And Doggone It.....I Like Me
As women, we are taught...no...indoctrinated into the belief that we are flawed, imperfect....ugly. We spend our whole lives trying to measure up to ideals that are unrealistic and unattainable. We spend our whole lives disliking our perfectly beautifully selves. We spend our whole lives telling ourselves we are not good enough. We spend our whole lives measuring our worth against that of other, more genetically gifted or surgically enhanced women.
It saddens me. But I'm as much a slave to the capricious and heartless Master that is my self-image as the next person. I am every bit as bound by the conventions that I abhor as those who flock to surgeons and snake oil salesmen alike searching for the secret of beauty and youth everlasting. The only difference is that I am simply less able to indulge my insecurities with expensive potions and procedures.
After I lost 50 lbs, I got apathetic, I got lazy, and I got, once again...fat. Five months ago I resolved to reestablish the healthy habits I had formed and for five months, I have been able to maintain that resolve. I am down two sizes. My arms and legs are showing definition, my waist has reappeared and some of the back fat has melted. I'm not thin by any means, but I have been feeling empowered, encouraged, and strong.
Or I was, until I looked at photos of myself on our recent vacation. And then that nasty, wheedling, self-deprecating voice; the one that I managed to keep bound and gagged and shut away from the light of day, found me once again. It catalogued my faults without mercy.
But this time, this time..no. I won't believe it. I won't fall victim to apathy and shame once again. And so....
I am going to start my very own meme. Yes...that's right, me, the anti-meme. I'm calling it, The Stuart Smalley Meme. The theme of this meme is "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it...I like me." So, in that vein, I am going to name ten things about myself that I like. I'm going to focus mostly on the physical, because that's what tends to undermine my self-confidence the most. But you can name anything you want. Maybe you have earned a particularly difficult to achieve degree, or you volunteer tirelessly at your child's school, or you make a really great Peach Cobbler. Anything that makes you feel proud, or happy, or significant.
1. I have nice eyes. They are a pretty shade of green, and I have very long eyelashes.
2. I have good lips. They are full and nicely shaped. People pay big bucks to get lips like mine. People have, on occasion, teased me about them, but I've realized that these people are probably the sort who are behooved to draw lips on each day.
Okay, this is the point in your mental inventory when you usually start obsessing about your bulbous nose or your Melinda Doolittle neck. Resist the urge. Breathe. Focus.
3. I have thick, glossy hair, that is very, very straight. I complain about how thick and heavy it is, but I realize that it is a nice trait to have. I dye it red, but when my roots grow out, I am gratified to find that at 38, there is still no gray.
4. I have a good butt. It is, at times, larger than I would like, but it is nicely shaped, like an upside down heart. It hasn't flattened or drooped with age. Ass men really dig me.
5. I have a very small waist, comparitively speaking. This makes buying jeans a real bitch, but it saves me from looking squat, or dowdy, or shapeless, even when carrying extra pounds.
6. I'm a good writer. (Boy, that was really hard to type. Why is it so hard for us to admit that we recognize our own good qualities?)
Now I'm struggling. Six things, and I'm struggling. I am PATHETIC. AGH! I'm undermining my own meme! I am NOT pathetic, dammit.
7. I am a very determined person. I don't give up easily. That can be a blessing or a curse, but I choose think of it as mostly the former. It comforts me, because I have been through some tough stuff and come out okay. I know that if something happened to change my life significantly, I would be able to pick up the pieces and put them back together again. I would survive and thrive, and so would my children. Whatever I had to do.
8. I'm a good wife. Not a good domestic partner. I don't say that because I keep a clean house or because I cook nutritious meals or do any of the things that I do day to day. I'm talking about my relationship with my husband. I think I'm a good life partner.
Ummmmmmm.......tap, tap, tap. Shit. Two more....
9. I'm a compassionate person. Absurdly so, sometimes. Husband laughed at me while we were on vacation, because one night, I saw a turtle in the road in front of our villa. We couldn't stop immediately, but once we parked, the boys and I went back to find it and get it off the road. It was gone, and I worried all night about what happened to that turtle.
10. I'm an involved parent.
That was really hard, and it really shouldn't have been. If the task had been to list things we hate about ourselves, I could have rattled off twenty without even firing a synapse.
How can we possibly love our fellow man if we are consumed with hatred and loathing for ourselves? How can we make this life and this world better, if we are eaten up with negativity and doubt? I think a lot of the bitterness and antipahty that rocks our world every day is nothing more than an extension of deep personal dissatisfaction and disgust.
Where is the love, people?
Stand up, you. Stand up and say "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and DOGGONE it, I like me." Then give me 10 reasons why.
And this is not one of those tagged by proxy type memes either. Nope. I'm choosing five of you. Five SPECIFIC people to do this meme. And I hope you'll do it, and then choose five more. Who couldn't use a little ego boost...hmmmm?
I'm tagging Mrs. Chicky, Slouching Mom, Flutter, Nina and Natalie. Yes, I chose six. Because it's my meme and I can if I want to.