I got my first official boyfriend today, and we're going on a date tomorrow night. I took my friend K. out to shop for a new top with me for the date tomorrow. I was standing there in the dressing room, looking at my reflection in the mirror, at my zit scarred face, my poorly applied makeup, struggling into clothing that's already twice the size of those that K. is sliding into effortlessly, struggling to breathe in the size eighteen jeans I fit into so proudly a couple of months ago, and I suddenly felt absolutely horrible about myself. I felt that at the age of nineteen, I've already lost any chance I've ever had of being pretty. That I've ruined my body, despite knowing for years the things that I have to do to save myself (eat less, workout more, stop picking at my face, actually stick to an acne regimine, etc.) I give myself excuses, I have a heavy courseload, no time to exercise, I hate exercising in front of people when I already feel horrible about myself, I have OCD which makes it hard to stop picking, etc. but I know that I could have stopped at any point, that it didn't have to get to this place, that I didn't have to be scarred. I wondered if my new boyfriend had looked between K. and I, and been upset that K. had already been taken, that I was the booby prize. I felt like crying. So I made myself sit down, and write the following.

Affirmation

I have a marked face

Covered in scars

From my own doing

My own actions

My own neglect

Marks of acne

Of stupidity

I don't know how to put on makeup well

My hair lies flat and greasy

I can't flutter my lashes

Or flip my hair

Or flirt at all, really

I'm overweight

I can't fit into tiny clothes

Or even my own clothes, half the time

And yet I don't exercise

Or eat less

My voice is loud

My manner is abrasive.

But my parents love me

My friends like me

I was finally asked out

And he doesn't seem to mind

It doesn't seem like this was

Some sort of dare

And I'm smart

And I'm funny

And I'm usually caring

And I have a lot of reasons to be happy.

So maybe I can be okay

Maybe I can relax and breathe

And maybe

Maybe

It's not too late.