I remember when The Hunger Games got really popular and we all played the game that gave us our ID cards with the District and job, etc. Mine said I was from District 12 and had some really awesome rock-identifying job of some sort.
Well, the game got it wrong. I imagine it probably got it wrong for a lot of us, because I, for one, am definitely from the Capitol.
I’m sitting in Grassroots this morning, feverishly studying. My first exam is next Tuesday and I’m beyond nervous: and this isn’t even THE exam. I’m beyond stressed.
I’ve been struggling for a long while now about my body image and I’ve been thinking long and hard about posting a series of progress and/or fallbacks with the emphasis on positive reinforcements and encouragement, and especially in dealing with the guilt that accompanies a person like myself during these times.
I’m taking this short digression from studying to write the first post because a series of events have happened in quick succession this morning such that I’ve ended up here, in the back corner of the coffee shop, to avoid seeing (and thus, having to speak) to anyone I may know that comes in (and since this is Thomasville, that means pretty much everyone).
1) No shower, dry shampoo, hair pulled back into a bun. Like…slicked back in a bun. And not intentionally. Gross.
2) The jeans I wanted to wear simply wouldn’t fit…over my thighs. (I also know that it is all my fault…well, mine and Snickers) (and Red Bull) (sugar-free…).
3) Twenty minutes ago, I called my dietician and clinic nurse who manages my weight to make an appointment to come weight in and start a PA diet…again.
4) I’m worrying a few bumps on my face and hairline. Weren’t these supposed to magically go away forever when I turned 21?
5) Overall, I’m feeling gross, yucky, stressed, fat, un-attractive, etc. (this is not a line cast for compliments…just accept this and move on).
6) This morning, little W came down is the prettiest little dress and shoes and she felt so good about her outfit and I just thought about how much I always want her to feel that way about herself.
7) Five minutes ago, a complete stranger (again…strange in Grassroots) stopped by my table (in the back corner, by the restrooms) and just said, “Excuse me, I just wanted to say that you are so pretty.” And then she walked away.
And so, here I sit. Feeling sorry for myself and feeling guilty that I feel sorry for myself when there are so many things happening in the world today that I should be nothing short of immensely thankful that I am not directly involved in.
Not only is it the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, but there is war, families being torn apart, killed, enslaved. Children around the world being abused in horrific ways. Poverty so immense that families must sell children just to survive. Cruelty. Sickness. Death.
And all I can worry about is the 22 pounds I’ve put on in five months.
But, a stranger, who also knew all about all of these world issues, thought it imperative enough to stop and tell me I was pretty. And I’m so glad she did. Not because I needed to know that someone thought I looked at least half-way decent, but as a reminder that, as I sit in the back, worried that people I know will be disgusted by my unwashed, ragged-from-studying self, I should stop being so selfish as to think that people (whose negative opinions really shouldn’t matter) would actually think I was disgusting, unwashed and ragged-from-studying. I honestly don’t think people are that mean. Normally. More on this later…
So today, I’m turning over a new leaf. I can’t do much to help those around the world with problems far beyond my reach, but I can try harder to both improve my own self-awareness of those around me and compliment and encourage whenever and wherever I see fit. To remind those that, even though I have no idea how they feel about themselves, I think they are beautiful. Or pretty. Or have a nice necklace. Or whatever little words of encouragement I can give.
Let’s do it together.
Have you and any small words of encouragement lately?