Enough.

When I was in Grade 7 a boy in my class looked at my legs, skinny and scabbed and bruised by the outdoors, exposed by a pair of shorts in the heat of early summer.

He asked me why I didn’t shave them.

I turned bright red, felt shame.

I went home that night and shaved off the blonde fuzz that was so humiliating.

When I was in Grade 9 I bought a crop top and wandered the neighbourhood, perfectly flat belly exposed, testing the value that being sexy would add to my worth.

I grew out my hair, popped in some contacts.

I learned to put on a show, my actions monitored constantly by the director in my subconscious – how do I look to them?

Add a swing to the hips, a smile to the lips, a downward cast eye when your head should be held high.

(Beauty must suffer, after all).

Where did this come from, this knowledge that to be “enough” you must be pleasing?

Why was I convinced that my worth came from my lips, and my hips?  My hair.  My eyes.

I wasn’t very good at being that girl, I wasn’t raised to minimize myself.  I was raised by women who shouted from rooftops, who demanded respect.

And yet I knew that my worth was from how pleasing I could be.  Pleasing to look at, pleasing to speak to.

One day I wasn’t pretty anymore.  My body shifted, morphed, dissolved.

And then I had no worth left at all.

I could never be enough.

I am enough.

(Tell me I am beautiful, go ahead.

I won’t hear it).

Loving My Inner Monster…

I lied.  I didn’t return the red dress.

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I was going to.  It was all packed up and ready to go.  And then I posted my blog and friends started to tell me to wear the bloody red dress.  Some of my favourite comments…

  • “With a dress like that who needs Tinder?”
  • “Oh f*ck.  You look hot.”
  • And, from my BFF: “When your tits look like that, no one is going to notice your stomach.”

So I hemmed, and hawed, and planned to wear something else.  But at the last minute (literally) I grabbed the red dress and wore it.

It was a hit.

Here’s the thing my friends.  I’m sick to death of feeling bad about my body.  I’m done.  I refuse to do it anymore.

I saw this sign the other day on Pinterest.

(Yes, we’ve covered this, I’m an unashamed Pinterest addict).

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This sign really spoke to me.  You see… I allowed my inner monster to be the loudest voice in my head for most of my life.  Things that my inner monster told me…

  • “You’re fat”
  • “You’re stupid”
  • “You’re boring”
  • “You’re lazy”
  • “You don’t deserve better”
  • “People don’t like you”
  • “They are all laughing at you”

The list could go on and on.

Growing up PE was hell because I was so self conscious that all I could think about was how stupid and uncoordinated I was and how everyone must be laughing at me.  Inevitably this made me worse than I ever should have been.  (Let me take a moment here to apologize to any of you who were ever on my team).

As I’ve grown older the voice telling me that I was fat and unattractive has become the loudest voice.  I made it okay for others to treat me this way.

I’m sick to death of this voice and I’m letting it go.

I think that I have seen and known too much of the way that our bodies can betray us.  Our bodies get sick.  They hurt for no reason.  They will put us in the hospital or onto horrible medications.  They will take us away too soon.

I don’t trust my body to not let me down.

And so I’ve continuously let it down.

I have spent most of my life as a brain that is being carried around.  I haven’t reveled in the physical.  I have tried to keep in shape and to feed myself well… but more often than not… I have failed.

My body has been an inconvenience.  I have treated it as such.

So that little monster who tells me that I am fat?  It’s probably kind of right.

But I don’t freaking care.

My body is here to take me places.  To hike in the mountains, swim in a lake, kayak in the ocean.  To work and to play.

We grow up hearing about diets, and Spanx, and those pesky last 10 pounds.  This thinking becomes a part of our consciousness.  Hell, I’ve tried every diet there is.

Why don’t we change our language surrounding our bodies?

  • “I want to hike a mountain this summer”
  • “I want to run a marathon”
  • “I want to put time and effort into my food because it sustains me”

Spin it so that we aren’t looking at our bodies as objects that should be a certain way.  So that we look at them as something to care for and to use.  Let’s teach our sons and daughters that caring for themselves is what makes them beautiful.

I’m done feeling bad about how I look, telling myself bad things.  It’s a tough habit to stop.  But I’m learning to be confident.  To say: “This is who I am, take it or leave it”.  It still shocks me when a man finds me attractive and I need to get over that sh*t.

So I wore the red dress.

The Thing Is? It’s So Not Me.

I bought the most ridiculous dress for New Years.  Red, tight, cut down to there, with a slit up to here… It’s quite the dress.  And I’ve been trying really really hard to like it.

The thing is?  It’s so not me.

The dress is packed in a box and will be on it’s way back to whence it came on Monday.

I have often wanted to be a red dress kind of girl.  The kind of girl whose hair is done perfectly everyday.  Who has make-up that doesn’t smudge.  Who understands what the hell contouring is.  Who gets a monthly mani/pedi instead of a bi-annual one.

I want to turn heads when I walk into a room.

The thing is?  It’s so not me.

No matter how hard I try there is always going to be something amiss with an outfit.  I will have a run in my pantyhose.  The shoes won’t quite match.  The dress will be something from the thrift shop that I adore and my friends can’t quite understand.  My ratty pink purse will be put with it all regardless of whether or not it’s colour coordinated.  I’ll be covered in paint or pen or cat scratches or bruises (and don’t bother asking what they’re from… I have no idea).

I hate doing my hair.  It’s always wet from the shower when I leave the house and is lucky to have seen a brush.  It has never, and will never, see a bottle of dye.

I wear mascara because my eyelashes are too blonde to be seen.  That is… I wear mascara when I remember.  Even then I sometimes get to work and realize that I missed one eye.

I love clothes and I have a ridiculous collection.  They may not be trendy, but I love them and they are mine.  They come as much from the Thrift Shop (and random hand-me-downs) as the mall and I don’t care.  I’ve grown into the fact that I don’t need to be trendy if I love what I’m wearing.

(Go ahead, make fun of my military style jacket: it’s my prized possession).

So the red dress is going back.  I really admire the girl who can wear it – she rocks.

As for me, I’m going to wear my little demure lace dress.  Or the hot pink one.  Or the sweater dress that I teach in.  Or that stripey one that hurts everyone’s eyes.

Whichever I choose though?  I’m wearing these shoes with it.  Because they are my new favourite thing.

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