You know how when you’re a teenager, you “find yourself”?
I was a weirdo goth kid who had way too many pictures of Marilyn Manson up in my junior high locker and had a different colour of hair every 3-5 weeks.
And then when you’re in your 20s, your university years, you’re supposed to like, travel and “find yourself” again?
Well, I finished my Bachelor’s degree and then went on a crazy amazing adventure to Glasgow, Scotland, to get my Master’s in Playwriting and Dramaturgy, with some stops in and around Europe along the way.
But all of a sudden, here I am at 26 and I’m kind of feeling like honestly, I got nothin’.
I’ve been working toward a huge weight loss goal this year, and I’ve lost about 65 pounds and counting. If you don’t see me often, you probably have no idea, because I’m not very vocal about it. I totally get why people shout about their weight loss from the rooftops, and I know what a huge accomplishment it is, and how much work it is, and therefore how much it should be celebrated, but I think it’s just such a personal thing for me that I tend to keep it on the DL. If someone asks me, I’m more than happy to chat, but I would never bring it up otherwise.
Except here I am bringing it up now. (Oops.) Because it’s presented an unexpected – and yet fairly intense – hurdle in my life.
I’ve shrunk out of all my clothes.
I know, it’s awesome, right? For the first time (literally) since I was a child (literally), I can now shop in the non-plus-size stores (I call them “normal” stores – it’s fat-girl lingo that actually makes no sense, because what’s normal?) I’ve always dreamed of shopping at. I can buy things at Victoria’s Secret instead of paying way too much for bras at specialty shops (yeah, my tits have shrunk – it’s hilarious, but true). It’s like I have an entire world of options to choose from, and I know I should be thrilled about it.
I mean, okay, I am, but also, I’m really, really not. Because here’s the thing: all of a sudden, I feel like I can finally choose my own style rather than settling on one from very limited options, and all of a sudden I feel like I have no idea who I am. I think I’ve cried more in the past three months trying to get ready to go out than I ever have before, and I get doubly sad because I know I’m crying over something I should be happy about, and because I’m somehow simultaneously the most comfortable and uncomfortable I’ve ever been in my own skin.
It feels messed up.
I’ve never had the choice to just be who I want, present myself exactly the way I want to and in a way that feels right, because I’ve always had like, two stores to shop at, often with very little that appealed to me in stock. And the few things that I did love, that I really felt like “myself” (?!) in, have now been donated away because they’re 3-5 sizes too large for me.
But also not.
So, weight loss, I have discovered, is kind of like a giant mind fuck. It’s a daily identity crisis I fight with and against, and it has somehow made me more stressed about shopping than ever before.
This is what I wore today. In this photo, I am wearing a pair of hand-me-down jeans from one of my dearest friends (who has also shrunk a lot and has – THANK GOODNESS – passed lots of clothes down to me, saving me tons of $$), and a thermal shirt that I bought last week.
I bought the shirt because (a) I liked the colour, (b) I liked the pattern, and (c) it looked really warm and potentially comfortable to sleep in, too. That’s how lost I feel sometimes; I couldn’t decide if I was buying a shirt to wear or sleep in. (Are you allowed to do both?)
So today I needed a quick outfit to run two errands in, and I threw it on.
And then I stood in my mirror for at least five full minutes (that might not seem long, but try to look at something for five minutes, especially when you’re stressed about it – it feels like AGES) wondering, is this me? Is this my style? Am I a girl who goes out to run errands in thermal shirts? Who is a girl who goes out to run errands in a thermal shirt? Does it even make a difference? What is WRONG WITH ME? And I freaked out and worried and freaked out and worried and then I decided to try to get the fuck over it and get on with my day.
(And then I tried to not look distressed and snap a sassy shot of it in my bathroom. Because I decided it was time to write this blog post. Pure class.)
So it’s kind of like that’s become my goal now: trying to get the fuck over it and get on with my day every day. But I will keep hoping for the day I feel like I know who I am on the outside (because I know who I am on the inside, and always have – again, THANK GOODNESS). I’ll also keep hoping for the day I can escape the fat-girl mindset (SPOILER ALERT: I never will, and I’m okay with that, but also not.)
It feels messed up.
But it’s gonna be okay, I guess, right?*
*Thanks for talking me through that, guys. Who needs therapy, AMIRITE?!**
**I’ll try not to be so emo tomorrow. Maybe I’m PMSing, etc., [insert other stereotype about women here].