I found a mirror laying on the ground, half-buried in rubble. I picked it up and couldn’t believe how I looked. My whole life, I spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours on skincare, making sure my skin was as radiant and healthy as possible. I would put on makeup and loved to feel beautiful. Now, I have wrinkles. My eyes are so, so tired. My skin is burnt from the sun. Beauty has a much different meaning than it did then.
Beauty is going a day without hearing alarms and sirens warning us from the doom and calamity that lurks behind every corner. Beauty is eating something substantial. Beauty is finding patches of grass that still grow green and aren’t burnt from the radiation or ruined from the extreme weather.
I don’t recognize myself anymore. I’m not sure exactly how long it’s been since the end began, but I know I can no longer remember what it’s like to feel lotion on my freshly cleansed skin. The feeling of a face mask after a long day. Every day is a long day now. Every day is a struggle to stay alive and care for my loved ones.
I noticed effects of the stress happening on other people’s skin, but I never imagined it could happen to me after putting in so much time and effort to prevent it. I found a half-empty bottle of body lotion once but it just wasn’t the same. Not to mention, there were bits of debris that had gotten inside of the bottle. I figured it was best left alone.
Maybe one day, I’ll be able to treat myself again.