I could go into this grandiose story about the moment in time where this woman really made an impression on me. Yet, I am not really in an overly descriptive mood. Here's the basis of it. I was at a birthday party for my friend's son. He's really more like a nephew to me. Nevertheless, at this time, I was still dating He Who Must Not Be Named. Also, at this time, I was sort of starting to gain weight. I would say this had to be about a year or so before our relationship ended. Anyway, it had to be about 95 degrees out. In the true fashion of our 'family', we went out to the baseball field across the street to play ball. Per the usual, I was uncomfortable in my skin. I wore jeans (like I still do), and chose to sweat my ass off, while I also tried not to embarrass myself by chasing the ball all out of breath.
I feel like, this time period in my life really solidified my deepest insecurities. I had been with someone for quite some time, and there was still no sign of commitment. More than that, I was overly critical of everything I did. I just didn't like me. It was evident in so many ways, and as hard as I was on myself, my other half was also critical of me in the same sense. Not that he ever full on came out and made comments about my weight, but did put pressure on me in other ways.
So, after I had come back from the field, sweaty and out of breath. I sat under the covered bench, next to this woman. I pulled my pants up, and pulled my shirt down. It was (and is even to this day) evident that I was 100% uncomfortable in my own skin. We sat there for a bit, until she put her hand on my lap, and said "Let's go for a walk." So we did. During this walk, she told me a story, and it didn't really hit me as important until just recently. The story goes like this--and it's somewhat fuzzy now---and I probably have some of the details off, but I'll do my best.
She told me that she had never been the smallest person in her life--but that it never really bothered her. Nevertheless, she knew who she was, and she knew that she wasn't exactly the smallest person. It affected her sometimes, but it wasn't really top of mind. One summer, she had gone to the beach (or something) with her husband and children---and was feeling somewhat insecure. She tried, at every avenue to hide her body with a tee-shirt or a coverup (I can't remember which one). On this day, her husband had noticed. He ended up saying something to her about it. He told her, that she was beautiful. He told her that he loved her, and he reassured her that there was no reason known to man why she should be hiding herself. Because he loved her and that was that. She went on to tell me that she could see my feelings. She told me that I wear my heart on my sleeve. That there's nothing wrong with that. Yet, she went on to tell me that if I was feeling uncomfortable in my own skin....that I shouldn't change it because someone told me to. That I should change it because I want to. That no man, or woman or anyone should make me feel small.
When we finished our walk, she gave me a hug, and walked away. I kind of stood there perplexed. Not really sure how I wanted to process our talk. Not really knowing where it was all coming from. At the time, I sort of just dismissed it--and moved on. Continuing to just sort of float in the existence I knew. Not really doing anything good for myself. At all ever. Just sticking to what was comfortable.
A few years ago, this woman passed away. Leaving behind a wonderful legacy. She's missed by many. She was even around for my crisis in 2012. Sadly, she never got to see the transformation I'm going through now. Anyway, the other morning, I was in the shower, and all of a sudden the conversation just came to me. Out of nowhere. Like an epiphany. In that brief moment, in that epiphany, I realized she wasn't just telling me that I had to do things for me in one way. She was basically telling me, that I need to stick up for myself. That when I do things, I need to want to do those things. Then, I was in no position to really understand the meaning of that conversation or the story she told me. I was just barely getting by with what I was doing.
My entire life has been built on the basis that my own happiness was dependent on how I made others happy as well. To me, that's how things have worked for quite some time. You do something for someone, it makes them happy, which in turn makes you happy. Well, not so much. I have quickly and slowly come to realize that you can't do everything that everyone wants. Moreover, sometimes you just (in the words of my mother) 'Plain ass don't feel like doing it.' This realization is terrifying on multiple levels, and here's why:
- If you don't want to do something, you run the risk of someone being upset with you.
- Thus, in turn, you become upset because they're upset.
Recently, I came in contact with a scenario, where someone insinuated that I was weak. This pissed me off to the core. I'll fully admit, I haven't had a bad childhood, I didn't go to war, I wasn't abused, etc...but I've been through some shit that has truly defined the girl sitting here typing this today. Sure, I have a ton of insecurities, and yes, in the past, I might dropped everything to do what someone asked. Yes, I sometimes still do it today---but things are starting to change little by little.
After the insinuation, I told my dad that it was really weighing heavily on me. We were sitting at Gojo's counter, and I said 'I just don't want anyone thinking I'm weak.'
He thought about it for at least two minutes, and as he sat there, with his eggs, over easy, he said:
"I don't think you're weak---I think you're one of the strongest damn people I know."
I told him that he had to say that because he's my dad. He denied it.
So, where am I going with this? I feel like lately, there's been nothing but self expectation. So many expectations for the future. Where I am going, who I need to be. But that's where I know I need to remember, Mind Over Matter. Even if I am in 100 different places, and not in any one place I physically desire to be---I can make my own choices. I can set my own destination, and choose my own outcome. An outcome that is not dictated by any one person, place or thing. I can make my own decisions, and learn from them.
I feel like I rambled here---and that's okay. 5 months of thinking and not writing will do that to a person. All the same, I think I'll end this with the notion that I continue to find my place in this world. A world where I don't always think I add much value. I just kind of do my own thing---and make decisions as situations are presented to me. To that end, isn't that how everyone kind of lives their lives? We're not all curing cancer, or deep sea diving, or climbing Everest. Sometimes, the every day 'normality' of life is what truly makes or breaks the impact we leave on this world. On others. It is with that thought, and in remembering that, I continue to just do me. I continue to learn that sometimes when I just 'plain ass don't feel like doing something' I can feel that way---and it's okay. We weren't all built the same--and if we were, it would be quite disturbing. So to you, my readers....go out and do you. Do it in your own way. We're all a little weird and twisted sometimes---but hey...that's the way the cookie crumbles.