Six months ago when I started this blog, my whole goal was to create a space where I could talk about being sassy, fearless, and empowered. I wanted to radiate positivity, give fashion advice, and dispense encouragement by the bucket load. But, these last few weeks I have been completely ill equipped to do that.
As a teacher, my entire universe is wrapped up in the school year… and this one is not going well. I am completely overwhelmed, feeling like Jack in Titanic, desperately clinging to that stupid door in the frozen Atlantic waters. I’m always tired, always sad, and always lonely. To top it off, I am making less money than last year. When I feel bad, I eat. I have eaten and eaten in an attempt to fill the growing hole in my heart. Let me just tell you folks, I am feeling rather awful about myself.
Yesterday, when I was trying just to keep a smile on my face and make it to the weekend, I was punched in the face with words from a colleague. I was helping a friend distribute tee shirts to students for the Homecoming game. I had arranged them into piles by size and was greeting each student kindly, wishing them a good morning. A fellow faculty member sauntered over and started perusing the shirts. He stopped at the pile of XXL’s and exclaimed, “Ah yes, the shirts for our linebackers.”
What?! What did he just say? Linebackers? I would have felt better if he has just slapped me. I wanted to burst into tears, shove the shirts down his throat, then crawl in a hole and hide. Instead, I just plastered a huge fake smile across my face and replied “Maybe, or for fat people like me.” He laughed boisterously and walked away, largely unaware of the dam he broke inside the woman who was just barely hanging in there. I spent the whole rest of the day feeling hollow and disgusting. I needed a lifeline yesterday, instead, I received shame.
I haven’t STOPPED thinking about it. Not because I feel so ashamed that I need to diet, or run ten miles, or stop eating altogether. No, I feel ashamed because I am trying so hard to be a champion of body positivity, encouragement, and love… and all I can think of today is how much I hate myself. I hate myself because I feel like a phony and a hypocrite.
When I see other people, I don’t see their flaws. I see all the beauty they radiate by simply existing. It isn’t an empty feeling. I really believe every word I say about them. I want people to love themselves so hard that asshats who think they are funny can’t break them down. So, why can’t I seem to extend the grace and kindness I so freely give others to myself?! Why do I feel I’m an exception to my own rules?
I promise, I do think you are beautiful and worthy of good things in your life. Please don’t stop listening to me. I mean it with my whole heart. I want to believe it about me too. I’m just not there yet.