Letter #7

“His hand glides down my arm, folds over my hand. His fingers lace with mine, palms kissing. I can feel the fast thud of his heart through this single touch.”
― Sophie Jordan

Self-care. I have been moving through the motions of my daily life paying little attention to my self-care. Maybe getting a manicure will help me feel a little more like myself, again. For the past 12 years I depended on another person to validate my beauty. The beauty the world sees. I always knew that my inner beauty radiated more than my exterior beauty. So I was never too concerned on my looks…To me, inner beauty is the most important beauty for the world to see.

However, in my current phase/transition from married to separated I feel insecure.  It’s hard to see myself in the mirror lately. Really see myself. All I see is the absence of him by my side telling me I look gorgeous today. He always had a way with words. Words with little actions to follow, but I settled for words.

After work I ran a few errands and then went to get my nails done. I was the last to walk-in for the day. I settled in my chair, rolled up my sleeves, and I reached to take my ring off…the ring that was no longer there. In that single motion that had become like second nature, I felt the emptiness of a separation.

The nail technician kindly reached for my hands and began to take my chipped nail polish off one finger at a time…suddenly it hit me, will I ever have another person hold my hand? Love me for who I am on the inside regardless of how I look on the outside? The last time he my hand was when we were driving to the grocery store last month…that seems so long ago.

The tears begin to fill my eyes. In an effort to make small talk the nail technician asked me if I had children. My anxiety began to overpower my calmness. I couldn’t hold back the tears so I could respond. She looks up and franticly reacts by saying, “Kids are terrible! You don’t want kids!” I couldn’t help but laugh and cry at the same time.

In that moment I learned that the self-care I required had nothing to do with the beauty the world sees…it was the self-care that requires real work. Acceptance of my life changing. The reality of being single comes with so many risks that nobody tells you about… Like the risk of never having another person hold your hand.

That day I held my own hand and reflected on where I needed to begin the real work of my self-care…

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