So today involved:
a girly movie
fun text messages
time with my dear, dear friend
the book of questions
a long, long, long nap
chocolate chip cookie making
These things did not happen, but I hope one day they will:
a miraculous healing
declarations of love
sliding across the floor in socks
the sun on my skin
a long drive with no specific destination
a happy surprise
I knew I was starting to feel a little better tonight when I found myself singing. Because this morning I didn't even want to talk or smile and that was sort of part of my job. I drove in my car listening to songs I love to sing and thought only of how much I wished I was in my bed. And then after work, I did that until I didn't want to anymore. And then I wanted people.
So Ashley came over and was my people. Even though I wasn't particularly exciting tonight and I had/have those blue smudges under my eyes and my voice is like an octave lower and I make sniffle sniffle noises every so often. She came anyway.
And now its an acceptable time to go to bed and I am tired, despite my excessive amounts of sleep and I still feel like there is construction going on inside my head but I wanted to write. Thing is, I didn't spend any time beforehand, as I usually do, thinking of what I would actually write about. Oops.
I know! I talked with Ashley about this, but I'll tell you too.
I remember thinking, way back when I was still hugely fat, that if someone just took the time to get to know me, they would have to love me. I though that, despite anything wrong with my body, there were things about me worth loving. Things that were obvious and important and good.
And then slowly a change occurred. I'm not going to talk about why, but along the way I started doubting even the girl inside. Now, I see this new face in the mirror and most of the time I am pleased. It still surprises me in ways I can't quite convey, but its usually a good surprise. There I am. That is what I worked so hard for.
There are new things I learned to be too. Things I never was before. Good things. I am adventurous and strong. I am persistent and confident.
But these things don't do anything to dispel the worries I now harbor. I don't know why I let it happen, but I started feeling insecure about the girl inside and I hate that. I worry that I'm not interesting or captivating enough to deserve attention. Like someone would give me the initial attention that you give new people that you meet and then quickly realize that I am not very interesting and move on.
I am the broth in chicken noodle soup. Warm. Comforting. Safe. But not very exciting.
It makes me want to keep my mouth shut so no one actually knows that all the things I would say are boring, typical, mundane things anyway. Perhaps my silence will add an element of mystery? I am a picture frame. I am the legs to the table. I am here for support and not contemplation.
Its not true though.
I know this. But sometimes when you get enough affirmation, even when the affirmation is of a lie, you start to believe it. I learned to believe these lies.
We were at chipotle the other day and the guy putting the rice in my bowl reacted to me in the most pleasant way. He said I made him smile because I was smiling so much. And the thing is, it happens all the time. When I'm not even trying. I don't mean to do it to people. And I'm surprised each time it happens too because I don't expect strangers to notice me. Especially not notice me enough to make comments about it.
And people ask me to tell them stories. They come over and talk to me. My friends. My co-workers. They care what I have to say. They are interested. I know this.
I was driving around all by myself yesterday. I had plans to get drinks with some acquaintances but I cancelled. I was feeling sick and it was the kind of sick that made me grumpy and quiet when I knew that getting drinks (which would actually involve me watching other people drink) would require a lot more talking and enthusiasm than I was capable of giving. So I drove. And in my driving I stopped at a gas station to use the restroom. Before that, I was having quite a good time with myself. I was singing and thinking and the car was the perfect temperature with the heat on my feet and the windows open. I thought about that man at chipotle and the one at the smoothie place. I thought about my friends. I thought about all kinds of things. And as I walked in front of the bathroom mirror to wash my hands, I had one of those surprised moments as I saw my face in the mirror.
This was a long and complicated, winding path I just took you on but the point is this: I like me.
I like me because I work hard to be the best version of me I can be, whatever that may be according to my morals and standards at the time. I have all kinds of flaws, just like everyone else, but I am worth knowing. I am worth being friends with.
I am lovable.
I didn't see that. And I think lots of us forget about that. We make it a shameful thing to feel good about oneself. That is conceited. That is selfish. That is vain. But then we aren't allowed the opposite either. Don't be insecure. Don't be needy. Don't hate yourself. We are walking on the edge of a knife. Which way should we fall?
But I am taking the power back. It is mine. It is not my job to make people like me. I don't have to make other people happy. It is my job to be truly, honestly me and give other people the opportunity to get to know me, to accept that. It is my job to create a safe environment for other people to do the same. Maybe together we can become something better than we are. Maybe we'll hate each other. Shouldn't we try?
So this is me. I have beautiful parts. There are things about me that will have you wanting more. And I have ugly parts. Parts that may disappoint, anger, or disgust you. There are things about me that you may not want to encounter again. And those things in between. We may have things in common, good or bad, that make you feel a kinship with me. Things we can build a mutual foundation from. But it is all me. And I, more than anyone else, am intimately aware of just how awful and just how awesome I can be. And I like me. You should too.
If not, perhaps you should move on an not waste anymore time with me. I don't know how to be anyone else. And honestly, I don't want to be. There are all kinds of people in this world. I'm sure you'll find plenty out there you do like.
Its late. I'm still sick. But I feel really good. Finally. Maybe I did get my miraculous healing.