There are a lot of things that happen that semi-stress me out. People that do not wear socks with shoes that are meant to be worn with socks. Food being mixed together that shouldn’t be mixed together. When anyone chews ice around me (I will give you the death stare). But mostly, it’s knowing I need to step up and be an adult. 99.9% of the time I freeze. It’s an out of body experience where I can see all my options, hear everyone’s opinions on what I should do but I can’t actually make the decision. My anxiety rises. I second guess everything – as in daily tasks that I’ve done for years – and all normal thoughts are out the window. Let’s not even approach the money subject. That’s a later post full of hilariously unfortunate events that make up a reality that only adds to my anxiety.
To be honest, I believe most of my Adulting anxiety comes from the fact that for a really long time (and even now) I couldn’t accept the person I had become. I wasn’t the teacher I dreamt I’d be. College was no where near as easy as I’d expect it to be and I definitely didn’t expect to struggle as much. I pushed away many of my closest friends by lying and just being dumb. And, in their own way, all of these factors contributed to me gaining weight. A lot more weight than I realized. Looking back, I can see where I always had body image issues. I was always a little curvier than my friends. Areas jiggled on me that didn’t jiggle on other people. I couldn’t always buy the same types of clothes because, in my opinion, they didn’t look as good on me as they did everyone else. Back then, it was all about comparisons.
I cannot pinpoint how I woke up or when I woke up but I do remember looking in the mirror one day and not recognizing me at all. I’d look back at pictures and I would realize that I definitely wasn’t that same person anymore. And it was freaking scary. It was scary to see how different my smile was. Was I happy now? It was sad to realize that I don’t talk to those people in the pictures anymore because of something I did and it was too late to make it right. Did I know how to be a good friend? And it was shocking to feel/acknowledge that the weight I was now was no where to what I was then. The way I thought I looked back then, is what I was dreaming about now. These realizations were a punch to the gut. I wanted to run. I wanted to so badly ignore it all. But my best friend wasn’t going to let me. He has had more faith in me than I’ve ever had in myself and he told me that I needed to let go of the Heather in the pictures. I needed to love the Heather in the mirror.
Heather in the mirror didn’t know where to begin. First step, I started buying clothes that flattered and fit me and didn’t make me look like a potato sack. This has been the number one reason that I have accepted my curves for what they are. I still dislike how wide my hips are and how my stomach rolls can mess up some styles of dresses or even how flabby my arms look in some shirts. But, oh well. It’s me. And as much as I’d love to be high-school skinny one day, I realize that my high-school skinny thoughts meant no curves. No jiggle. And I don’t want that. I want to embrace my past. I want to accept my scars and wear them. I want to be a representation of normal. I want show other girls and women how curves and imperfections are what make you, you. I’d be cowardly not to admit that I struggle weekly, if not daily, with these thoughts still. It’s hard not giving in to old thoughts but deep down, I want all of those things I just mentioned.
Perhaps, once I’m more comfortable in my mindset I won’t fear adulting and I won’t fear going against other’s opinions on what I should do. But for now, I want to conqueror accepting Adult Heather for who she is. I’m not all the way there but, I am much closer than I once was. And for now, that’s okay with me.