Not only do I avoid photos, but for all of my adult life, I pretty much have avoided lots of things because of the way I felt about myself. I have never even once attended a class reunion, ever for this very reason. I always said, when I lose the weight I will......when I look better I will......and well, for me, I feel like time is running out. Honestly, I know I won't ever be back where I want to be or be at the place I feel like I can conquer the world again, so I better start making the most of it. I know it is pretty pathetic to admit that, but it is the truth.
There was a big change that happened internally for me at the beginning of this year. I don't want to go into much of that right now, but I am so thankful it happened and changes are being made and made rather rapidly. That is a huge thing for me, as some struggles are not so hard anymore and walls are coming down. I am making progress on goals that I felt were unattainable and in doing so, my self image has improved and I see how unimportant that really is in the big scheme of things. I am thankful beyond words, because I want to share a special moment in my life that happened this last week....and it was 32 years in the making.
I have a friend from high school whom I have not seen since we graduated in 1980. We reconnected on Facebook a few years ago and keep in touch that way. She does not live here in Texas, she lives in Ohio and is away from all her childhood friends. When she and her family were making their way to Texas while on a family vacation, I knew in my heart of hearts I was going to see her no matter how insecure I felt with myself.
Mary and myself...Spring of 1978
Mary and myself.....February 23, 2012
The most important lesson here is that all that silly worry about not measuring up and feeling bad about myself made absolutely no difference when we stepped out of the car and hugged...it melted away like a slab of butter on a 120 degree day. What a silly thing that had controlled me most of my adult life.....I feel so grateful that finally I am over all of that silly stuff.....no matter how it came about, I am grateful. I am grateful for my friend, and having that precious time with her while she was here. It meant the world to me.
.....and you know the icing on the cake??? I got an invite from another classmate to a party coming up right after I spent the day having such a good time......when I read it, for an instant I felt that old dread of "oh, I can't go....thing trying to work itself in my mind" But I pushed those feelings away and out of my head...and I marched in the living room and told my husband we were going to a party.....he looked at me like I had sprouted horns and turned green!! I am sure he thought, "Who are you and what have you done with my wife!" No matter even if I feel a bit self conscious, I am going and can't wait to do so.
I think with the idea of turning 50 this year has been such a shock as to where have all the years gone that it has shocked my brain, or maybe I am finally getting comfortable in my own skin....after all, there certainly is a lot more skin to feel comfortable with rather than when I was seventeen for goodness sakes.
I felt like writing this down so I could go back to it when I needed to reread how I felt today. If you have never struggled with self doubt, let me say it is not easy living with it and even harder to move past it. But moving past those feelings is when living your life to the fullest really makes sense. It is the most amazing feeling and such treasured moments can come from letting go. It took me a long time....32 years......how sad is that....but I have made it past the stuff that has held me at bay to what is really important in life and I could not be more happier about that!
Thanks Mary, for taking the time from your vacation and spending it with me.....it meant more to me than you could ever possibly know. It was an amazing day!
*** I am also thankful that through blogging, I see things differently too. I knew when I was driving to meet Mary that morning that I wanted to take a photo in the parking lot because I remembered this photo from long ago. That is how bloggers think....and I am most grateful for that too!! Both photos are treasures now.