I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

There is more to life than our own opinion

For a long time I have wanted to have my daughter’s ear repaired. I thought she would be happier with a full normal looking ear. I thought she would feel better.

Finally, I took her to see a plastic surgeon. When asked why she was there, she angrily pointed to me. I explained then the accident that left only half of the ear hanging, and how many reconstructive surgeries she went through.

He explained her alternatives. Major reconstructive surgeries. No problem. Hey, it’s worth it if she is going to get her ear back.

Worth it to whom? In the elevator leaving the office she told me that any surgeries would interfere with her training and is there a reason why I thought she should go through them anyway?

She is not bothered by it. She wears her hair back most of the time. She wears shorts and is never bothered by the big scars on the back of her knee- all the result of the 2001 dog attack.

I remembered then how I felt about my teeth. I had had crooked teeth and never smiled in pictures. To a discerning eye (mine only), there was a malformation of my upper lip as a result of my front teeth overlapping one another. There were spaces in the molars that I could place my tongue in between and constantly did to make sure they were there. I hated the way they looked.

At last in my adult life in 1999 I had braces. After months with them, they were finally removed and I proudly showed my teeth off except that no one noticed. I visited my friend in Mexico who I had not seen in 7 years. A day or two went by and she didn’t say anything. I finally said “look at my teeth” – “They are nice” she replied. “I fixed them”. “Really, what was wrong with them?”
She never even noticed.

We get so wrapped up in our own insecurities that we assume fixing the exterior will make us better people or at least make others like us more.

The truth is those who like us like us anyway and those who don’t won’t no matter how our teeth look.

I have done the same with my running. I hide under a surgery or illness…no matter what my time is, hey, I had surgery. Can’t use that excuse forever. So when everything else fails, I‘ve gone far, to states where no one knows me and done just as poorly. Location does not change facts.

But the truth is no one cares what I run. To some, I am a name and a number. To others I am a friend or relative who runs. They might look at my time and question my time for a second but that thought won’t last very long. They won’t judge me any better or worse based on my times. That is the romantic version, honestly no one cares what I run.

Whatever my time is or how my teeth look, does not make me a better person (darn!) or a worst person (phew!). It has no relevance on who I am.

So why do I worry about what my daughter’s ear look like when she is a beautiful person, popular and a good athlete. Or what my times are when no one else gives a rat’s tail about it.

I seem to be the only one bothered by it and I shouldn't be.

It does not change who I am. Good or bad, it has no relevance on me.