You might argue my past “Bad Picture Monday'” pics haven’t been that bad. I think you can all agree this is a pretty “good one.” But J looks so cute she makes up for the both of us.
I think battling insecurities about our looks is an almost universal trait for women. It seems silly on days I have participated in complex surgeries that sometimes I come home and feel bad that I am having a bad hair day (once the surgery cap comes off). I get annoyed with myself that sometimes that is the preoccupation. Why don’t I focus on the great things I’ve achieved that day, rather than my smeared mascara or tired eyes? I doubt many of my male colleagues even have a second thought about such things. They probably go home thinking, “I am the man!” All while I am questioning my worth as a woman because my hair is all stringy after a sweaty day in the OR.
On days I am falling into this trap I try to remember an experience I had in college. I’m sometimes embarrassed to tell this because I feel like it makes me sound vain (and not very philosophical!). But it’s true and I’m trying to be honest with and about myself, so here it is:
I was at BYU in probably my second or third year. It was a rainy day and I was passing through the Wilkinson Student Center. I had a busy day and was wearing a pony tail, sweatshirt, and no make up. I must have caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror or something because I was feeling pretty lousy about myself and my lack of effort in my appearance.
And then I had an epiphany. A REAL epiphany. A thought I had never had before:
Erin, you are the same (good) person whether you look good today or not.
It was enough of an AHA! moment that I remember where I was standing when I had this experience. Even today, I try to remind myself of that thought when I am feeling down on myself about not measuring up or “taking enough pride” in my appearance.
So even on the day this picture was taken, I know I was smart and capable and responsible. I was kind and passionate and open -- even if I don’t like my hair or the face the camera caught me making.