Skip to main content

Just Be

When I look in the mirror the person I see doesn't really resemble my actual appearance. My mirror reflects an awkward girl who was "too tall" ever to be a decent gymnast. Obviously, I'm not tall, but I tower over Mary Lou Retton, my childhood idol. Looking back at me is a woman who is "big-boned" and "doesn't have the eating habits of a thin person," because my freakishly tiny mother unwittingly instilled those beliefs. There is frizzy hair with roots needing highlights--okay, everyone sees that. Eyes that aren't blue enough, a nose that isn't small enough, lips that aren't full enough, thighs that aren't thin enough, breasts saggy from nursing three babies, a quick temper, too little patience, and the list goes on and on.

But when I look deeper, I see love. My heart overflows with love for my friends, family, and especially for my husband and children. Unconditional, passionate, protective, unapologetic love. The kind that brings me to tears sometimes because I just don't know what else to do with the overwhelming emotion other than to let it spill from my eyes. And empathy. So strong that sometimes I must consciously ask myself if it's my feelings plaguing me or someone else's.

Many people don't see that when they look at me. Some call me a bitch or a snob. Say that I'm superficial, mean, nasty. I admit to being all of those things and more at one time or another, but I've tried very hard to right my wrongs. Apparently I haven't succeeded, or I'm not as self-aware as I strive to be, since I don't understand what drives people to these perceptions. So I try harder to show them what a good person I am. Strangers, acquaintances, PTO moms, other drivers. Why do I need their approval?

Most of my life, I have tried to make people happy. To be whom I thought others wanted me to be. I succeeded in many ways, but not at the expense of losing pieces of my identity. I could be a chameleon fitting into whatever environment I was thrown: soccer mom, party girl, student, professional. And to some degree, we all do that. But several years ago when I stopped working, stopped going to school, and became "just" a wife and mother, I was left wondering: With all these supporting roles stripped away, who am I?

I'm not sure. I'm not sure I need to know anymore. I try to be who God put me here to be. I try to be a good mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and person. I try to be kind and compassionate and non-judgmental. I fall short all the time. In this moment, I am trying to quit focusing on who I think I should be, who others think I am, and trying just to be. Just be me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Did I Love Him Enough?

I just started reading a new book. It's called Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much by Colette Baron-Reid, who I discovered on my current favorite podcast: This is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. It is blowing my mind and showing me that some of the extra pounds I'm carrying don't even belong to me. Seriously. This is yours, this is his, this is hers, and oh wait, THAT? That belongs to a person who isn't even part of my life anymore! Great. Take your shit back.

More on that later. But, listen to the podcast. Seriously, you will love it!

Anyway, while in this super zen, grown-up, boundary-setting, higher self head space, I need to tackle an issue I've been avoiding for about 18 years but really strongly avoiding for the last 6 months. My son is growing up. He graduates from high school on Sunday, and in a few months, he's moving to Columbus to attend THE Ohio State University.

Can I tell you a secret? I used to LOVE everything about THE Ohio State University, bu…

Why Didn't I Report It?

When I was 17, I went with friends to a party at a boy's house from another school. I drank too much and passed out. I don't remember much about the incident, but I woke up with my friend screaming at a boy, pulling me up and dragging me to the car. She told me that she came looking for me and found me passed out. The boy had his penis in my face. I don't remember it. Thankfully.

I never told my parents who would have said, "How stupid could you be? You shouldn't have put yourself in that position." They would not have said, "No one should put his penis in your face without your consent."

A few months ago, I saw a picture of that boy on social media. He's a man now. With a beautiful family. He probably doesn't remember that night. I wondered: What might have happened if my friend didn't walk in and tell him to get his dick out of my face? Were there were other girls whose friends didn't come looking for them? Did they ever tell anyone…

Red Lipstick and Leopard Shoes

A month or so ago my friend and LOBL partner Melissa shared about a few of her favorite things. I loved this post because:
 1) The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies.
 2) Thinking about your favorite things is a huge mood booster.

In counseling, my therapist walked me through exercises to find a safe calm place inside my mind to go when feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to find peace, comfort, belonging, acceptance, worthiness, etc. within us so we don't need to chase it down from others. I always go to my favorite place: a beautiful little island near Key Largo we visit with our best friends. The first time we went was a magical experience: Dolphins played around the boat splashing in the aquamarine water, and I squealed, "This can't be real!" I tried to capture every single detail so I could go back there in my mind over and over. Any time someone asks me where I want to go, it's here. Always here.

I often write about these things, my favorite…