I first learned in my thirties that I have really soft skin. Apparently. Allegedly.
I have no way to confirm this of course. Because it just feels like my skin to me. I don’t really feel it when I touch it, not the way I do when I touch other people’s. It’s a bit like how holding your own hand is nothing like holding someone else’s.
We block ourselves out. We don’t experience ourselves with the same intensity that other people experience us.
But yeah… I had a lover tell me that my skin was soft. So very soft. Exclaiming about it. Marveling about it.
And my first thought was confusion. Because if this were true, then why hadn’t anyone told me?
So, once I got done soaking up the compliment, I found myself setting off on a journey to interview anyone who had touched my skin a lot. These were mostly current or past lovers. And I set the question to them — was it true? Did I have really soft skin?
I was shocked when the results of this strange interview project came back. It was hundred percent affirmative. Yes indeed.
It hit me then that a lot of people had touched me (I was very experienced in dating at that point of my life) and had thought my skin was soft… and yet no one had ever told me. No one had ever thought to comment on it.
And as I thought about that, it also hit me that there are probably lots of other things about me people have experienced and noted but never told me. Things that are obvious to other people but I have no clue about.
And I imagine this happens a lot to other people. We go through life as strangers to ourselves. With a wildly different picture of what we’re like than how we come off to other people.
And we should be grateful for those moments when someone finally tells us the “obvious.” Whether it’s complimentary or not.