You don’t need to correct me — I’m not feeling sorry for myself again — but I know in a classical sense, I’m not attractive. I have Instagram — I know what everybody’s idea of perfect is. I’m not it, and you know what?
I’ve gone bald. Don’t worry, I love hats and bandannas. I’ve had these dark circles and bags under my eyes my whole life, and as I age, they only get more noticeable. And my teeth! Don’t get me started. I’ve never liked my teeth, and because I smoked for many years, they’re yellow. I’ve had my teeth cleaned — the dentist said this is the natural color. The only thing left is to is bleach them, but doesn’t that hurt your enamel?
My beard is sparse. I have terrible posture. My slouch makes me look like a sad sack. With age and one too many Quarter Pounders, my body is growing mushy. My man boobs (moobs) would look quite nice on a woman if I do say so myself. Oh, and my ass is flatter than a pancake.
I’m a mancake.
And last but not least, one of the best things (and I write this with all the sarcasm I can muster) about growing older is that different parts of your body start to get smelly a lot faster than before. I have great hygiene, but if I sweat one drop, the old man smell comes out to play. And my breath! Some of you know what hell it is to have dry mouth from medication. Goats smell better than me.
I think I’ve covered it all.
I can joke, but most of it is true. I’m all about honesty, and I am honest to a fault about my shortcomings. I’ve come to terms with aging and the extra fat I have from the side effects of my medications.
The thing about it is it doesn’t matter — I still love myself in every way.
I know I’m not perfect, but this is the body I have. These are my teeth, and this is my hair. Sure, if I want to, I can improve, but isn’t it better to be comfortable with yourself as long as you’re healthy?
I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. I don’t wear fancy clothes to distract from my weight. I don’t have a comb-over to hide my bald head. I don’t buy expensive cream to get rid of the bags under my eyes. I am what I am, and as long as I love myself, it doesn’t matter what other people think.
With one exception…
My wife loves every part of me
My wife is much younger than I. She could have easily gotten a younger and better-looking man. She is beautiful, smart, and funny! Any man would love her.
But she chooses me.
She chose me when I was in much worse shape. When we met, I was 360 pounds and sick. And let’s face it — my severe mental illness doesn’t make me that attractive either. Women and men weren’t lining up to date me.
But, she chose me and still does. Flora is the main reason why I’m so confident. She made me feel desirable and sexy. I know she loves me for how I am because she tells me without patronization.
I haven’t always loved myself — in fact, for most of my life, I hated how I looked. I complained that my parents never put my teeth in braces. I worked out to gain some muscle. I overcompensated at times with an ugly personality because I was afraid to show people the real me.
That’s all changed. I love myself now.
Gaining confidence wasn’t easy
I didn’t suddenly gain confidence overnight because Flora told me she liked my ass. It took time. It took her to show me attention every day. I took me stopping and taking a hard look at myself. It took me to start loving my imperfect body and mind.
I still fall back and wish I look like those guys on Instagram. I see pictures of celebrities and wish I was more like them. I think it’s only natural. But, this is the mind and body I have, so I learned I better get comfortable.
Confidence has been very hard lately because I am starting a YouTube channel. I wonder if there is anything about me that people will like enough to want to come back and watch more videos. I wonder if people will be hurtful in the comments. I wonder if I’m biting off more than I can chew.
But, I decided that I would do it anyway. I know to take my writing to the next level, I need to add video. Video is the future. There’s no way I can create a career in media without being comfortable in front of a camera.
Why not? I’ve done it before. I had a good run with Jason On Mental Health on LinkedIn:
I cringe watching that because it shows just how terrible I am at trying to express my feelings out loud. I don’t have any problem writing, but when I try to speak, it’s embarrassing. Until I improve, I plan to edit my videos heavily. I know when I get comfortable, my speaking abilities will get much better.
I could look at those videos and decide that I’m either too ugly or not interesting enough for YouTube. I could throw in the towel before I start. But, if I’m one thing, I am stubborn. I’ll never give up until I know I’ve given it my best.
Love yourself if it’s all you can do
I know it’s hard to love ourselves. We see the stretch marks and big belly. Maybe our boobs and moobs hang lower than most. Maybe our teeth aren’t perfect. Whatever it is we think that people don’t like about us we have to forget.
We have to forgive ourselves for not being perfect.
When you start to love yourself, you will be more confident. Confident people are attractive and interesting. I know people like me much better when I’m not timid and meek. People like me when I have my head up, shoulders back, and I’m smiling — teeth and all!
Let’s all love ourselves and everything we are.
Life is too short for hate.