Sometimes, it seems like things get good for a little while and I spend the bulk of my time discouraged and frustrated with everything.
For those of you that know me, you know I've been pretty self conscious for a very long time. In high school, I became discouraged with myself for not being "good enough" for several gentlemen and let out my emotion by eating. I couldn't control what they thought of me so eating became my way of controlling my life. I stopped stepping onto a scale and I refused to think about how all of the snacking and bingeing was affecting my body. I knew that I was gaining weight... I knew in my heart that I was letting myself down. I knew I wasn't living up to my potential, but I continually ignored it thinking that the right guy would come along and he would love me for who I was on the inside... not for how I looked on the outside.
My second semester of junior year rolled along and things got a little worse. I remember distinctly thinking: "Okay, it's a new semester, who can I have a crush on now?" I searched the cafeteria for a handsome face that I could set my hopes on. "He's got cool red hair... but he has too many zits. He looks dreamy... but he's a little out of my league." Then as lunch had ended and everyone reluctantly headed back to their fourth period classes.... I saw him. "He seems nice. He seems like he's not too out of my league. he seems like maybe he could like me."
I dove in head first. I learned things about him, became friends with him, gave him a special separate ringtone (even though he never called), figured out his class schedule, went to one of his concerts, tried to like his favorite music, ran into him... ALL THE TIME. I wanted him to love me. I wanted him to see through what I'd turned myself into and find the beautiful woman inside. But, I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I couldn't love myself... so I wanted someone else to do it for me.
Weeks rolled by and finally I got up the nerve to ask him to prom. He said he'd have to think about it and he would let me know tomorrow. That night I fought to clear my head enough to go to sleep. "does he like me? will he say yes? what if he says no? But if he says yes, it will be perfect, He has to love me!"
The next day my friend Jennifer asked if I'd spoken with him yet, and in a scheming friendly sort of way she advised me to speak with him. I didn't have to wait long, after lunch the boy approached me, "So, about your proposition... I'm going to have to decline, but how about I take YOU to prom and we can go in my cadillac, we'd still have to split the costs, cause I'm broke, but what to you think."
I was about to pee my pants with excitement. "Yes! sure. That sounds great."
Prom rolled around we danced. I felt like a princess. The theme was "I could not ask for more" (the Edwin McCain song). At one point in the night the whole group sat down gathering our breath and chatting... then the theme song of the night came on... Lauren Pedigo bolted out of her chair and urged everyone else to get up and dance. My date stood up and we both took to the floor. Slow dancing with him was scary and exciting. I was filled with pure bliss when he put his cheek against mine. "he has to love me," I thought. "Finally someone has seen through."
After prom, we went to our houses to change clothes. When we made it to his... both of his parents were up and as he went to his room to get dressed they spoke with me some. "Did you guys have a good time?" his mother asked. I said, "Well, I know I had a great time, but I'm not sure about him."
"Oh, I know he had a good time," She said with a smile.
we went to the after prom event and the next day, we joined a large group and went to Kings Island in Ohio... I could go on and on about this series of events all day, but the truth is, after the magical weekend was over,
Nothing happened. Two weeks past by and I hadn't heard from him. every second without him seemed like an hour, and every hour seemed like fifty years. Finally, fed up with waiting and hoping, and stalking... I approached him right before his German class.
"Hey, I just wanted to say I had so much fun at prom... and... I really LIKE you." He shrugged it off and walked into the class room. Confused, after school I sent him a text trying to tell him that I wanted to be with him... no reply. Later that night I got a phone call from him... He only wanted to be friends. He didn't think that it would work any other way.
I cried a lot.
Turns out he liked, Lauren Pedigo the whole time. They started dating that summer... and senior year they were voted "Cutest Couple."
It took me a long time, but I realized that my actions were definitely misguided. I wanted him to make myself feel better. I didn't want him for who he was. It was a complete double standard. And in the process of selfishly wanting to be loved, I gave him a big chunk of my heart. I didn't even really know him!
This increased my self doubts. I thought that if I couldn't get someone to love me... then I wasn't worth loving.
ON another instance...(The same semester)
I was sitting at lunch with Jennifer. We were laughing and talking about how black people would look if they were white and how white people would look if they randomly turned black. "Pat... him... yeah he could totally pull it off, it wouldn't look weird."
As lunch ended, I spotted one of my "Semi-friends" Austin. "You could never be black," I said with a laugh, to prove I was joking around with him.
He responded by saying: Yeah, well you'll never be skinny.
I responded with complete silence... and shock. Extremely depressed, I faked sick and went home where I Watched Drew Barrymore in "Ever After" and ate some of my mom's chocolate covered cereal snacks... only after lathering peanut butter on top.
It was a sad day. Why did every man see me as unworthy? Why couldn't they just accept me for who I was.
Why am I posting this now? Because I want to document my growth in how I handle what I think about myself, and what I have received from God.
Last Night: Nicole Thoman and I had just finished working out and were walking back to the dorm when a black truck slowly drove past us. A voice shouted out the window at me, "YOU'RE FAT!"
I couldn't hold it in and cried. I have lost a bunch of weight this year. I know I am not "fat"... at least I didn't think I was. I felt good about myself. I know that I am beautiful in God's eyes... why can't anyone else see that?
Nicole and I walked back to the dorm... me in silence, her going on about how unfair and rude guys are.
It made me come to a very cynical conclusion about men. They want barbie dolls that wait on them hand and foot. I've prayed about it since then. I've tried forgiving those that drove by and I've earnestly tried to be patient for the right guy to come around and prove that statement wrong.
But, it still isn't easy. It isn't easy trying to block out what the world's standards for beauty are. I will never be Kate Moss... I don't want to be. But the world seems to think that I should be. It is hard trying to remember, that God is the only one who will ever love me the way I need to be loved. I need to love him and love who he has made me.... not relying on what other people think. Not relying on my Junior prom, Austin, or those mysterious hateful drive-by people. They don't matter. What matters is "living a life worthy of the calling I've received"
God wants me to find love. But, I think he wants be to wait and love myself a little bit first. I am not going to be discouraged by what people say, and I am not going to give my heart to someone I know nothing about. I am going to wait for God's planning and timing.
"If you're looking for someone who will make you feel better about yourself, you will always be disappointed" America Ferrera.