Tag Archive | Self Esteem

I’m Feelin’ Myself

There comes a time in every woman’s life, that she realizes her true worth.  This moment can last a lifetime, or it can be a fleeting/passing thought.  But every woman will have this moment.  I had mine on October 28th, 2015.  After a two hour phone conversation with MM, I realized that for the 1st time since we “broke up”, I was happy again.    I was actually able to say to him, “I wish I had met you now, because I’m amazing and you don’t even get to experience that.”
5 years ago, he was the most interesting person in the world to me.  I’d never met anyone like him.  He added something to my life that was missing, in my opinion. 

I had a job I loved, and apartment that felt like home, friends and family that were close enough to see when I wanted, but far enough I didn’t have to worry about them dropping by unannouced.  I was content. Out of the blue, I found someone to share it with. I could come home, and talk to another person about my day, and know they understood my angst, frustrations, and triumphs. That’s what had been missing, and I didn’t even know that was something I needed to get to that next level. 

I’m there again in my life.  I can finally say I’m back to the point in my life that I’m consistantly happy at the end of the day.  I walk into my home that I love, after working my 2 jobs that change children’s lives, and can look around and be pleased with myself.  I’ve gotten to the point where I know who/what I need in my life at any given moment.  My emotions are no longer scary, I’m no longer compelled to eat my way through them.  I can hold myself accountable financially, and even put money in a savings account and not touch it. 

I know what I want my next relationship to look like.  I know where I want to be in 12 years.  I have a plan now.  I have so much knowledge about the wrold, and how it works.  Some of the knowledge came from difficult times, but it’s valued just the same.  Somewhere in the last year, I’ve become this new person.  This new me: She knows her worth.  She is no longer afraid to speak her mind.  She no longer hides behind ‘What I should Be,’ instead, she basks in Who I Am.

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Who Am I
1) A Social Worker – I work every day to find family members, and bring them back together.  To get kids out of the Foster Care system, and find them a forever home. I’m able to use my powerful skills of conversation, to make people look at the world differently, and use my own story to help them let go of some of their pain.  I’ve found the perfect job for me – I get paid to stalk people on the internet, then convince them to do what I want them to.  Because . . . Awesome!

2) My Mother’s Child – Personality Wise, we are pretty much the same person at this point.  She’s my hero, and I wanna be like her when I grow up. I want to raise a child the way she raised me, and hopefully make the same impact on their life that she has made on mine.  I’m so happy to consider my mother my friend now, it’s been a journey I wouldn’t trade for anything.

3) A Proud Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc – I’ve finally found a chapter that is going to help me become more active in the community, and eventually the country.  I’m finally ready to get back to that side of me, MJ the Super Zeta. I’m ready to introduce a new generation of kids to greek life.  To invite children to stepshows, and involve them in community service.  To network in the city of Tucson, and the state of Arizona. To do this Zeta thing the RIGHT way this time, and use all my life experiences to make my community a better place.

4) A Registered Behavioral Technician – I work with kiddos on the Autism Spectrum and help them to be the best version of themselves possible, be it at home, in public, or at school.  And I’m Damn Good at it. Now, I am Nationally Certified to do so.  I’ve been working with kids on the spectrum since my frist year of teaching, even though we didn’t know at the time one of my students was on the spectrum.  There is a special kind of blessing that comes from helping a child open up to the world, when they have only been in their own world for so long.

5) A Child of God – Most of my life, I’ve struggled with my religious identity.  Being raised in the church, I often felt bad for questioning certain things.  Adulthood and life has lead me to understand that God is in everything.  He/She/They doesn’t just have to live in a baptist church, or in Jesus, or in Allah.  God is Love.  God is Living a life of Service to others.  God is finding the Beauty in even the most Ugly of situations.  I can finally say, “Giving Honor to God who is the head of my Life,” and know what that means, which is a blessing in and of itself.

I’m sure there are more labels that apply to me.  These are the 5 I choose to highlight today.  Everyday, I thank God for the person he has allowed me to become, and hope I stop fighting him so much when he takes me down a path I wasn’t expecting.  I guess this is going to be my “Me at 34,” birthday blog, just a little bit early.  Thanks for Reading 🙂

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Underneath Your Clothes…

In conjunction with No Shame Day (part of Mental Health Awareness Month) ,  I’m going to share my secret shame.

I’m not comfortable in my own skin.

Since the day someone told me I was ugly, I’ve wanted to make sure know one knew how ugly I was. I wasn’t always this way. Until I was 7, I thought I was a white girl.  Not I acted like one,  but I actually thought I was white. I imagined that I looked just like all my friends. I went to private schools in my youth,  and spent my summers in Tucson,  AZ. So my peers were mostly blond haired and blue eyed.

One day,  while at my mother’s hair dressers house, her kids were picking on me as usual. Her youngest daughter said to me, “How does it feel to be that ugly and dark? You must not ever look in the mirror cuz if you did it would break.”

For the first time in my life,  I looked in a mirror and hated what I saw. Sadly,  that wasn’t the last time.

Fast forward to the year 2012. I fell in love with my best friend,  who said we would never be together because of my weight. He was a petite Mexican,  and he said I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him. I didn’t understand what he meant.. ..until I saw him dance. Then everything made sense. I couldn’t keep up with him at 378lbs. So I decided to lose weight.

I struggled for a long time before I began the weight loss process. Because part of me knew I was worth being with at that moment. Part of me felt like he should accept me as I was, and help me get to where I wanted to be.  Many people in my life didn’t agree with my choice to lose weight ‘for a man.’ But it was a choice I made because his acceptance,  his acknowledgment of me was that important to me.

I have self diagnosed for years. With the help of Nora Roberts books, and WebMD, I’ve suffered from hundreds of ailments.   But I honestly  think I have Body Dismorphic Disorder. This means that what others see and what I see are two different things.

I’ve lost 50lbs so far, and 5 sizes. I don’t see the difference. Guys compliment me all the time,  and it confuses me. The question I ask is always, Why? Why are you seeing me now?  I’ve always been here. I’m not a new person.  So why is it that all of a sudden I’m visible to the world? 

I’ve always felt invisible in my life.

Except when I am around kids. Because even though they see my size they always look past it in like the first 5mins. Kids love you blindly. Based solely on how you treat them. They don’t care about your hair or your clothes or anything.

I think I spent so long hiding behind my weight, not having that shield anymore has really thrown me for a loop.  I’m  uncomfortable in public settings if someone approaches me.  Doesn’t matter if I have put on my cutest dress, and I know I’m cute, if a male approaches me, I’m automatically weirded out.

So today, at the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month,  I’m going to acknowledge that losing weight hasn’t helped my self-esteem at all. I think its actually worse now. But I know its something I have to work on. So I’m going to. 

I wrote this while I was sitting on the recumbent bike. So that’s something, right?  I have 6 more months until I will feel like I’ve met my own goal. My weight has never been an issue,  the number anyway. Its always if my clothes look good. So if I get to a size 12, I’ll be great,  no matter what I weigh.

But I started this journey so that one person in my life would see me,  and I think at the end of it everyone will. I just have to get used to that. But I’m Not Ashamed of what started this journey in my life.  I kept going. After the first 10lbs,  after he and I didn’t work out, after the change I saw in other people. And I am still here!

I’m learning to take every situation apart, and adapt to this new thing, instead of react. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by beautiful people who brighten my days, and make even the most difficult situations survivable. We share our shame with each other. One confession at a time. And try to live everyday with NO SHAME.