There are times that the things I want to say – the things I need to say – have been said a million times before, by others, by me. So I bite my tongue, not wanting to sound redundant or trite or like an imitation of those who said it much better.
Other times, I’ve just got to spit it out. Today is that day.
I’ve been told I have some self-esteem issues. I prefer to call it reality, but there are a precious few that would argue otherwise. You all know that person, beautiful as all get out, but has no clue?! Yeah, well, that isn’t me. My eyes work just fine, and my mirrors are all clean. I see exactly what I am, I see my many flaws, I see the sparkles in my hair, the wrinkles creeping in, the thighs that need work, the boobs, the stomach, the… well… I see it all. If others refuse to acknowledge those flaws, I just thank the heavens that people can overlook and block out!
There is this one thing though, this pretty major thing, that should probably bother me… but doesn’t. Stretch marks, on my hips. I’m not a big girl. (yeah, I know up there, maybe it sounded like I am. I have issues, but I’m not big. I’m not even overweight, in fact, I’m probably underweight by doctors’ ridiculously high numbers) No, I’m not a big girl, but I had three children…and gained a TON of weight with each. The middle one about did me in…over 70 pounds gained. And Hello, stretchmarks…on my hips! These are big, nasty marks, but I like them. You heard me… I don’t tolerate them, I actually LIKE them. They look like a tiger gave me a hug and clawed my hips. I love big cats and I just think they are sort of cool. But! I’ve always kept that little gem a secret. How bizarre to like something that is obviously fucked up! And I hide them, from everyone, because even though I like them, I do not want to gross people out. My issues seem to run deeper than esteem, huh?
Where was I? Oh yes, I like the marks that I hide. Now that I’m typing this, I realize, I like ALL of my scars. The things that might bother me the most, the scars from accidents and mishaps, the battle scars of life, I have no problem with. But the things I was born with (why do my ribs have to stick out so much?!), threaten to bring me down daily. I obsess to the point that I don’t even know why people like me, much less love me.
I hide what I like, I hide what I hate.
Then, as so often happens in life, a small conversation occurred that made me stop and think. I mean, really think… for days.
Someone else likes my tiger marks?! Not just deals with them, ignores them, gets over them, but LIKES them… like I like them?! That kind of threw a monkey wrench in my whole mindset on life. She wouldn’t lie to me about this, and it was out of the blue, so I had no choice but to believe. Okay.
I’d never asked my husband about his thoughts, because well… that’s just scary. I gathered my courage, told him of this conversation and you know what?! Sir said he had always liked them too, but never told me because he thought I’d think it was weird. My mind was blown!!
My mind is still kind of blown.
Here is this thing, this ugly thing that I like, but I hide for fear of other people’s reactions. But my two most favorite people seem to feel the same way I do about this flaw…and perhaps do not even see it as a flaw. Huh.
These same two people tell me nutty, lovely, nice things all the time… but I brush it off. I call them crazy and blind. I try to say thanks, but I just don’t feel what they are saying, and I block it out. Sometimes (often) these nice things make me cry, because I WANT to be all that they say I am, but I’m not. I’m so afraid that one day, their vision will clear and they will really SEE me…and the shit will hit the fan. I cannot accept a compliment because I do not want to see the ultimate disappointment when they finally come around to reality. Yes, I put that in bold because that’s the bare bones, isn’t it.? Woah. Message!
If they mean what they say about the claw marks, and I know that they do, then maybe they mean what they say about the fucked up things I hate, too. Maybe the things I hate should be put into the same category as the scars. Maybe the things I hate, that I obsess about, also tell a story. Maybe those things are what make me who I am. Maybe who I am right now, like this – a girl with a shitty ton of flaws, isn’t so bad. Maybe. I do have an amazingly awesome life, with a few very special people in it, so maybe I need to be a little softer with myself. Maybe I need to let up…just a little. Maybe it’s time to just breathe and believe. Maybe. I don’t know.
I do know that little things can spark such overwhelmingly big things.
Small words lead to big changes.
Be careful what you say…