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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More of (not necessarily) the same

Today I had a great class with a student I very much like and my buddy Denise.  They were both working on socks while I was working on the color work section of Takoma (I know, no surprise).  So I was right in the middle of one of the rows when I stopped for a second and said "is this right?..." and then found my place.  My friend Denise started to laugh and then thanked me for making her feel better, lol.  Turns out that she has insecurities about her knitting skill when she knits with me.  So I guess what I've learned today is that we're all a bit insecure about something and that's okay.  The key is to be willing to admit them (for the theraputic aspects) and then to have a good cry and move the hell on. 

So in the spirit of moving-the-hell-on, I realized some things about myself today.  My friend and reader Daisy sent me a poem from Maya Angelou that really lifted me today, called Phenomenal Woman.  It reminded me that there are so many little parts to me that I love.  I have learned to love my hair.  I love my skin color.  I love my legs.  I actually like my streak of gray hair (not that it's gray, but that it's an awesome streak).  I like my hands, and feet, especially when I paint my nails.  I have nice nails (and as a former manicurist...I would know, lol).  I have presence and people listen when I speak.

I love to make things with my hands and I get a great sense of accomplishment out of it.  My boys love me for who I am, including my flaws (and there are many), and that's really all that matters.  Any time I dress up or wear make-up, Alex tells me that I'm pretty :)  The kids I teach at church actually like me, which is good because I love them.  And I mean love in the actual sense of the word.  I worry about them and I get excited about their accomplishments, and I get excited to see them every week, and I cry when they are hurt or upset.  I feel like an extra mom.  I mother them.  I mother anyone who will stand still for it :)  If you come into the shop and you look like you don't feel well (or aren't eating enough), I'll mother you too!  I love my pets like family, and I grieve for lost fish. 

Not to get all religified on you, but God made me who I am and had me go through what I've been through (good and bad) for a reason.  I believe that reason is so I can understand and sympathize with others who are going through similar trials.  He made me stand out so that people who were looking for a shoulder to lean on for comfort would see me better.  I'm good at comforting.  I'm good with children, and they seem to be drawn to me even though I'm so tall and could easily intimidate a small child.  He made me sensitive so that I would take extra care of other's feelings because I know what it's like to have my own hurt.  He made my face an open book so that people would know exactly what I'm thinking just from looking at my face, and all so that they would feel comfortable confiding if they needed to. 

I am a mother, and a daughter, and a sister to many women at church, and just like a sister to many others, and a friend, and an extra mom to children who need a warm loving adult in their lives.  I'm also an example to others going through trials similar to my own (not saying I'm a good example, just an example).  I'm also a representative of my faith, and I've been able to change stereo types of what a Mormon (or a black, or a woman) really is and what they can do.  I've been the exception to the rule.  I've risen to the challenge.  I've done what people told me I couldn't do.  I've fallen on my face and failed fantastically, but got up and tried again.  I can go.  And now, I can remember my own worth.  I hope that you can remember yours too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In this post, I wax philosophical about nothing much

This has been one of those weeks (so far).  The kind where you wonder what you did to deserve all the crappy karma stuff that keeps biting you in the butt.  Or maybe it's good karma that keeps things from being any worse than they could have been...  Not really sure.  Glass half empty/full type of situation here.

Anyway, Sunday I wore my repaired FLS to church even though my most recent photos made me look fat and I wasn't feeling too confident about how I looked in it.  I was showing off where I'd repaired it, when I looked down and found ANOTHER hole.  I guess the yarn is just done and I need to replace the sweater entirely. 

Monday I went to the gym (because I was feeling fat after trying on clothes and comparing my photo in the FLS to an old one on my Ravelry project page).  I felt really strong while working out and was impressed at how much energy I had.  I was feeling pretty good about how I looked in my yoga pants (compared to when I first started working out) and I was having a good time.  Feeling confident.  Then, one of those tiny girls with delicate bone structure in super cute, matching workout gear (and her hair down and styled...) got on the machine right next to me and instantly in that moment I was back in high school all over again.  Awkward.  Freakishly tall.  Dateless.  Clothes that didn't fit properly.  And fat (that's a new condition by the way, I was not fat in high school).  I was instantly envious of her and how she was average height and how I bet all the men feel an instinctual need to protect her from harm.  She's girly.  I'm not.  I'm 6' and 187lbs.  I wear a size 10 shoe.  I have big hands.  I am an Amazon that comes lumbering into a room.  I am literally big and tall.  I hate it.

See, I know that everyone always tells me how they with they were taller and how luck I am, but really...you don't want this.  I'm 34 and I just now find clothes that fit, but I'm forced to order them online and only 3 stores carry talls that are tall enough (that I can afford).  Skirts aren't long enough.  I have bad knees and scoliosis and I can't just sit in any seat comfortably for a long period because my knees and hips cramp up.  I can't fit into several small car models.  I intimidate children.  Adults stare.  And on top of all this, I'm now overweight.  I have never (nor will I ever) fit the traditional standard of beauty.  That's usually okay but every now and then I just wish I was like everyone else.  I wish that I could just once feel like a girl.

Where is all this bitching going, you ask?  Well, first it was a wake up for me to realize that even as a grown woman in possession of above average intelligence, a gorgeous husband, two really great children, and an impressive yarn stash, I'm still incredibly insecure.  It's also a wake up call because one of my classes is shining a light on how a child's early years can affect them for the rest of their adult life and I can clearly see how mine is still affecting me.  Don't misunderstand me; my parents were warm and loving.  I had friends and I lived in a pretty safe neighborhood.  But I was always the outsider.  The tallest child in school.  The only black kid in the family/class/neighborhood.  The only kid who couldn't go to all the parties (although I know for sure that this wasn't a bad thing).  It was hard to watch all of my friends be asked to the prom and not have anyone ask me.  It was hard to be the only girl to not have a boyfriend.  I grew up feeling ugly, and I didn't shake that until I was in my 20's.  I'm mostly comfortable with my height by now.  But I can't stop feeling bad about my weight.  You know why?  Because Western culture tells me I should be a size 4.  I should have straight hair.  It should preferably be blond.  I should have straight white teeth and perfect skin.  I should be glamorous and delicate and wear make-up every day and my entire worth as a being is based on how many men find me attractive.  I've been beaten over the head with this since I was old enough to watch t.v.  And I wish that one of these advertising exec would look at just ONE longitudinal study about what this crap does to a child's self-esteem, and then think better of it.

Oh, and my fish died today too.  So...if you're still reading this post after all that heavy crap I've dropped on you, then you must not have had anything better to do with your day, lol.  You'll never get that 15 minutes of your life back ;)  Thanks for listening, and please please don't feel like you have to comment on this (unless you truly want to).  I just needed to get it out there.  I'll be looking for your invoices for services rendered in the mail (you know, for therapy...) lol.