One of the most interesting things about changing my nose has been the realization that most people do not even notice the things I don’t like about my appearance. I’ve told several people about my surgery, only to hear them respond with, “Wait, your nose is different? Seriously?”
I felt self-conscious about my nose for more than a decade, wincing every time I’d see a photo that caught me from the side. But it turns out that many of the people I’ve met had absolutely no clue that the bridge had an awkward bump or that the tip was pointy like a beak or that when I said certain words, the end of my nose would wiggle as the skin stretched against the long piece of cartilage within. Not that I changed my nose for other people or that I expected it to improve my life in any way—it was more so I could stop focusing on those imperfections and making myself feel bad about them.
I’ve been thinking about this lesson a lot lately in other areas, too. I hate my thighs and haven’t worn shorts that don’t end a couple inches above my knees in many years. I’m self-conscious about the shape of my thighs and my cellulite (which I actually had—though, not as much—even when I wore a size 0 in high school). I have some shorter shorts that I wear around the house but I’ve been venturing outside in them lately. I remind myself it’s likely that no one else even notices my legs.
Sometimes, I wish I could see myself through the faraway, Vaseline-smeared lens that most others view me through. It’s hard to remember that the up-close-and-personal flaws you obsess over aren’t visible to anyone else but, really, let’s not flatter ourselves. Nobody cares! Truly.
Yep. I had to get sinus surgery to fix my deviated septum and allow my sinuses to drain better, as I have been at my wits’ end after suffering through monthly sinus infections for the past few years. So, I figured I might as well have them take a little off the top (and tip), while they’re at it.
I’ve never really liked my nose. It’s a big Italian schnozz, courtesy of my dad. In high school, I complained about it so much that my mom offered to pay for a nose job, if I felt it would really make a positive difference to me. I began researching rhinoplasties and, after seeing just one photo of a nose in mid-surgery, felt like vomiting for literally three entire days. And decided I didn’t really want to sign up to have someone do that to my face. (Even now that the surgery is over, I still don’t want to know what exactly they did in there; I couldn’t even look in the mirror for the past two days because I am squeamish and the whole deal just grossed me out too much.)
Fast-forward about a decade and I’ve been suffering through sinus infections on pretty much a monthly basis. Every time I fly, part of my trip is ruined by congestion and pain. I add Claritin D, steroid nose spray and a neti pot to my daily routine, to no avail. After finally seeing an ear-nose-throat doctor, I found out that I have a deviated septum on the left side, which makes sense, since my left nostril is always harder to breathe out of than the right. I’ve never broken my nose, but apparently these things can sometimes just grow that way and, since your nose never stops growing, worsen over time. My doctor said the only thing to do was continue with the Claritin-nose spray-neti pot routine daily for the rest of my life, or I could get surgery “when you’re really sick and tired of it all.” “UM, THAT IS NOW,” I said.