What Is Pretty?

This week’s I Must Confess prompt is about if you are beautiful or not. But what is beautiful? What is pretty? Does it matter?


What Is Pretty?


How you feel is reflected on your skin. On your face. In your eyes.


Generally speaking, yes, I think I am pretty. Or beautiful. Or any other word like that.


Today, no. I don’t feel it. I’m exhausted. I’m miserable. I’m trying my hardest to study but it took all my energy to get from the couch to my bed to study this afternoon. Then, 15 mins in, I had a well intentioned interruption and I lost it. I couldn’t concentrate. All I could do was cry. That’s all I’ve been doing since.


I think I’ve been backed up with stress for the past month (or two) from work, uni and emergency department trips and I needed to cry, but I haven’t. I don’t know why. I just haven’t had the energy to cry? The suckiest part is that I’m currently boring myself. I’m upset that I’m wasting part of my long weekend crying.


The past few years, long weekends have meant extra stress, as it has generally meant days without pay. So what excuse do I have to be upset this long weekend? I have to keep reminding myself that right now I’m in a long term game. I am not even 4 months into a new job that is formally, properly permanent come June-ish. Due to timings and other things, it probably has been the least smooth transition to a job. But also, I know this should be the worst my job ever is. And I’m still doing it (blindly, sometimes) and doing so very well, against some invisible types of challenges.


As I waited for my lecture to start, I logged in to check if my essay had been graded yet. I figured if I had failed, I could just throw in the towel. And I was really, really sad that that I thought that. I have tried to study so many times since I finished my undergrad in Jan 2009 and I’ve hated it every time. This is the first time I’ve enjoyed studying in so long. I know postgrad isn’t easy, and a double weighted postgrad subject especially so, but that has never been a problem for me before. It’s not the content I’m struggling with, it’s my life.


I start to question everything. Is it stupid to study? Am I actually a carer? If I’m not, am I putting extra pressure on myself by calling myself one? Why did the GP have to be an hour late yesterday? Can going to the GP for my husband ever NOT be a stressful experience for me? Is it possible to have seen so many bad, crappy, unethical, lying GPs over the years with him that I have some kind of GP-PTSD?


Last week I had Monday and Tuesday off because I was exhausted. It felt viral; like when you have the flu and can’t move but without the snotty nose and only a mild fever. Maybe I am still sick and that’s why I feel like this. But after two days at home I was getting cabin fever badly and I think I actually felt better when I went back to work on Wednesday. Which am I? Do I like work? Do I like being at home? I don’t even know anymore.


My internet drops out for a moment as I write this and I want to scream. I don’t want any delays. When I finally bring myself to write today, I want it to work. I don’t need any more fuck ups and problems in my life.


To take this back on topic, I usually feel good and therefore, I look good. But today, I feel, and look, oh so very, very ordinary. And that fact is making me feel even worse.


29 Replies to “What Is Pretty?”

  1. I think – as long as the study is taking you in a direction you want and need to go – then it’s a good thing. I’ve often thought about more / other qualifications over the years but I hate studying, am a bad student and (quite frankly) nothing I would have studied would have helped with my career.

    But… if it’s a necessary evil, then it’s very different.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      My work trajectories are actually kind of odd – so it is hard to know how much it will help. It certainly won’t hurt it though!

  2. Vanessa, I hear you on the complications of listening to the many chats inside your head…it’s been my life over the past few years. I am now learning to listen less and get on with the next thing. That said, being a carer to your husband is a minefield of mixed emotions and more. I KNOW!! I was this unofficially and officially for a very very long time. I ‘hated’ it but it was what I had to do. In between times I was a professional by day, a degree student x 2, a mum to kids and lonely! yes, lonely because the bloke I wed was a very ill person. So, are you, perhaps being incredibly TOUGH on yourself right now? What can you cut yourself some slack on? Be a kinder person in your chats in your head and see how that works for a bit…I am learning to do this more and more.Take care. Denyse

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I know; I’ve had so many people tell me I’m hard on myself but I don’t know what else to do but to do what I have to do….

  3. It’s okay to cry and okay to vent. It sounds like you’ve really had a lot on your plate lately and it will inevitably take it’s toll on you both physically and mentally. I agree with Denyse, be kind to yourself. Being a carer in any capacity is stressful. It’s an added role and weight that you need to take on without any extra help or time. Maybe consider deferring your study for a semester to get on top of your new job and your husband’s health. It may do wonders for your wellbeing too x

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I think part of what has been hard is that I haven’t been able to cry and vent; too tired to! I think I probably should have waited until semester 2 to start studying again but there’s only 6 ish weeks left of semester 1 one now so it’s too late to rethink it!

  4. I think we all go through times when we feel like this, when everything just becomes too much. I think it is then that you you need to make sure you have some time for you in there, even if it feels like you can’t fit it in. Venting and crying also seems to lighten the load, just getting the feelings out. I hope things get easier, that you feel happy and beautiful soon.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Venting and crying really does lighten the load, and I think I’ve felt so bad because I haven’t had the space to even do that.

  5. I think this happens to everyone from time to time. So sorry to hear you’re doing it a bit tough. Just want to give you a big hug and tell you that the voices in your head are almost certainly wrong. You are far stronger and more beautiful than you know.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It would be nice to not need to be strong though 🙂

  6. I’m sorry to hear this hun. Some days are just like that. I thought about returning to post-grad study last year. I think I would cry if I found myself studying again though. I don’t think I ever recovered from the burnout of 5 intensive years, right on top of year 12. All the best. x

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’m so glad it took me ages to do my first degree! I think I did one year off, one year on, two years off, two years on!

  7. I hate that feeling of having so many thoughts and contradictory feelings whirling around in your head that you almost feel paralysed by them. It’s icky, and definitely not conducive to making feel or look good! Hopefully this week ahead will bring some smiles and good feelings your way x

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It’s tiring, really! But we don’t have ups without downs.

  8. Big hugs to you xxxx I try so hard not to cry when it all starts getting to hard, but you have to let it out sometimes. Here is hoping this week is better than the last. xx N

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Ironically I wanted to cry more…just so I’ve let it out and made it better.

  9. We had visitors for 10 days and to be honest I haven’t achieved much since they left – I’ve kinda fallen into a heap too. Hoping I’ll pick up again soon!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Ten days of people would leave me in a heap too!

  10. Life can be a big pile of ugly can’t it? But as long as you know there are pretty moments in the future, you’ll find a way to get through. All the best mustering through all the crap to get the good stuff.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Sometimes it’s just a crap week! But they happen. And so do good ones.

  11. Some days are just crap and there is no rescuing them. Those aren’t the right days to make decisions or evaluate yourself. Hope you are feeling the sunshine on your beautiful face tomorrow.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      That’s true. Let the crap days pass before thinking ahead!

  12. Sometimes we need to experience the lows to gwt to where we need to be. Vent, cry, do whatever it takes to get through to some clearer thoughts. Hope this week is better for you.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      We really do. I knew I was overdue for a good cry but I don’t feel like that was a good enough cry. Maybe I am an overachiever in some areas if I’m comparing crying ….

  13. I could have written this today. There are some days when it’s just like that.
    I’m sorry things are hard. I hope they aren’t hard for too much longer.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Those days suck. Thankfully, I have a week of leave confirmed now 🙂

  14. It can feel incredibly crushing when obligations dictate our life rather than us dictating our obligations. You strike me as someone who knows what they want in life and the steps you need to take to get there, so feeling like that has been taken out of your hands must be really frustrating for you.

  15. Oh love. I really feel for you. Sometimes all you need is a big cry. I hope you’re feeling better now. It sounds like you’re well and truly exhausted. With me being on leave at the moment, I can completely relate to not knowing whether I prefer to be at work or home. It’s confusing. Take care.

  16. I hope you are starting to feel better. When it all gets too much a release is important whether it is a cry, a yell, etc. let it out!! Xx

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