Your challenge is to take something intensely personal — the bits and pieces that make you YOU — and use them as a springboard for a post that makes a larger point and resonates with lots of other readers.
When I really think about me, who I am, who I was, who I will be, how others see me, how I want others to see me, and how I want to see myself…well, let’s say, the voices in my head keep my mind busy for hours.
Let’s start with who I am on the outside. This is me now.
This was taken on Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at the Harley Davidson Museum. I look at this photo and I initially see someone who has really let herself go. Due to various birth control pills, not eating right, and not exercising as often as I should, I went most recently from about 138 to 183. 😦 The weight gain is about a lot more than my appearance. It plays a huge role in my health issues as well. My asthma is a lot worse and it hurts to do some of the most simplest of things, like bending over to tie my shoes. Sometimes I look at myself and I cry, especially when trying on dresses for the weddings we’ve gone to the in the past month. I still break out in acne now and then. I am 34 and really, I thought I was done with that. It started for me when I was 11-12 years old, though it’s no where near as bad now. That doesn’t bother me so much these days. I do believe I have pretty eyes. As a kid, I wanted to have blue eyes and blonde hair, thought that I was plain with brown eyes and brown hair. I have evolved in my way of thinking. 😉 I like my hair too, except when it won’t cooperate. It snarls easily and doesn’t hold curls very well. It is a very pretty color though and when it wants to work with me, I can get it to look very nice. I like my little hands and little feet, have always been amused by how tiny they are. I have nice teeth and a nice smile. In some ways, I find myself very attractive, though in others, not so much, not so much at all. I believe this is a struggle many of us deal with.
Then there is Doug. He looks at me and while he knows I need to lose weight, he still sees me as beautiful. When I begin to beat myself up over my physical appearance, he looks at me with love in his eyes and tells me he thinks I am beautiful. He also tells me he believes in me and that together, we’ll both get to where we want to be, and to never give up. My friends tell me I am beautiful, inside and out. God sees us all as His beautiful children. I know that to many it doesn’t matter so much what I look like anyhow, they see me as beautiful because of who I am, not what I look like. I try every single day to see myself as that beautiful individual that so many others look at. The song Beautiful by Christina Aguilera plays in my mind. “I am beautiful no matter what they say.” & “I am beautiful in every single way.” are two lines I say to myself. I am not the petite girl I once was, but that doesn’t mean I am suddenly ugly. Beauty isn’t dependent on weight. Yes, I need to lose weight, but more so for health reasons, not to impress anyone.
Who am I, I mean, really, who am I? When I get beyond my physical appearance, I see a very complex person. In some ways, I am quite childish, always have been. I admit I can be very immature sometimes. I also still love Disney movies, Hello Kitty, Rainbow Brite, and so on. I am not ashamed of the bits of childhood that still amuse me. I can throw tantrums when I am upset and get easily offended at times.
Then there are bits of me that make me seem so much older than I really am. Sometimes it seems as if my soul is way older than I am. The way I think, write, talk, dream, and even some of my interests can paint a picture of someone much older than 34, nearly 35. I like to use big words, spend hours reading, talk about things that some my age find boring, and often wish I’d been born decades earlier. As much as I like a lot of current things like bands, t.v. shows, clothing styles, and so on…I also find that I am quite attracted to the way life was in decades past. Sometimes I wish I’d grown up when my grandparents did, or even before then. I wonder what it would have been like to be at an old fashioned sock hop, go to a diner that had girls on skates for waitresses, what it would have been like to see Frank Sinatra live, and so on. I even dream about living back in the Renaissance era and many other time periods. I like Celtic music, the way the women dressed in the big Celtic dresses, and sometimes dream about meeting Merlin.
My mind wanders easily and is prone to daydreaming & fantasizing. When in reality, I like to get philosophical at times and debate about various topics. Though talking about religion can cause fights, because sometimes what starts out as a healthy talk gets heated. I tend to tell how I feel, listen to how others feel, and when we disagree…we just agree to disagree. I don’t put others down for how they feel, but I expect the same respect shown to me in return. I generally find myself to be quite respectful, polite, and good to others. Though, I have my moments when I can be rude and come off as arrogant, usually when talking about something I feel I know an awful lot about. I am very sarcastic, but it’s in good nature. I’m very impatient and stubborn. My moods change at will, it can be interesting. I have bi-polar disorder and am considered to have borderline Schizophrenia, but am no longer medicated. I have found ways to deal with this over the years in a healthier way. Not everyone can do this and I don’t look down on anyone who truly needs medication. It is just sad though that the way society works is, “hey, you have such and such issue, guess what…there’s a pill for that.” I wish they’d try other methods first and really work with us to have a lifestyle not so dependent on medications. Yes, I can also tend to switch topics and go on random tangents. 😉
Sometimes I appear so simple to understand. I love God, my faith has helped me through so much. I love my family and friends. I will do whatever I can, when I can to help those around me. I love my son more than my own life. In general, I am loving. I love music…singing, writing lyrics, listening to it. I love the written word, both reading it and writing it. I love to laugh and make others do so as well. Those who have known me awhile and have been patient enough to get through the complex walls of mine would tell you I am not so tough to understand, though they do admit that I am good at throwing them a curveball now and then, ya know with all of my randomness. 😉
In general, there is a lot of good and bad within me. There has always been both light and dark within me, but I believe that to be true of everyone. I do feel that overall, I am a good person. I make mistakes, but I am human. I try to learn from my mistakes and grow. Sometimes I fall, but I always find my way back up. With God, good friends, and family…I find my way to push forward. I didn’t always feel that way about myself though. Want to see a little bit of me from way back?
This was me the summer before eighth grade, so the summer of 1992. I was about 4’10” or so, maybe 85 pounds, riddled with acne from time to time (luckily in that picture, I only see the one by my upper lip lol), wore big glasses mostly, and definitely was NOT a trend setter. Back then, a lot of my general characteristics were the same as they are now: stubborn, moody, shy at times, talkative around those I am comfortable with, intelligent, a bit of a geeky side, food lover, someone who loves to read, sing, take pictures, etc. But believe it or not, I was a lot harder on myself then than I am now. Singing a solo wasn’t going to happen, even though I would dream about it often. The thought of even approaching a guy I had a crush on scared me. I didn’t have the slightest clue on how to apply make-up or do my hair, nor did I really try to learn. I beat myself up mentally daily, a lot worse than I do now. I also had a serious problem with lying, mostly to get attention, would create elaborate stories and try to captivate people, and draw people to me. I was even more of an attention hound then. I also had a big problem with stealing, mostly change from my mom’s jar. I found looking back that I either stole from people I was jealous of in one way or another or people that hurt me, though sometimes it was just because I really wanted something and knew we’d never be able to afford it. I was quite the troubled youth. Part of me wanted to be good, to please God, to make my mom proud of me, to not be an outcast. Other parts of me fought with that. At the time of that picture, I was being molested by my mom’s boyfriend. I was also not so close to my mother and felt I didn’t have anyone to turn to much of the time. I cried a lot, fought within my own mind often, and just didn’t know what to do.
Oh hey, here’s another one of me from my early adult years:
I was nearly 22 in this picture, this was taken in October of 2000. I was starting to feel better about my appearance, though still struggled with confidence. had a lot of growing up to do yet, but was working on it. Looking back, I am ashamed of what I did in my childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood. I pushed a lot of people away with my constant complaining, the antics I’d pull to hold onto people, and so forth. I have grown up a lot. Yes, I still say and do things I am not so proud of, but I am actually quite proud of how I have changed. I am still the outcast to some family members, but not to the ones who bothered to get to know me. The ones who cast myself and others out are those that assumed we are a certain way because of our parents. I have some very supportive relatives and am blessed that way. I am also blessed to have some wonderful friends who got to know me, as I was, and as I am…who have accepted me and love me. I have a wonderful boyfriend who shows me that love can last, that it can be strong, and real. I have a son who showed me what true and unconditional love was, who showed me how to love someone more than life itself. God shows me daily how true, real, and strong love can be.
Many see me in many different ways. I don’t care about most of their views. The ones whose opinions really matter to me are the ones that I love, that love me. If I hurt them or do something to disappoint them, that’s when I am hardest on myself. They forgive me long before I forgive myself. I don’t care necessarily if I am dressed to impress anyone, but I want those I love to see me in a good light. I find myself often going beyond what is expected of me to prove to them how much I care about them and I know deep down that it’s not necessary. I just have to be me, been working on that. I know my friends, boyfriend, and close family members see me as someone who is loving, generous, hardworking, polite, kind, strong, capable, and yes…a talker, stubborn, and prone to moodiness, but they take all of me, the good and the bad, just as I do them. The opinion I care the most about is my son’s. Growing up, I know how it felt to wonder about my parent’s love. I don’t ever want my son to feel like he’s not loved, like his feelings don’t matter, like I don’t care about his thoughts and dreams. I also want my son to see someone he can look up to, someone that will teach him, and someone who will be here for him. I want him to get the best from me. His dad, step-mom, myself, and my boyfriend all try to do the best we can for him. We want the best for Zach. He’s a pretty cool kid, just take a look for yourself:
This is my son, taken a few weeks ago on the day of his debut as a football player. Go Rams! 🙂 This is the person who has changed my life the most. I thank God for him every single day. We struggle, like my mom and I did….but like my mom and I, the love we feel for one another is strong and we’re committed to working on our relationship. We’re bonded in a way no one could ever possibly sever the ties. I do all I can each day to make him proud of me, just as I know he does the same….because it’s really something parents and children do, work hard to make them proud of us. I will always keep trying, even when he’s grown.
I am a work in progress, as I believe we all are. I am not where I was and am happy about that. I do know though that I have a long way to go. Actually, I don’t think I’ll be done evolving, growing, and bettering myself until the day I am gone from this world. That is just how I look at it. Well, I think I am done with this challenge. I don’t know what any of you have gotten from reading this, but I hope perhaps you each see me more clearly now. I do apologize for the ramblings, the tangents, and the topic switching. 😉 Thank you for reading and stop by again anytime!