Unedited, unfiltered. The shame and self-hate superimposed permanently. Can’t see the forest for the trees, literally, figuratively. I’m valued in bits and pieces… and rn, that double chin, that hyperpigmentation, the wrinkly garbasaar, my nose that looks bulbous. Why did I come out? Why did I even bother to dress and go hiking? The ugliness clings to me like the sweat that runs down my face. I have an ideal image dangling over my head, like Sword of Damocles. I’ll be safe as long as I make myself believe that the image is attainable because I can’t square up with that sword dangling over my head. How do I come back from being rejected? If I’d be told I’m too ugly.. that’s an eviction notice. And I don’t know where to go from here. Yet.
This is actually the first time I’m able to look at myself in this picture, without cutting myself down, fragmenting myself into parts I hyperfocus on. I look at this image and I see the trees behind me, I remember the heat of that sun on me. I feel the wind in my memory, I take a deep breath to absorb the memory. Nostalgia. Love. I know how I felt that day. How proud I was that I had made it there. I’ve been looking forward to it since last summer. I let the nostalgia drape over my self-hate, toning it down if even for a little while .