Laugh lines. Or: How life has been treating me

I’ve been treating myself kindly.
My laugh lines used to be paths carved along the sides of my mouth
by the anxiety-ridden moments when I was so uncomfortable
that I felt the need to force a polite or subservient smile
or worse,
a laughter.
Now,
They’re carefree sculptures debossed on my imperfect skin,
forever engraved on my flawed face,
digging themselves deeper and deeper
each time I seize a new opportunity to laugh wholeheartedly,
Be it on the Thursday mornings when I would be sitting in the kitchen,
doing the dishes while mom starts cooking for the day
and my sister pokes fun at our negative formative childhood memories,
gaining some sense of closure,
Or on the drive back home following another awkward family function,
when all five of us vent our anger,
turning the unbearable helplessness into comforting togetherness.
My laugh lines speak of memorable mundane moments
which I choose to seize
every chance I get.

I’ve been treating myself kindly.
My stretchmarks used to be shameful lines
reminding me I grew up too fast for my own good,
pointing out how much I hated the transformations my teen body was going through,
shameful reminders that I was less than pretty—
or so my low self-esteem would assuredly point out
each chance it got,
Be it my 8th grade graduation when I didn’t want to show my legs out of shame,
Or the seaside trips when I would imagine burning gazes
passing an irrevocable sentence.
Now,
They’re pale engravings
pointing out my bumpy self-love journey
and how I came to realise
they are by far
the least interesting thing about me.
My stretchmarks speak of painfully self-conscious moments
evolving into freeing self-acceptance.

I’ve been treating myself kindly.
Life has been too unbearable to go on dreading looking in the mirror
at my bare body,
and picking at each unforgivable flaw.
Turns out, forgiveness is mine to give
And I will do so
Unapologetically.

– Patricia

Author: dacapoalpoetry

My journey to finding myself began with music, continued with poetry and keeps going with these two blending harmoniously.

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