So there’s this guy.
We’ll call him Nameless. Nameless because I literally stopped writing just before that last sentence and spent 15 minutes trying to think of an appropriate pseudonym, but nothing worked. He just is. He’s a confusingly attractive person; an author, a sort of introvert, an artist, a tech geek, a well-read intellectual snob, a phenomenal car-singer, a time-stopper…and just…cozy. But he’s wonderful and one of my favorite people on the planet. Anyway, last year, Nameless told me, “you’re like… a fat girl…”
I wanted to punch him. Once for me, and about 80 more times for all the big beautiful ladies out there.
But I let him continue, “No, you’re not fat but you’re like one of those insecure women that just want to be touched, or loved, or noticed. When I hug you, you react like you haven’t been hugged in years.”
That stung. It was kinda true.
It took me this long – yes, a full Earth’s rotation of the sun – to see it. I’ve been starving for unconditional companionship. The kind where I am accepted for all my goof, SNL-host wannabe-ness, full-sleeve tattoo dreams, dredlocks, quirks, wild ambitions and nerdish tendencies.
I looked (and still do) for it from my mother. Fail. My father. Extra fail. My husband. Super fail. And now I had been trying to make up for lost time by this sort of speed dating, desperately seeking connection to another human. Epic fail. Ok, not-so epic fail; oddly enough it has been incredibly healing in many ways.
As a mother, my most passionate task is to always exhibit to my boys the no-strings-attached agape-love I never received.
It is also my job to love myself unconditionally and treat myself like a great prize to be won. My job. Mine. Just learned that. That right there. That’s the moral.
I’ve said comically before, screw this, I’ll date myself. But really. Truly. I need to date myself. I need to love myself first. I need to be my own hero.
So, here’s my storm: I’m going to tell my own story. Not just glamorize ridiculous past dates like I have been. But really tell my story. All of it. From the beginning. From my mother teaching me to pinch my nose when I was four years old so it wouldn’t get too wide, to never feeling thin enough to be on national television in a bikini; from my father never being around to having my husband tell me I look ridiculous and need to be more like Michelle Obama. I have a voice that needs to be heard. It is not meant to shame or embarrass; it is meant to inspire, empower and heal — not just myself, but others. There are many sides to every story, and I’m not ashamed of mine anymore.
It is called Eighty-Five Cents, and I hope to complete it in 2015.
It took my life getting wrecked, me ignoring my calling, my life getting second-wrecked, and me being willing to be an open book for me to really be ready to love me, let go of the hurt, and realize that I’m not the only normal person out there struggling to acknowledge their own value in this world.
I know it’s a little cheesy to end on the Frozen note, but really…have you actually listened to these words?
The fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.
It’s time to see what I can do
Test the limits and break through.
No right. No wrong.
No rules for me. I’m free.
I’m one with the earth and sky.
You’ll never see me cry.
Here I stand.
And here I’ll stay.
I’ll rise like the break of dawn.
That perfect girl is gone.
Let the storm rage on.