First of all, thank you, again, to those that took a minute to respond to my last blog/send a goodie/personal message of support and encouragement. It just further reminds me why I love this site and find it an invaluable resource. I truly believe having the support of others can make all the difference in your success with something. You need to have faith in yourself, but we can all use the boost when we do stumble and falter. So, thank you. Truly.
I just have to share something I meant to blog about the other day, but forgot about until now. I was out for a walk a couple weekends ago, enjoying the fact that my husband was home with the kids and I didn't need to rush back for anything. (I get up early on weekdays to get in my walks before he has to leave for work, but weekend mornings I can sleep a bit longer before I head out and then walk for a couple of hours.) I was walking along the water front, since we live a quick 5 minute drive from the local beach, staring out across the water, enjoying the cool morning breeze on my cheeks, listening to some music, and just decompressing. When the next song came on (Queen's, "We Are the Champions"), something about the words just struck a chord and literally took my breath away. I always try to choose music that has a good beat to walk/jog to, or is motivating for the lyrics and/or message behind it. I've heard this song millions of times before (it still reminds me of that final scene in Revenge Of The Nerds, where they filter out into the football field, realizing and admitting that we're all a little nerdy, in our own way, as this song plays in the background... But I digress.) But something about this time, while walking, thinking about my life and what I want from it, where I've been and where I want to go with my goals... the tears started rolling down my cheeks.
"I've paid my dues
Time after time
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face -
But I've come through
We are the champions, my friends
And we'll keep on fighting - till the end...
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
'Cause we are the champions - of the world..."
I felt like taking a Rocky-esque victory lap and jumping up on the nearest bench, arms raised in the air and singing at full volume.
Like many of you on this site, I've had my share of "sand kicked in my face" and yet I'm still standing. Because I have to be... I want to be... I need to be. I've been discriminated against because of my size, I've been made fun of, I've had people throw things at me, yell things to/at me, ostracize and exclude me, I let them make me feel like I wasn't worthy or important.
I'll never forget, in High School, as I walked home from school one afternoon and was making my way across a parking lot. The older brother of a classmate and a couple of his friends were in their car (a Chevy Blazer, so a larger car at that), getting ready to leave. As I walked across the driveway part, they sped up, yelling out the window and laughing, and actually ran into me. It knocked my bag out of my hand and made me stumble forward, and left me with a sizable bruise on my arm. I was shocked, hurt, humiliated and mortified. Did they care? Not at all. They seemed to take even greater pleasure in the fact that they'd run into the fat chick. But even worse? I somehow actually thought I deserved that treatment. And why? Because I weighed more than I should? Because somehow my size meant I didn't deserve to be treated any better? I wrote about it in my diary at the time, but I never told anyone, because it was too hard to talk about. Even though anyone who looked at me could see, plain as day, that I was fat, talking about it beyond that occasional joke-to-mask-the-pain... Well, it just didn't happen.
Granted, now that I'm 32, married, a mother of two young children and much more confident and secure about my place in this world and my value and worth, I don't get treated in such a way and, if I did, I certainly wouldn't just roll over and take it. I'm sure people still see me and whisper comments, or make snap judgements about me based on my size. But all that does is make me sad for them, and help push me further toward my goals. I sometimes have that feeling of wishing I could go back and smack some sense into my younger self, tell her to stand up for herself and not let others opinions become her reality, and then give that sad, depressed, lonely and scared girl a hug. But I can't go back, I can only move forward. So I carry a bit of her with me and appreciate what she has taught me about compassion for others, about the rights and wrongs and injustices of the world, and about what she is and always has been capable of.
I really feel like I'm coming out of this 20 year fog and am learning so much more about who I am and who I would like to be. The only real failure comes from not starting and not trying. I'm not saying I won't take three giant steps forward and then fall back. But I will learn from that mistake, no matter how big it may seem at the time, and I will move forward. I deserve to live a long, happy, healthy life and I won't let anyone or anything stand in my way. I refuse.
I AM the champion and I'm going to keep on fighting until the end!