I get attached to STUFF. Sometimes it is the memory of buying it. The anticipation of it being yours. Or it is the memory of the person that gave it to you. If it was someone special or a defining moment in your relationship when you received it, that only makes it more special. I have tons of “special” moments in the back of my closet and I don’t need to uncover the objects, from underneath the pile of clothes to donate, to dust off those memories. So why do I keep them? Fear. Fear that if I let go of those things, that I will let go of those memories. That the person, even if they have passed away, will somehow know and get mad at me, or haunt me ;). Fear that I need this stuff around to keep me happy. Fear that if I get rid of STUFF that somehow I will change- get harder and less caring somehow. I’ve read the famous Konmari method novel (it’s sitting beside me on the desk as I type) and I am in awe of her unflappability. She is ruthless in her approach to mementos, such as cards. I’m working up to that…. but I don’t think I will get rid of as much as she suggests.
But I have to do something. I feel crushed by the weight of the sheer magnitude of stuff that I own and the way it is scattered around my house. Looking for that important paper? Seven different places to look. That screwdriver? Could be under ten other piles of stuff I haven’t sorted through. That book? Four different places to look, my friend. Is it because I’m lazy and don’t put stuff back…..partly, maybe. But it is mainly because we have so much stuff that I am afraid to part with.
Another thing I am afraid to part with? The last ten pounds. I was there. I was getting lean and feeling healthy. I didn’t puff up the stairs and push-ups were getting easier because there was left of me to lift. So what did I do? Gained ten more. Now I am twenty pounds away from my healthy weight goal, where I felt healthiest before getting pregnant with my second child, which is a great weight for me. That weight was manageable and I had the best amount of energy. I remember that girl. Newly married and (fairly) lean, happy with herself and a good role model to her daughter. She ate fearlessly and didn’t binge when stressed. That girl wasn’t trying to be perfect, just healthy, for once in her life.
Since having my son, my second born, I think I am scared to be that girl again and I haven’t figured out why.
Right now, I can kind of blame my tiredness and lack of impulsiveness on that extra weight. I hide behind it. I am starting on new ventures and the fear of failure makes me want to hide. Chasing your dreams is terrifying, no matter what people say. I am going to say something that will make me unpopular….maybe. When I was fat or chubby I was largely ignored. I was stared at for a bit perhaps, but the gazes would quickly slide off because I was either uninteresting or they didn’t want to be caught staring at my fat rolls. I didn’t get hit on at bars or in the street. I was the fat best friend in a Rom-Com where they would chat me up in order to make my skinny friend relax before they hit on her. That was okay with me. I bet I could have brought a book to a bar and read in the corner and no one would have cared.
Shortly after I moved to Calgary, I was sick of blending in with the scenery. I was sick of being bumped in to and seen as a thing instead of a female human being. I suddenly wanted to be SEEN. I started eating less for portion sizes and taking the stairs instead of the escalator. I started dancing around in my room or going for walks to exercise. I wasn’t fat when I moved to Calgary, I was very chubby (but let’s forget labeling it from now on), and I was sick of being uncomfortable when I sat down and my pants pinched my waist. I was sick of seeing something cute at a thrift store and it NEVER being my size. I was losing weight successfully and started to feel a little proud of myself (also a scary feeling since I had always associated PRIDE with ARROGANCE, wrongly) and that’s when I met my husband-to-be. Sparks flew and we have gone through a lot together; including two kids, getting married, and moving a couple of times. My husband encourages me to be the best version of myself. He supports my dreams and helps motivate me to work out when I feel like it isn’t worth it. He is a gem.
However, I was so healthy and balanced before our wedding and I have lost that. I remember being truly SEEN and LOVED by my husband at the time and glowing in the light of it. Then, I would leave the house and be superficially SEEN by a group of guys working outside or a group of teens and the catcalls or rude comments would put a dark cloud over it. Instead of learning how to deal with the attention, I shrank from it. I hadn’t been noticed in my whole life. It was a lot to take….but I eventually chose to ignore it and worked on staying healthy…. until I got pregnant again and gained the pregnancy weight. Not as much this time, but enough. Once I had my second child, I was so busy with my two kids that I let my needs come fourth- after my two kids and my husband.
Now, I am fearful again.
So why the fear? Why the need to hide behind the last few pounds? Why did I allow myself to gain weight, enough so that my pants pinch a little again? Is it the fear of success?
I have always feared being successful. I fear of too much spotlight on this introvert, when I’ve always been the best at fading in to the background. Too much for a girl who has always equated pride with arrogance (wrongly, of course, but a mindset that is hard to shake). Fear. Fear that I will become a harder person, a less caring person; like a Disney-version of a villain (I’m looking at you Maleficent) versus the Disney-version of the caring pudgy aunt (I’m looking at you Mrs. Potts). I would rather remain the unassuming caterpillar than morph in to the beautiful butterfly.
This fear has held me back. I hold on to it, with the jealousy and bitterness that comes with it, like Gollum held the ring and whispered “my precious”, and it is just as toxic for me as the ring was for him.
Now that I have admitted it to myself- and YOU *kind* readers- I am hoping to earn my wings. “Self-reflection, healthy exercise and self-love” is my new motto. Join me on this journey. Let go of the pain and the fear and come fly with me.