Friday, February 22, 2013

2008 vs 2012

I got stuck looking at old photos yesterday. It is bitter sweet looking at pre diagnosis Jess. I remember being so hard on myself. I was never satisfied with my appearance. I constantly listened to that mean little voice in my head - you know the one - the one that says things like, "Hey saddlebags, you look like a heifer in these jeans. No seriously. Your muffin top is massive. I feel sick looking at you. You're making me want to vomit." That little voice is a total ass! I'm still hard on myself, yet, oddly, I'm at a lower starting point than before. Now, I wish I had what I used to disregard. What I used to abuse and disrespect. That's a tough pill to swallow.

After surviving the brain surgeries, the heavy medications, the rehab, I think I have a slightly better perspective, and can focus on more important issues other than looks. It's not the end-all, the number one judgement, of how I value myself. The definition of health, for me, has directly changed because of this brain tumor. No more diet cokes, no more artificial sweeteners, no five hour energy drinks, no more diet pills, no diet tricks, no diet shortcuts, no starving myself to lose a pound, no more occasional cigarettes (an old college trick which I have not indulged in for several years). I may not be pretty in the way I prefer, but I'm prettier on the inside and that's something. Here is one of the photos that I found yesterday. The girl in that photo is gone. Now, I look more like the woman in the second photo. I really hate to look in the mirror. I barely ever take self portraits - or if I do, I cringe. I wish I wouldn't have been so hard on myself. (As I write this I feel like history is repeating itself...perhaps I need to be more gentle about my appearance. There is a chance I may look back at this point in my life and wish that I even looked that good. It depends on if the cancer continues to progress.) From the time I was little, my grandma would tell me, "I used to think I was fat. Now I wish I had that body." I'm learning some hard lessons early. It's good for me though. 

November 2008
October 2012
Although the photo on the beach was relatively recent, I know that it's not exactly what I look like now. But when I look in the mirror, THIS is the image that I see, and it's very sad to me. I've gone through some very painful experiences, and sometimes I wish I could just flash back to ignorant, fun loving, vivacious 2008 Jessica. I've seen too much though, done too much, to feel carefree. I doubt I will ever be able to feel that way again.

There's only one thing I can involves Emma, running shoes, my raincoat and my TCU alumni hat. It's time to brave the wind gusts and sheet rain. At least I have that. And that IS something.


  1. Wow, so much needs to be said about this! No one can change the picture of you in your head. I fight those same battles and I totally get it - almost all of it (not the tumor part obviously), but everything else. It's something I have sworn to avoid being a part of my girls' lives. I hate it that much, but even so I can't rid of it. Just know that everyone that sees you (everyone) sees a glowing beauty! You seriously glow. And that makes me want to use foul language. ;) Definitely respect what you have because it's way more than you think. And one more thing, that inside health and confidence shines right through to the outside. It can be seen. That second picture shows it. You are GORGEOUS in the present. I promise (there's that urge for a cuss word again)!

  2. Our outside beauty is one thing, some are more blessed then others. Our features are something we are born with (good or bad!). However, our inside beauty is something each one of us is responsible for. We choose to be beautiful by being loving, kind, compassionate, caring, patient, peaceful, good people. It is a work in progress all the time! We get a fresh start each morning. I think about this choice, and strive to do well, but am so human! Good news, I have this day to do a better job, and Lord willing, tomorrow too! Favorite four words, "RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS". This shows our true beauty. Oh by the way, you sweet girl are gorgeous!!!


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