The Road Doesn’t Judge

I can’t feel my face at the moment.

Soon after I turned thirteen, my face had began to grow spots in the most obvious of places along with bright white and blond hairs that the sun hit just right when passing my crush on the sidewalk. I’m still dealing with these face monstrosities six years later; thus the need for my current mint clay mask.

My eyes burn and the outer layer of my skin is probably 85% artificial clay nowadays.

When I use to go to the woods to write or doodle down story prompts that would never be used, I would paint my face with cheap Walmart foundation and some form of eyeshadow to match my outfit of that particular day.

What a waste of money.

All that time I realized I was dressing myself up to sweat it off and have it covered with mud or small scratches from ignoring the thin tree branches in my walkway. I wasted time and money on making myself up just to look worse when I got back to my house.

The trees don’t judge what eyeshadow you’re wearing. The river couldn’t care any less about the matte sheen of your lipstick. The highway to tomorrow wants you there safe, not Instagram-ready.

Ladies, I know you’ve seen those cute, hipster photos of the stick-thin girls wearing adorable hiking sweaters and “inconspicuously” having their picture taken. They look beautiful, and you feel envious. But let’s call this what it is.

A ruse.

We don’t travel to look good. We travel to feel good.

Going new places gives you a euphoric rush down your spine that swells in your stomach. The light in your eyes when you meet a new person– it’s a glint of happiness no photographer could Photoshop.

Next time you see a deep maroon canyon or a white sand shore, instead of wishing (and for some ladies, trying) to take a cute photo of yourself pretending to enjoy the new environment, how about you just enjoy it. For a minute just set down the phones, put away the polaroid cameras and don’t secretly wonder which filter would look best on you when you take a Snapchat selfie with the background.

The road doesn’t judge your appearance. When you look back in the last years of your life, what is going to matter more to you: what you saw on your open-road adventure with your high school buddy, or how good you looked on that adventure?

I’m taking my clay mask off, I’m putting away the makeup, and I’m going to spend time with the forest that requires no add-ons to my appearance.

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