I used to look at myself in the mirror a lot trying to figure out who I WAS and who I WANTED to be.
It’s taken me almost 14 years to figure it out, that by dwelling on the past, I am putting a hold on my future. I have to stop letting outside influences define who I am. I’ve struggled with body issues for a long time and because of this, I have felt awkward in some social situations and have a hard time connecting with new people. I struggle with anxiety issues that make me feel nervous or scared when dealing with some of the simplest things (i.e. driving on the freeway).
I don’t always think I’m attractive or pretty. This may sound silly, but I’ve only started taking selfies in the past year or so because I have hated the way I looked. I feel like I have let myself down by gaining 60 pounds since I’ve moved to North Carolina 12 years ago. I’ve struggled the past 3 years trying to lose the weight and couldn’t find the motivation to be consistent with a weight loss regimen. I’d been given deadlines in the past by a doctor to lose a certain number of pounds by a certain day, which not surprisingly had a negative effect on me. Every time one of those deadlines came and went with no success, it made me feel like a failure.
Since the end of this past June, I have been eating a lot healthier and have started walking again almost every night (treadmill or at the park). I’ve lost a total of 5 pounds since then and I’m actually not upset about the pace I’m going. I don’t need a deadline. I’m going to lose the weight how I feel comfortable. One of my friends is on a weight loss journey herself, so we encourage each other to go for our goals. It helps a lot when you have someone who understands what you are going through—mentally and physically.
I’ve come to terms with the realization that I’m not going to ever look like my 16-year-old self again and that’s OKAY!
This time I see myself how I should.
So who am I? Well, I am happy to admit that I’m a 30-year-old geek. I play video games, read graphic novels and fantasy stories, have coloring books, and still shop at Hot Topic. I also usually root for the underdogs or bad guys in movies/stories because deep down I feel sorry for them…and, well, most of the time they are pretty good looking! On multiple occasions I tried to buy different types of clothing that looked “girlie” and ALWAYS found myself feeling so uncomfortable when wearing them. If you look into my closet now it’s pretty much back to my go to shades of blacks, reds, and greens. Last year I bought a Jeep, a vehicle that is not only fun to drive, but also makes me feel incredibly safe. Because of this, Jeeptrice and I have been on the freeway a few times with no anxiety!
By denying myself my true identity these past few years, I was denying myself a real life. Now that I’m feeling more like normal, I am able to enjoy the things and people around me a lot easier. Brandon and I have made a pretty good life together so far these last 14 years—we’ve still got plenty of years ahead of us, but I don’t feel scared about the unknowns anymore. Why?
Because this time around I’m just going to be me.