I must make a confession , one that I’m not proud of.
What did I do that was so bad?
I told the bride she looked awful at her wedding.
It wasn’t my proudest moment and, in my defence, my hormones were leading the charge.
Let me start at the start….
I recieved the email I had been awaiting for four weeks (I am impatient), saying that our wedding photos were ready to view.
I couldn’t wait to see them.
We gathered round the laptop and began to click through the 200 photos and, as we did, my heart sank.
The pictures were beautiful, the colour and composition was perfect.
They really, truly captured a moment and a feeling, yet still I was sad.
Because in many of the picture lurked this neckless, hunched troll-like blob ruining every shot.
I quickly shut down the laptop and went off to cry.
My wonderful (but not waterproof) Soap and Glory eyeliner ensured that it was an ugly cry just to REALLY make me feel shit.
I was so sad and embarassed.
Poor Rory had married THAT!
I messaged Erica who did what any good friend would do – told me to give myself a shake and that she would slap me if she were closer.
After throwing myself a small pity party and pulling on my big girl pants, I went back to the photos and looked through them again.
I REALLY looked at them and decided I had to choose some to put on Facebook where everyone would see and judge them.
As I went through the pictures I got really cross with myself.
The first time I’d looked at them, I had done so in the way I thought other people would look at them.
I had picked out every flaw in the way I assumed everyone else would.
What I didn’t do was look and see how happy I was, I didn’t acknowledge that every picture contained pure joy.
How dare I do that to myself?
More to the point, why would I even assume others would do that to me, I’m sure they have more important things going on.
I’m the kind of person who likes to big up other women, I think we’re all fantastic.
I’d like to think I’d be one of the first to tell someone off for being hard on themselves yet here I was looking at pictures of the happiest day of my life and ripping myself to pieces.
Why can’t I be kinder to myself?
Worst of all, what am I teaching Aoife by behaving in such a way?
I want her to grow up to be full of pride and confidence, instead I’m demonstrating how to be self critical and full of self loathing?
That’s so not cool Anna!
A massive parenting faux pas!
I gave myself a stern talking to and made a decision.
No matter how hard it is and how weird it feels I’m going to start being nicer to myself.
I’ve now looked at my beautiful wedding photos a few times and I see them differently.
My smile may not be perfect but it’s the only one I’ve got.
The face may not be the most beautiful (or youthful) but it’s mine.
That gorgeous dress may not have been designed with this squidgy body in mind but it made me feel pretty.
I see a happy woman with beautiful family with wonderful friends, the kind I always hoped I’d deserve some day.
I see the most perfect day of my life.
They’re the best wedding photos ever.
They capture happiness, family and friendship and it’s all mine.
Being kind to myself is not easy but it’s better for my eyeliner.