I had an epiphany of sorts today. As I was walking through a local shopping center, I found myself with my eyes on the ground, moving somewhat quickly without making eye contact with anyone, trying to be invisible. Now, this shopping complex was not located in the ghetto, where one might expect a bit of quick maneuvering and people-evading in order to remain safe. No, this nearby shopping center (which also happens to be the one which houses Hubby’s restaurant of employment) is a very upscale place, defined by the marketers as being akin to shopping in San Francisco (once again, the good part of town, not the scary part.) So why was my head down? While I was bee-lining for Hubby’s restaurant, it hit me – I was apologizing for myself. I was awash with the feeling that I was in a place where I didn’t belong, surrounded as I was by swanky, skinny, trendy women, and my first reaction was to be sorry to them for being in their space. I started to think about some of the other times when I apologize for who I am and what I look like, and I was upset to find that I hadn’t even noticed before that I was doing it.
Every time I hunch my shoulders and avoid making eye contact with the people walking around me, I am apologizing for myself. When I look at my favorite pair of workout pants folded in my drawer and choose the other pair because they are more forgiving in the general butt area, I am apologizing for myself. When I don’t take another piece of something at a dinner party because I am ashamed of being the fat girl who is still hungry, I am apologizing for myself. And my epiphany was – wait for it.....I don’t want to apologize for myself anymore. Apologizing for who I am isn’t making me any better liked, by others or by myself.
So I will walk with my shoulders back and my head up, and I will look people in the eye and let them know that I am there. I will wear my black stretchy workout pants to the gym, and if anyone has an opinion on my butt or my thighs, that is their problem (unless it is a good opinion, at which point they may by all means share it with me.) I will eat more if I am hungry, regardless of whose company I am in or how I think it makes me look.
I don’t want to be sorry to be me anymore.