There can be an emotional journey connected with multiple sclerosis.
Having just written about uninvited commentary, I found this gem too awesome not to share.
I went to the grocery store in my requisite San Francisco Giants cap and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Upon leaving, I chatted with the checker about the usual inane topics. Knowing my health status, she asked if Rituxan (rituximab) affected my hair growth. Before I could answer, the elderly woman behind me grasped my arm. She then leaned over and whispered that I should try a little harder to pretty myself.
Regardless of my reaction to randomness, I rarely miss a beat. I patted her hand then assured her that I should, but I do not.
This still makes me laugh. And I am relieved that it does. Not only does she remind me of my beloved and very outspoken grandmother, I know she meant absolutely no harm.
Nevertheless, the topic of our encounter gave me pause.
I have always taken pride in my appearance, yet my notion of beauty has been an evolution of sorts. My 20s were all about following society’s standard of beauty. My vanity emanated from lack of self-esteem.
Self-exploration and discovery accurately describe my 30s. I experimented with notions of beauty and found my own developing alongside a newfound confidence. I was OK.
It is no accident that my diagnosis came as I entered my 40s. The quiet certitude and self-love were no doubt borne from a forced change of pace. Kindness and humility became my litmus of beauty, not only in myself but in everyone. Beauty is unseen but overwhelmingly felt. I am most beautiful when I shine my light on others in hopes it will liberate them to feel similarly.
|Read on: I Have MS and I Am Beautiful|