One of my least appreciated natural tendencies growing up was my facial flush. Whenever I was called on, called out, or put in the spotlight, my face would turn bright red, getting increasingly darker as more eyes settled on me. The more I fought it, the darker it became. I wanted to sink into the floor, especially when someone inevitably pointed out how “red” I was. It always felt invasive, like my body giving away my feelings.

The flush was also evident with exertion. I was frequently asked if I was okay when playing sports or running. Initially, I would wonder why someone would ask me that. In time, I learned that my face conveyed a struggle and fatigue my body did not feel.

On a day that is warm, in a room that is stuffy, or on a crowded train, others might fan themselves or mutter, “It’s hot.” I, on the other hand, will look like I’ve got a second degree burn, my nose shading even darker than my cheeks.

I say this as if this no longer happens to me. But it does. Weekly. Here’s what doesn’t happen. I am not self conscious. The world might see that I’m uneasy, uncomfortable, embarrassed or caught off guard. And I am. Fellow exercises might think that my exertion is causing me extreme discomfort and they check in to see if I’m okay. I appreciate the humanity of their concern and assure them I’m fine. My face is somewhat of a thermometer of the room temperature. I reveal what others are feeling and thinking. You’re welcome.

Scientists explain that my flushing and blushing are the result of adrenaline released in my body and blood rushing to my face. My coloring is also the result of my ancestral heritage. It is my own unique recipe of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Swedish that comes from my parents and their parents and their parents. Regardless, it is not something I can control, so therefore I offer no apology, feel no shame, and expend no energy wishing it weren’t so. It makes me flush and blush just to proclaim that!

5 responses to “Blush”

  1. My daughter turns red easily.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have always loved to see women who show rosy cheeks at times. I find it endearing. Not sure how bad yours gets, but I would think that only someone who is wider than their body, wider than life itself, and needs expansion, would show such profound physical features.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m the exact same way and so is my daughter (also a redhead). Helping her through accepting this part of herself has really helped me too. It’s a biological function we can’t control. I really like this part, “I reveal what others are feeling and thinking.” I’m going to have to share that with my girl too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got a flush faced redhead, too!!

      Liked by 1 person

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