vision. No light, no mirrors, just dark grey air that I tried to avoid by working late and having a room of my own. I wanted the marriage to work so badly, I was willing to die a little each day, but not able to take my 8-year old daughter with me. (note cliché, “Willing but not able.” Ugh clichés!)
When I moved in with my beautiful roommate, I was placed before all types of mirrors around the house and lots of natural light. There I stood, hair wet, face scrubbed, bare after a shower. There I was at the bottom of the stairs dressed for work. There was my reflection in my bedroom, from head to toe. All of those years, missing my own reflection. I missed all those years of myself. What did my body look like 5 years ago? I missed my SELF like a former great lover.
My beautiful roommate told me that when God made me, He was committed to every single part of me. When we live with someone who believes that, every mirror agrees with God.
Is the other side of pretty all perception? I have felt pretty and ugly all in the same day. Walking into the gym, ugly. 40 minutes of cardio, showered and dressed walking out, pretty. With my EX who pays special attention to the waitress, I teeter at the top, gravity all around me. John Mayer sings “Gravity has taken better men than me.”
“Jump and the net will appear” the zen saying goes, and I did. I jumped far and with all my might to land safely in a beautiful safe home. I jumped for my older daughter, the size 0 with curves, kind, beautiful, smart, who doesn’t realize yet that she can have whatever she wants, she just has to want it. I jumped for my friend who is every bit a beautiful Mexican star and whose EX would turn his head in the direction of every click clack sound of high heels approaching. I jumped for my 8-year old daughter, so that she may always live in the light and I jumped for all of us teetering, to land on the other side of pretty.