Struggling to maintain my equanimity – long work weeks and lack of sleep have me feeling worn down. I feel sloppy, as if the words tumbling out of my mouth haven’t been properly vetted, filtered, monitored. I go home feeling like I’ve screwed up even though I can’t point to any concrete mistake I’ve made.

I spent a lot of time at a work function this past week (hence that last grumpy post) and messages of thanks and admiration have been showing up in my inbox. I read them and feel my inadequacy even more acutely. It’s like these people are just being nice, taking pity on my attempt to be accepted as one of them. Of course I tell that voice in my head to just shut up already but it’s wearing me down. And, blast it all, pictures from the event are starting to circulate. Ugh.

Saw a fantastic show last night, but ruined much of it for myself by wallowing in envy of the performer. She’s so skinny, so stylish, so talented, so beautiful…you know the story. Woke up this morning and decided to revisit one of my favorite posts at Shapely Prose. I needed to read this again.

I’ve been trained to view beauty as a rule that excludes me, a weapon that anyone could use against me: we all have. But when we try to think generously about beauty, to look for it with pleasure instead of with envy, it only expands. Beauty is not a finite quantity. It has room for you. It has room even for me.

Go read the whole thing. And, as for the performer, I went back and read some of her lyrics more closely as I had breakfast, and you know what? She’s a person, with hurts and fears and joys and loves all her own, not some pristine doll enshrined in my imagination. It’s an obvious point, but one I apparently need to learn over and over again.