Lately, I have started to feel really unfeminine. This past month has been a harder one in not having hair. Ive tired to be really positive about this, how being bald in the summer isnt too bad, and things like that. But its been a month since chemo has ended and I dont see much of any new growth. I think the “hair” I have now is the hair that never fell out and has grown a bit. I just desperately miss having hair. So with already feeling that, my nails, have started to break off, looking even worse than they did before. Little stubby things that look terrible. Even if they were bruised looking before, at least I had the length to make me feel a bit feminine, now they are shorter than I’ve ever seen them (and thats saying something as a former nail biter).

I know my real beauty is who I am as a person, not the amount of hair on my head or how long my nails are. The bible speaks so much about this, inner beauty and how outward beauty is fleeting. I have tired to focus on these truths rather than let myself have a pity party over my looks. Jesus understands our human feelings, and he understands those feelings I have of missing what I used to look like. He hurts with me, even in the little things such as hair and nails. He can handle me feeling unfeminine, all the while still reminding me I am his beloved. Part of me who feels so vain for even writing this, but its a very true process of this journey. My very human feeling of longing for the day when my hair is long again. When my nails show no evidence that chemo ever happened to my body. And I simply not going to feel bad about it, but lean into Jesus and my dear friends and husband who give me compliments that are even harder for me to process than they were believe. Ive never been good at receiving compliments, and when you think something about yourself and people you know who speak truth say the opposite, its even hard to receive.

So, Ive kept this feeling away from this space, feeling vain about saying I feel unfeminine. But Im trying to sit in this feeling. Trying not to push past it and focus on words that dont mean much to me when Im in constant reminder of my physical appearance. To sit in the middle of this process, a la Lauren Winner’s ‘Still’. See what this part of the journey has for me.

“And yet the world keeps on spinning, and in our grief, rage and fear a few people keep on loving us and showing up. Its all motion and stasis, change and stagnation. Awful stuff happens and bauitful stuff happens, and its all part of the big picture.” -Anne Lamott

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