I got my braces off today. I had them put on in late September 2015 and they came off Jan 2nd 2018. This was a goal I had most my adult life to get my snaggletooth and some overlapping teeth straightened out.
I thought today would have been a really fantastic feeling day, but I instead felt flat. Let down almost. Part of this is due to the braces coming off not being the end of the process. I feel like the aftercare of braces isn't really talked about in terms of struggle so much when you have to wear your retainers 24/7 for months.
Or perhaps I glossed over it when people told me it's not so pleasant. My teeth are sore and feel like they did whenever I got my braces tightened, there are metal bars along my teeth from the retainers, and I talk funny.
I realize that this day was not the end result I thought it would be. It's merely one more step to my main goal. Which is to be able to talk and smile without fearing others are judging my crooked teeth. I wanted to be able to ask if I had food in my teeth with confidence. Before braces the only times I purposefully showed my teeth was while in the dentist's chair.
For all my complaining I will say that eating without braces is amazing! Since eating is the only time I can have the retainers out I have been savoring the liberating feeling of only teeth in my mouth and eating more slowly, taking my time. The thing is this isn't just about the process being longer than I expected.
You know that feeling when you've been looking forward to a big day or a big goal and when it comes into reality you find yourself feeling a bit deflated? This happens to me a lot. Where I should be celebrating and instead I'm on the couch watching another episode of Bones on Hulu and wanting to be left alone.
Then it hit me. The reason I feel deflated after getting my braces off is because I'm still the same me. Well many things have changed about me over the 28 months of having braces, but the shiny perfect Brooke who would magically appear once those brackets came off her teeth never appeared. Even though a goal I worked toward happened I'm still me. I don't suddenly transform into that perfect future self by the goals achieved. Sure with each year I refine myself, my goals, my life a bit more, but one thing is a constant. My current self with doubts, fears, hopes, dreams for the future is the one that will experience these milestones, the future me I envision happens slowly throughout the years. I become more and more like her, but it's so subtle that I hardly notice any major changes.
All of this brings me to the core message that I feel called to help spread in my voice. The message of us learning, trusting, then knowing that we are enough. We are worthy. Just as we are today and just as we were yesterday and just as we are going to be tomorrow.
Life is challenging. It has it's ups and downs. Traversing through life helps shape who we really are, but there will always be aspects of ourselves and our lives we wish to work on bettering. That's okay. That's what keeps life interesting and magical in my opinion. Our only job really is to know that we are enough and we are worthy today.
Which brings me back to today and unpacking my true emotions around this milestone. I felt deflated because I thought I would magically love everything about my face and body. Like the crooked teeth were the cause of all my inner angst. Turns out not to be so simple. I know shocker right? ;)
I feel more free in uncovering this limiting belief. Once I can name it I can dissolve it. So I will continue to practice what I preach and do the work. Do the self love work where I tell myself
I love myself and am loving to myself.