I have a huge, honking pimple on my chin. Why, you may wonder, am I sharing this? Could a pimple be blog-worthy? Probably not. But pimples lead to other thoughts and other thoughts lead me here.
I am 46 years old. I feel like I more than paid my pimple dues a long time ago. I mean, come on, zits should go hand-in-hand with teen angst and learning how to drive, not with stiff knees and teaching your child how to drive. I had horribly bad acne during college and bear the scars today, both physical and emotional.
College was a tough four years for me. Everyone waxes on that it will be the best years of your life. Mine wasn’t. And it was only made worst in my mind because I knew they were supposed to be my glory days. What if that was as good as it ever got for me? My acne was so bad in college that when I chose where to sit in horseshoe-shaped classrooms, I based my decision on which side of my face was most broken out that day. And college was the first time in my life that I was officially overweight. Fat and pimply are a horrible combination for anyone, but add in my shyness and low-self esteem and it was no wonder I didn’t achieve the illustrious heyday.
But my college years were not all bad. I made some fabulous friends that are still in my life (albeit via the internet since they live hundreds of miles away). I also surprisingly joined a sorority my sophomore year. Of course I was not in the one with the skinny, well-dressed beauties, but the one that accepted women based on the person inside, not the packaging outside. I found acceptance and friendship and a new confidence there, but hated the formals – I never had anyone to ask and resorted to guy friends and fix-ups. Ironically, my being in a sorority led to the end of my severe acne. (Long story… but suffice to say an off-hand comment led to a fabulous dermatologist.) But it didn’t fix my weight problems.
Right after college I moved halfway across the country. I had clear skin and a new outlook – I was starting fresh; no one knew me so I could leave my baggage behind. Somehow the pounds gradually fell off. I started grad school and there I found what I had missed in college – glory days:) The overweight, pimple-faced me was a distant memory and I felt like a new, different, better person. I liked myself. I liked life. I liked the cute guy I met in school (and later married).
So fast forward more than two decades, many pounds gained and lost, to a pimple on my face. I don’t get them very often and when I do, it is nothing like when I was younger. Today I have just the one, but it is a whopper. It will eventually go away. And maybe I won’t get another one for months. Or tomorrow. Much as I hate the blemish on my face, it doesn’t really matter to me. While I am very aware of it being front and center, it no longer has the power to affect who I am. I’m convinced your eyes would be drawn to it if we were face-to-face, but I know you won’t think any differently about me because I have a zit on my chin. I know that a blemish on the outside doesn’t mean a blemish on the inside. I hate my pimple – but I like my life:)