After my mom's funeral the sisters gathered together to divvy up her few possessions, including some family photographs she had enlarged and framed. One of those was a picture of the six of us girls taken six or eight years ago in the lobby of the conference center. There was a woman standing at the back of the group and it gave me a start. Holy shit. It was me! I hardly recognized myself. My hair was a serviceable three or so inches long and sprayed into a helmet-y flip. I had on a pair of glasses that I still have but know better than to wear in public. And worst of all was the pale limey green t-shirt draped from my collar bone, camouflaging any hint of shape. I remember that shirt. I'd bought two of them at Shopko because they were on clearance. (Yeah, I rocked that Shopko style. *ack*) My sisters all looked great, but the anemic lime in the background just looked sad. I could hardly recognize myself. I was using that green fabric to hide under. To hide all the donuts I ate to feel better. All the self-loathing I had because I could never do enough and do it right. And to hide those suffocating garments that made me feel like a dumpy sack of moldy potatoes. My face showed that I was beyond miserable.
Seeing that photograph really made me think about the way my life has changed. The way I have changed. I think my weight is about the same as it was then but I feel so very different. I think the biggest change is I'm not trying to conform. To fit in. To be assimilated, to use a Star Trek expression. But that's really what it was. I was simply trying to disappear into the role of perfect wife, mother and church member but failing miserably. And it showed.
But now I'm trying to express who I am and how I feel and I feel happy and sexy and strong. I dress FOR my body not to hide my body. I have no garments to work around. And most of all, I feel freer, happier and more in control of my life and MYSELF. I don't feel the need to hide. I'm now putting all of me out there for the world to see. All my 6'2" brickhouse self for the world to accept or not. Those who can't accept me don't really matter anyway.
I've heard of late bloomers but taking almost 50 years is getting a bit ridiculous. But better late than never!