I look old.
I look worn.
I look flawed.
But I look like me.
With a filter, yeah, but
without having any work done --
this is me.
And, at 34 years young, I'm finally okay with how imperfect I look.
I've grown to accept my slightly oversized nose.
I've come to appreciate the company of my ever-present under-eye bags and have fully grieved the loss of normal-looking eyebrows.
I've found fondness for my eye wrinkles and my laugh lines.
Because do you know what I've come to realize?
A version of me that hides who I really am,
and the visible markings of a life having been and continuing to be well-lived,
behind botox or constantly caked-on makeup,
isn't who I want to present to the world or to my children.
A version of me that loves, honors, and is proud of what I've been through and where I'm at, that's who I wanna be -- so that's who I am.
I'm 34, imperfect and proud, and no matter your age, if you need a permission slip to say the same,
this is it.