When you see a picture of yourself, what is the first thing you notice? If you see a video of you just acting like you, what do you see when staring at your own moving image? Do you think to yourself – “wow, look at that special person, way to go me!” Or do your eyes immediately gravitate to all your imperfections?
I remember back in the day when there used to be answering machines, the sound of my own voice was more irritating than puking kittens sliding down a chalk board while a tea kettle whistled in the background and a car alarm went off. I couldn’t stand how I sounded, and it was really hard to believe that anyone could tolerate that horrendous auditory assault that came out of my face hole.
Nowadays, it is too easy to document everything, and see exactly what people see when they look at you all day. So many pictures of myself make me think “holy fuck – that is what I look like when I am not paying attention and staring off into the cosmos? I need to shut my damn mouth and work on that weak chin of mine!” It is hard to remember that people probably aren’t as critical of you as you are of yourself because everyone is too busy thinking of themselves. But still… it is really humbling to come face to face with all the fucked up faces you make throughout any given day.
I envy the days when it took half a lifetime of sanding sand just to make a mirror. The human mind is designed to pick a part the good and sift out negativity. We are critical by nature, and often our own harshest critics. That is probably why we envy the naivety of children so much. They live in this blissful state of not noticing or caring about the little flaws that seem so detrimental to us. A small child won’t think your tummy is pudgy, but rather see your paunch as comfy pillow. I remember loving the feeling of lying on my dad’s stomach because it was soft, and not rock hard abs jutting into my cheekbone.
Kids are really oblivious to their own imperfections as well. They run around with chocolate on their face, their hair all fucked up, and not caring that their clothes are covered in snot stains. There is innocence to their lack of awareness. So it has been really challenging to watch how The Munch has to encounter the reality of her flaws because of her wandering eye. Everyday now Munch has to wear her eye patch, so she is forced to remember that something isn’t right about her.
Munch: Mom I don’t want to wear the eye patch. I HATE wearing the eye patch.
Toni: I know it isn’t easy. But you have to wear it so you don’t get surgery and the doctor doesn’t have to poke your eye.
Munch: Will the doctor take my eyeball out?
Toni: Uhhhh I don’t really know how it works, but it doesn’t look fun.
Munch: I don’t want the doctor to take my eyeball out.
Toni: Well, they would put it back in. But that is why you are wearing the patch. So your eye gets strong, and you don’t have to.
Munch: But why do I have a lazy eye?
Toni: Because nobody is perfect, and we all have problems.
Sigh. Even though I know this to be true, it is just hard that she has to be aware so young. I am hoping that this means she will have a higher tolerance and acceptance of herself in the future.
(Here is mom rocking the patch to make Munch feel better)