Thursday, March 8, 2007
Free to Be Me
I've been thinking how nice it is to just let it all hang out. An advantage to getting older is that I've accepted myself. I'm not embarrassed to be me.
When I was a little girl I was little. My friends wore sizes 8 or 10 and I was still in a 6X. The 6X dresses had puffy sleeves and sashes that tied in the back, and I remember my friends Karen and Jill making fun of my baby dress. I wore red and white checked reading glasses in 2nd grade. I stood out. It was humiliating, and already I felt the sting of self-consciousness. When we were 11 my 2 friends got training bras. I still looked like a 5 year old boy, but my mom realized how miserable I was and got me one, too. I stuffed it with kleenex and looked lumpy and lopsided, and knew I was doomed to geekdom.
Junior High was miserable. I was too shy to tell my teachers my nickname and so I was called by my very old-fashioned real name. There wasn't anything cool about me. In 9th grade I took up swearing, hoping it would earn me some respect among the popular crowd. I don't think it improved my image at all.
It took me decades to get beyond the Jr. High mentality. I thought I had to be accepted by everybody else to be acceptable. The huge secret I discovered is that once I had accepted myself, I became acceptable.
Whether I'm called Ma'am, or Miss, Mom or Oma I know who I am. My age and rank don't matter. I can develop at my own pace. I don't need kleenex, or fame or fortune to pad the reality. I can decide what image represents the real me and I don't need to parrot the words of others to be "in." It is very freeing to let myself go, and find out where I'm going.
I wish I could find some red and white checked reading glasses. I wouldn't mind standing out now. I still envy girls who wear a size 8 or 10. I'm not a 6X anymore, but you can see that for yourself. I'm letting it all hang out!
(The featured picture is of someone else hanging out. It's not me.)