I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her own skin.” — Sandra Cisneros
When I was in elementary school, a group of young mothers convened around my friends and me and started to playfully matched their sons with their daughters. Little Elizabeth with Fernando. Sporty Christina with Anton. Ten minutes of giggles and everyone was matched up. All except one. Me.
In all fairness, my mother was not there. She couldn’t make lunch time then. The young mothers had paired all the girls and matched them with the boys, none of them had even attempted to match me. Worst, they did not even mention my name at all.
It was on this day that I started to understand the feeling of ‘not good enough’. As a kid, I was hurt. I wanted to be worthy of the pairing. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be good enough. I too wanted to be pretty. But I wasn’t pretty enough in the eyes of the young mothers.
The feeling of ‘not good enough’ has rooted and made a home in my life for thirty years. Not only has it grown roots, it fruited. Occasionally the tree is pruned, but the roots remain. And the prickly fruit savored even as the lips bleed.
That same kid on the playground found me again last night at age thirty eight on my first date since October 2015. I found myself picking and fixing, and coming up with the worst possible scenario of why I was not good enough. I was always too fat. My nose too big. Too many gray hair visible. Bangs too short. Boobs too big.
I rejected myself on his behalf an hour before our date has even begun. I had to anticipate an unfavorable outcome in the hope to be swayed in opinion and proven wrong this ill notion about him that celebrates superficiality and condemns character.
Our date ended at 3am. I never found out if he minds if I was a little too fat, that my nose was a little too big, that some of my gray strands were visible, that my bangs were too short, and my boobs too big. He said I was pretty. I believed him. We had one date and I never saw him again.
Tonight I put a band-aid on my bleeding lips, throw away the prickly fruit, axed the tree and pulled the roots. Thirty years is goddamn long enough. I am size 12 on a good day and 14 on a Thursday. I am a pretty face and a sexy strut. My boobs will always be too big, but they are also fantastic.
I put so much fear on the lack of my media-defined beauty that I forgot there are so many beautiful things about me untold and undiscovered. I have to remind myself that the weight of your character and emotional intelligence carry equal weight to everything else you think is beautiful about you.
I am an amalgam of hilarious misadventures and triumphant experiences. If you have thirty years, pull up a chair and let me tell you a story. If not, thank you for the drink.
I can’t wait for my next date adventure where I will no longer suck in my stomach. Til next time!
4 + 5 =
OMG, D. I ducking love this. Love you. You ARE so awesome.
Girl! You made my day!