in class yesterday i had a heart dropping, stomach turning, inner body temperature boiling moment. and because of it my self esteem virtually fell off the chart.
the weird thing is no one said anything to me or called me any name. i didn't get a dirty look or have someone snicker when i walked by. it was in and of itself this picture.
(the sad thing it was so easy to find this. i went to google and typed in "inner beauty quotes" and it was near the top.)
this picture, caption and all, was on the guys binder who sits next to me. he dropped his pen and i reached over to pick it up for him and when i sat it on his desk it rested just on top of this picture tucked behind the plastic next to a picture of him and a few of his guy friends. he saw my eyes quickly dart across the image and i know he must have seen the pain fill me as they traced the words and took in their meaning. and instead of covering the binder or looking away he looked me right in the eyes.
and he smiled.
it wasn't a friendly smile. it was a, "guess what, this is about you" kind of smile. it was a, "i think you are ugly and fat" kind of smile. and it pissed me off. i wanted to throw his binder across the room and tell him how many people that picture is going to haunt and hurt. i wanted to punch him in his stupid nose and break it just like that picture broke something inside of me. i wanted to cause him pain. i wanted to tell him the million and one reason why that picture, no, those words, are hurtful and destructive. i wanted to make him see. i wanted to tell him everything.
but i didn't. do you know what i did?
i smiled back.
yep. i cheesed it at that s.o.b. and simply said, "here's your pen" and turned back to face the professor. i washed the pain and humiliation off my face just as quickly as it came and spent the rest of the hour and nineteen minutes in class focusing on the teacher and world war one. obviously he has that picture on his binder for a reason. maybe he thinks its funny. maybe he does it so girls like me get their feelings hurt and he doesn't have to personally feel guilty because hes not the one saying it. regardless, he has that placed there because he wants to get a reaction and i wasn't about to let him win. at least not when hes looking.
last night i kept the situation out of my mind for the evening and really kept my focus on anything and everything other then that guy. but as midnight rolled around and i was staring at the black ceiling of my room i felt those words, that perfect woman in that picture, and his pleased-with-himself grin creep up on me. i felt all the insults ive been called, all the tears ive cried, and all the self hatred start to shower me. they started to cover me--
suffocate me. my chest physically started hurting to the point i had to get on the ground and hold my body so tight like it was the only thing keeping me alive. i cried and winced at the pain. physically and much, much deeper inside of me. i kept saying the word no over and over. i told myself he's wrong and that he doesn't understand inner beauty because from the looks of it, he is severely lacking in that department. after what felt like hours i crawled into bed, pulled the covers over my head, and fell asleep. mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.
but this morning i woke up feeling new. after a soul wrenching conversation last night i decided i am going to try to live life fully every single day. i want to live life unapologetically. on purpose. i want to do things that make me happy. experience life and feel beautiful because of it.
i took a long shower and took my time in lathering my body and really letting the few degrees too hot water fall all over me like a cleansing rain. most of the time, well all of the time, i take as quick of a shower as i can and get dressed instantly because i hate seeing my body without clothes on. but today i took my time. i put lotion on my freshly shaved skin and let the water drops from my hair trickle down my back. i made myself a chai latte completely undressed. no one was home and this was my morning. my morning to live unapologetically. to do exactly what i want to do and to be whoever i wanted to be. even if that's an overweight naked girl. i slipped on a short fleece robe and the warmth felt good on my damp skin. i slid on a pair of ugg-like boots and took the doggies outside to brave the cold weather. the crispy air pinched and nibbled at my barely covered skin and created prickles on my freshly shaved legs. but i didn't care. i lifted my hands and stretched every muscle in my body reaching up towards the heavens and you know what? my robe flew open! but i didn't care. because in that moment wearing nothing but a pair of boots and wet hair i felt more alive, more free, and more beautiful than i have in my entire life.
the thought that popped into my mind at that moment was towards the guy in my class and the only thing i could think was, "suck it! you aren't going to bring me down!"
i realized my nudity might blind the neighbors so i scooted back inside to my bedroom and i did something i haven't done in years.
i looked at myself naked.
eeek! it was scary my friends. but you know what? it wasn't as awful as i remember.
i noticed that i have a pretty collar bone. that my legs are thankfully skinny and look really cute in a pair of boots. that my boobs aren't as saggy or ugly as i remember and actually kinda pretty. i noticed curves and shapes and beauty i had never seen before on my body.
and sure i noticed my awful stomach and double chin and how ugly i look without make up but i realized that there are some things i might be okay with on my body.
and i also realized that even though i don't feel beautiful when i look in a mirror, that i do feel it sometimes when im not looking in a mirror and that's okay. because inner beauty is real. and its not only reserved for a certain type of person. i feel beautiful when i don't look in a mirror because i am feeling myself. i am feeling the beauty that is radiating from inside of me.
and if i feel beautiful with my arms in the air like a crazy person with my robe flapping open in the wind that's okay too because im just being me. and even though shes not as gorgeous as the girl in the picture above, shes a hell of a lot prettier inside then someone who would make a picture like that to make people feel bad about themselves. the road to loving yourself starts one step at a time. and this morning i took a pretty big step.