Regret and envy. If they are not two of the seven deadly sins, they certainly should be. The other day, a dear friend posted this unbelievable picture of her torso, unclothed. This torso could have been 20 years old. Flat stomach, beautiful skin. Bear in mind, she’s the same age as me. I’m like, WTF?!?!? I always hated her. I haven’t changed my profile pic in years because I don’t want anyone to see what I really look like. I’m a barrel with legs and questionable hair, with a face that’s starting to bear a striking resemblance to Karl Malden. My torso looks like the sand dunes of the Kalahari and there’s a thing in my belly button that I am convinced grew around a cheese doodle crumb. I struggle to remember that even when we met at 19, I was in awe of her beauty, her fashion sense, and her hair!! Oh her hair! She had this quirky way of straightening it that I copied every night. With little result. I wasn’t her then and I’m not her now. The hard part has always been accepting the fact that I will never be her, or her, or that skinny, pretty little thing over there. How does one get to the point where they can say “I love myself” and truly mean it. And without giggling. Even as I write it, it feels ridiculous. And as I get older, I struggle to feel that sense of peace that so many women claim they get in their 50’s and 60’s. That sense that they’ve raised their children and now they’re gonna do whatever they want and not give a #%^ what anyone thinks. I long for that. I long for the ability to see in me what others see. I long for the strength NOT to blame my struggles on everyone and everything around me. It’s not just the flat tummy and gorgeous hair that make my friend beautiful. It’s that she is strong, and resilient, and loyal, and funny. And doesn’t give a ^*&$^% what anyone else thinks.