In the face of joy and transformation, old insecurities can burn away. I can suddenly talk about Nice Guy without foaming at the mouth. The future is a beautiful blank canvas. I find myself sending out positive intentions and reaping amazing benefits. But my insecurities are feisty little fighters. They lurk beneath the surface, namely my epidermis. Because despite the recent happy chain of events, I have a tiny volcano on my forehead. And I am being a baby about it.
My relationship to my skin has been interesting. When I was a freshman in high school, the mole I had had on my face since I was a little girl suddenly became the object of insults(courtesy of a mean boy I had a crush on.) What had not mattered to me before now dominated my thoughts. I was thrilled when my doctor recommended it being burnt off. The rest of my teen and young adult years went on without too many skin issues. Then, during my club kid phase, while I boasted a flat stomach and a navel that had vocal fans(yeah the clubs are a weird scene), my face and neck erupted in a bad case of adult acne. I tried erythromycin before turning to an esthetician. My wallet and complexion haven’t been the same. Every month, I treat myself to a facial and I’m also devoted to my skin products. For the most part, if I hydrate adequately(though I’m terrible on weekends and vacations) and wash my makeup off at night(again I’m often remiss), my skin is now smooth and silky. When I get the occasional zit, I become obsessed with it. Against everyone’s advice, I do what I can to get rid of it, which only makes it worse.
Take this week’s pimple. If I had simply treated the original blackhead with glycolic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide, it would have dried up like the almost-zit I caught on my nose. But no, I had to try to clean it up myself which led to a tiny red bump. For reasons I cannot reveal online, I was unable to treat the bump until the following late morning. By then it was a red zit. It wasn’t too bad so I ran errands and enjoyed dinner with my best girlfriend. By the evening, it had grown so I irritated it further. Yesterday I wore a headband during my shopping trip. Overtreated it some more. Today it has started to clear but it is still swollen. My forehead is bruised and therefore hurting. I will have an angry red scar for weeks. In the meantime, I plan to stay in tonight. I know. It’s my own fault. And it’s only a pimple. But amazing what one blemish can do to your confidence.
Still, I know the blemish is symbolic of the fears and doubts lurking below the surface. Life is changing for the better and I am thrilled. I have a good feeling. But I have butterflies. Ones with sharp teeth.