Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sunday Scribblings - Skin

This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is 'Skin.' I was sitting last night trying to decide what I was going to write and I was really struggling. I thought about writing about my favorite skin and how warm it is and how it smells, but I got quite shy and nervous. So I started thinking about my own skin and what a problematic relationship we have.

"Skin: The skin is the body's outer covering. It protects us against heat and light, injury, and infection. It regulates body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. Weighing about 6 pounds, the skin is the body's largest organ. It is made up of two main layers; the outer epidermis and the inner dermis."

When I stop and think about my skin I think about how unhappy I sometimes am in it. It is the outer layer of a body that I have felt disconnected with for some time. When I stop and take a look at it I can see that it has its own personality. I have lots of moles, a tattoo, and a number of scars. If I don't sleep well I get wrinkles beside my mouth. If I don't eat well or if I have peanuts or milk I get bad eczema on my hands. I burn pretty easily across my nose and I have a funny bump under my skin on my back.

And yet up until now I haven't loved it for its quirkiness. Instead of seeing it as an extension of me, I've poked and prodded it. I've looked at it with distaste because of the bulges it holds. I've spent many hard-earned pounds (and dollars) on creams and lotions to keep it from wrinkling and drying out so I wouldn't look like I was aging. I've forgotten to put on sunscreen and left it to turn red and crispy in the sun. I've hated it for its fragility. I've hated it for its lack of ability to hide the fat. I've been ashamed to be seen in it in changerooms. I've become disconnected to the point that it was Mark who noticed that ten minutes after I'd eaten peanuts I had an allergic reaction. I had never paid attention.

Recently I have been trying to climb back into my skin again. I've been trying to remember to dry skin brush to help it eliminate toxins. I've been trying to have the time to moisturize straight out of the shower. I've been trying to stop eating things that my skin clearly doesn't like. I've been trying to be happier naked, to pay attention to the moles and the texture and the feeling of my skin. I've found that if you do pay close attention, your skin is talking to you all of the time. It's telling you the state of your insides, whether you understand the language or not. I'm trying to listen. I'm trying to be a gentle owner. It's been very forgiving so far. I'd like to begin to return the favour.

"My whole life, I've wanted to feel comfortable in my skin. It's the most liberating thing in the world." - Drew Barrymore

16 comments:

Kim G. said...

I remember from school days learning that skin is actually our body's largest organ. Isn't it interesting that it's one that can demand so much attention from us? Looking at it, caring for it, trying to change it and manipulate it in ways that we think gives us control. I think this is every woman's journey - to find comfort in our skin. I'm convinced some must have better maps for the journey than others! ;) Thanks for sharing this post (and the recent book recommendation).

Amber said...

"It's telling you the state of your insides, whether you understand the language or not. I'm trying to listen"--
Yes. All the inside and the outside are tied together, in more ways than one.
Great post. Made me nod in agreement.

:)

Chelle Y. said...

I think we all have the same struggles.

This was a great post! I "ditto" Amber!

chest of drawers said...

I wish for you to feel more comfortable in your skin...I struggled with this for a long time too.

ruby said...

great post, megg! and i can definitely relate....

Mardougrrl said...

"When I stop and take a look at it I can see that it has its own personality." Honestly, I never thought of it that way. I'll have to start paying attention to my skin with that new perspective.

my backyard said...

I like the concept of trying to crawl back into your skin.

la vie en rose said...

'a gentle owner'--yes, that's what i'm striving for as well...over and over, day after day...

paris parfait said...

Wonderful piece, Megg! I agree that the outer skin often reflects what´s going on inside. I, too am striving to be a "gentle owner," more forgiving of my flaws, real and imagined.

hundred and one said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Like you I sometimes 'abuse' my skin - bad food, picking at my spots, forgetting my sunscreen, showers that are too hot. But now I am learning to take better care of it.

Jerri said...

"...your skin is talking to you all of the time. It's telling you the state of your insides, whether you understand the language or not."

Wonderful thought in a terrific post. You really made me think.

Marilyn said...

Oh, it's so true! Everything you wrote! Isn't it astounding when we finally DO think about our skin to think how amazingly resilient and sturdy it is?! I go for months and months at a time wihtout thinking about it in the least. Your post has reminded me to stop and be AWARE.

liz elayne said...

thank you for these words my friend. you have so much here...so much to say...so much to teach.

love this.

Alexandra S said...

You AND your skin are truly amazing, and this post motivates me to be more comfortable in my own skin as well. Another heartfelt, heartwarming post! thank you!

b/sistersshoes said...

listening and trying to understand what any part of you is saying is so very wise :)

good post, love :)

XxxD

deirdre said...

It's amazing how often it's easier to think of our skin as being something other than a part of ourselves. And what a difficult thing it is to love the skin we live in. Thank you for putting words to this.