Powder Room

Travel life sometimes means a solid week before even a public-restroom-sink-shower. More often than not, I find myself using baby wipes to repel smelling like a hobo, and casually applying shaving cream with my legs out a window that will later be wiped off with said baby wipe to minimalize waste...and because after a week without a shower you ration baby wipes like it's the apocalypse. 

So, personally, one of the most challenging things in van-life is my own vanity. Feel free to use whatever van pun, or play on words, you'd like there. I'd like to think it's not that I'm shallow, obsessed with myself, or that my priorities are messed up...but priorities, I'm extremely vain, it's my biggest mortal flaw.

photo by alex smith

photo by alex smith

Growing up the weird kid with a sister, who was the most popular girl in school, instilled me with a deranged idea of attention and self confidence. The only compliment I heard throughout junior and high school, wasn't really a compliment, more of an accusation about my small frame. So, when I entered college, and began hearing that I, too, was in fact, one of the beautiful people, I ate it up. I became the high fashion blogger working at the trendiest store in town, I could NOT go to class without my hair and makeup done, and I believed that I was super model material. One cheating boyfriend later, and suddenly my ego deflated, and I developed BDD. He wouldn't have done it if I were blonde, if I had a straight nose, if I were exotic, prettier, skinnier...better, right? And sometimes, I still question it. 

So, moving away, finding new friends and hobbies that are polar opposites of what I had, I should care less what I look like...but I do. I wake up an hour earlier than everyone else on climbing trips because I need to do my hair and makeup still. I joke that if I'm going to have a sucky day climbing, I'm at least going to look good doing it, but I'm actually worried that people won't even bother talking to me if I look like a hot mess. What if someone has a camera? What if a cute climber boy hikes past us and thinks I'm gross? What if I'm just not good enough for anything?

I love that my friends are amazingly talented photographers. First, because photos mean memories, and a way to let people in on our experiences. Second, I AM VAIN. I love having great photos to post on Instagram or Facebook to brag. So, I find myself fussing over the most ridiculous things. I'm smiling in that photo, my face looks too wide when I smile, I have that deep smile line that looks like saggy old people skin, you can see everything that's unattractive about me. Not to say that I believe that I am an eye sore, because I mean, come on, look at me, I'm cute! I may not be fabulous, but I'm cute and quirky and that goes a pretty good ways! But comparison eats me alive every time. I always feel like I'm the least attractive in the group. I always look at photos and tear myself apart.

A new friend of mine saw my resolutions, and that I listed at the end a project for self love, she took notice that i thought of myself last. so, thank you sasha for pointing out to me that self love needs to move up in the ranking. so, i've decided to truly focus on what i love. I devote my time and effort into getting the send, and get really frustrated when people don't understand the trouble it took to get there, but admire the simple tasks that they see because of the photos on social media. even more so, i feel frustration with people claiming to achieve greater than they are when i desperately try to remain humble, often times belittling my success.

less worry about being photo ready, and actually giving myself credit for the work i put in. i'm going to learn to love myself for what i am, and stop worrying about my flaws, and try to see the beauty in me that my friends do.


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stay positive.


KariDane Matlock