Perfectly imperfect

I got my nose pierced this summer. And while it is everything I hoped it would be, it turned out to be flawed.

I made plans to get the piercing from a professional piercing salon while on a trip to visit one of my closest friends. I miss her so much when we’re separated. This was the first time I’d been to see her in a while and I wanted to bring home a memento I could look at every day and think of her when I returned. My friend, Abi, has just about every part of her pierced or tattooed. I’m always impressed by this because she has managed to do this while also being a high school teacher who successfully commands the respect of teenagers in a history classroom. We already have matching tattoos. A nose piercing is no big deal.

Much to my parents’ demise, I came home with a rose gold stud and tiny little diamond sitting on the side of my right nostril. It fits my yogi lifestyle just right. The rosy color helps it blend into my skin tone so you might even miss it if you look fast. Some friends remarked they noticed but couldn’t remember if I had it all along.

Did you know it takes up to six months for a nostril piercing to heal? Within a couple weeks, an irritation bump decided to join my cute little piercing. Because I’m a picker, it’s stuck around. I think it’s here for the long haul. To most, it looks like a shadow from the jewelry, but my eye goes right to it every time I look in the mirror. Instead of remembering my friend when I look at it, I’m struck by this imperfect piece of myself.

I reflected on this idea of being perfectly imperfect and I’m determined to present myself as I am, bumps and all. Being authentically flawed and embracing my ability to bring my best self forward every day is all I can do. I am who I am.

And like a true yogi, my piercing brought me a new level of self-appreciation. I don’t cover my face in makeup, contour my cheeks, or darken my lips. I let the natural radiance of my complexion shine, softened by a gentle layer of lotion. My husband and son rarely remark that they like my long, mascara-coated lashes. But they do like to place their hand on my cheek and tell me how soft it is.

I don’t know if this irritation bump will ever disappear. Perhaps one day it will if I can find enough self-control to stop touching it all the time. But until then, I’ll stare at the reflection in the mirror and remember that despite the flaws I see, I am a beautiful person inside and out.

And, in case you forgot, you are, too.

“Seek to be whole, not perfect.”

-Oprah Winfrey

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