Seventeen going on Eighteen

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting on a bus with a gaggle of 18 year olds and thinking, man… was I ever that young?

Yes, absolutely. Holy crap, yes. And for as much as I really thought that I was awkward and dorky, I’ve recently gotten some actual video proof that I was also kind of awesome and in the right environment, pretty damn confident.

Please witness my adorable seventeen year old self and my old friend Boris (not his real name – it was a nickname. After Boris the Spider because he was such a fan of The Who) in our High School production of Snoopy. I was pretty self conscious about my schnoz so I really embraced the role of Peppermint Patty. I totally hammed it up… there is actual singing after all of the yuk-ing it up.

You know what I learned from watching this?

I’m awesome.

No really. I mean it. Look at that kid. Confidence! Energy! Excitement! Wow, put me on a stage and give me a song and BLAMMO! Magic happens.

Where exactly did I decide that I should sit down, be quiet, and unobtrusive? When did I get shy? And why? And why did I stop being a ham?

Oh hell, who cares when or why, actually. I’m getting that back.

RIGHT NOW.

Right now on this bus full of goofy, awkward 18 year olds who are ridiculously enjoying being among their peers and hamming it up.

We gals are told over and over by society to be quiet, be polite, be humble. Somewhere, I picked that up and put that in my suitcase. Probably right around the time when I started advancing in my career and overheard that everyone I supervised thought I was a bitch. And the time that my boss didn’t like how confident I was so she sabotaged me. What the hell, lady?

When I was seventeen, I remember thinking how great it would be to be an adult and know how to handle everything. I wouldn’t have to worry about doing the right thing because I would know what it was.

I’m forty two.

Surprise!

I still don’t feel like an adult.

image

This is my desk at work

 

Did I think some magic Confidence Fairy would sprinkle me with fairy dust and POOF! I’d know everything?

Nope.

I’ve decided that adults are just as clueless as seventeen year olds. We just have more experiences to fall back on. More resources and reference material.

If social media has taught me anything, it’s that we all struggle with insecurities and uncertainties. With different things of course, but dammit, I’m done letting this control what I do and where I go.

It really shouldn’t be an issue anyway because, guess what?

I’m awesome.

(Psst! Let me let you in on a little secret…. You are awesome, too)

Tight

Evidently, this hair looks good on me.

Today, I wore my hair spikey.. like I’ve been doing for almost two months.. evidently, it’s reached a point where it’s noticeable since the past few days I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on it. Maybe because I dyed it red? Either way, I’m getting attention for it.

Then, today I had this conversation.

Coworker: GIRRRL! damn! look at that hair! that shit is TIGHT!

Me: That means it’s good right? (I am soooo not cool)

Coworker: Yah Baby!  oooo lookit that!

Me: You want to touch it don’t you? I can tell.. go ahead.

Coworker: oh yah?! (wanders over to my desk and pats the back of my head) Girl that shit is TIGHT.. lookin good momma.. whatchu wearin?  Those are some FINE jeans.. you lookin REAL good.

Me: thanks..

(for the record, I’m wearing skinny jeans, brown boots, a long cream colored turtleneck and a cowl neck sweater. It’s casual Friday but I’m still ok to meet clients.. it’s not like I’m all hookered up or anything)

Coworker:  damn.. you know what?  If I didn’t like dick I would tear your ass UP! Your woman bettah put a GPS on you or somethin.

Ok now, I want to clarify that I really like this person. We are buds.. she’s not some random person hitting on me.. and yes she does talk like that..

I have worn this outfit before but with different shoes so it’s not like it’s new. I just chalked it up to my bud paying attention today (we work in different departments).  But then later I heard from someone else “you look really great today!”..

You know what I think it is?  I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  I feel like I look good in that outfit and I knew those boots just sent it over the edge.  I was walking tall and with confidence.   That seemed to have made all the difference.

What do you have in your wardrobe that you always feel confident wearing?

Self Deception

As I stated earlier, I have lost about 25 pounds in the past year.  I’m very proud of myself for this.  Things that I listed before that were impossible for me to do, are much more attainable and things I never thought about doing, I can actually do!

For example:

  1. I can bend over and touch my toes.  Sometimes, I can even get my palms on the floor
  2. Where as I couldn’t get 20 kicks in without being exhausted, I can now do 40 at a rip
  3. I can swing a 20lb kettlebell which my boss thinks is astounding.  She just bought a 20lb and says it’s “so heavy!”.
  4. I can do ten pushups (ok.. on my knees but last year I couldn’t do one.. not one)
  5. I can wear my bent barbell navel ring without a problem.  I had to take it out and switch to a closed ring because the barbell kept twisting because of the fat fold. It was painful.
  6. I can run up a flight of stairs.
  7. I can squat down AND get back up without pulling myself up with my arms.
  8. I can shop for clothes without feeling like ZOMG NOTHING FITS AND I’M SO FAT!

I used to be very very skinny…  too thin some might say. I used to eat whatever I wanted and burn those calories off like nothing.  I slowly let the weight creep up on me.  I remember when I first bought a pair of size 10 pants. I was horrified!

Stay with me here, okay? I know now that size 10 isn’t fat! But remember, I was a size 4 for a very long time.

I remember being very depressed.  I remember getting angry at myself.   Angry for “letting myself go”. I remember trying to convince myself that it was the cut of the pants or that they “ran small”.

Then I had to buy a size 12… and a size 14.. and a size 16.. and OMG those jeans are an 18!  I stopped wearing skirts. I hid behind baggy clothes. I was ashamed of how I looked.  Everytime I “outgrew” my clothes and had to go up a size I went through it all over again. The anger, the frustration, the depression.

Over my body size.

Who I was didn’t change. But how I felt about myself really did. I allowed the size of my body affect how I felt about myself.  I lost confidence in every aspect of my life. I didn’t feel worthy of nice things.  I didn’t feel sexy or attractive.

Today, I went shopping for clothes. Today, I bought size 12 skirts and was thrilled that they were a size 12! I’m feeling healthy and getting fit and my body is changing because of it.

Size 12… that same size 12 that had me in fits of depression and feeling miserable five years ago.   And I don’t feel like I’m getting “skinny”. I feel like I’m getting healthy, because let me tell you, at size 4 I  couldn’t lift 20lbs so I certainly wasn’t going to swing 20lbs.

I don’t really care what the numbers are on the tags. The number 12 doesn’t freak me out anymore.   For a long time I deceived myself into thinking that the number on the tag defined who I was, what I looked like, what people thought of me.

But what I’m finding is that the new found confidence I have in what my body can do as opposed to what number some clothing designer assigns to it, has a lot more to do with how I carry myself.

A clingy sweater and a size 12 skirt looks a hell of a lot better now because I’m standing up tall.  I’m confident. I feel great.  I’m not slouched over feeling ashamed of how “fat” I am.

I’m still working to get in shape. If I’m a size 12 for the rest of my life I do not care.  My body will find it’s natural balance wherever that may land on the clothing spectrum.

It’s freakishly liberating.

Edited- 1/17/11 1:00PM

Since this is actually getting some attention, I thought I’d add a pic I took this morning.  (please ignore my socks that are busting out of the dresser drawer, mmmkay?)

ooooo.. Sexy!

My new size 12 skirt