One Face, our own, has seen many a day. It has served us in all kinds of situations and is identifiable in a crowd to those who know us. Like it or not, symmetrical or asymmetrical, unique or plain, it is the one that we were born with. Some of us have cursed it, babied it or even aspired to change it and succeeded at doing so. But, at the end of the day, it is one of the few things that REALLY separates us from others. Sure, we all have look-a-likes, but no one other being has your exact same features and proportions, even if you are an identical twin. Your face, my face, is self-defining.
In my younger years, I will admit that I did not fancy my face much. My nose was nothing like ‘how it should be’ and I was often teased for it, especially by my two older brothers. And so, over time, it became etched in my mind that it was ugly, unworthy and throughout my impressionable teen years, it bothered me a great deal along with other parts of my body that I had come to hate. The messages from peers, family, friends and strangers, all running through my head adding to the already negative messages that I had had about myself as an awkward teenager, as we all have had I am sure. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know that and I thought that it was just me who felt the way I did. Luckily time has a way of changing things and now, for the life of me, I have no idea why I spent so much time agonizing over it. Is my nose different? Yes. Have I grown to like it? Yes. How have I come to change my mind? Because it’s me. Without it looking back at me in the mirror, I likely wouldn’t recognize myself. I have come to enjoy the fact that it is part of what makes me, me. A girl named Sue.
After growing out of my egotistical, self-conscious stage, I began to look more closely at the faces around me. They became more important than my own. I looked to some of those faces for love, advice, and friendship. With them, I shared in all kinds of trials and tribulations as I figured out my 20’s and 30’s. Each was distinct and played a specific role in my life, and some still do. Some also do not, as they have come and gone. Even the faces of my cats and dogs have been important in my life. I am grateful for all who have helped to shape and mold me into who I am. My face is a reflection of them and theirs are a reflection of me. Our eyes serving as windows to our souls.
Now, as I think about the many faces that surround me, I feel proud. I am grateful that at aged 42, I can still see the faces of my parents. Not everyone my age (or younger) can say the same. They are heroes in their own rights for all that they have sacrificed and done to raise us three kids. I am grateful for the dear friends with whom I have experienced life, whose faces are a continual source of support, kindness, and laughter. I am grateful for the face of my brother who has been there for me since the day I was born. I am grateful for the face of my nephew whose innocence and youth inspires me. I am grateful for the faces of my newfound friends on this blog who don’t know me, but have taken time out of their days to share in my thoughts and ramblings. And, I am certainly grateful for the face of my husband whose smile brings an immediate smile to my own face: A face of comfort and familiarity that drew me to him from the minute I laid eyes on him, and the face that I look for around every corner.
Indeed, I now see the value in one face and the faces of many. All here to share in this moment in time and the one thing that we most remember about those who are no longer with us. A beautiful combination.