Not many people are aware of how much I struggle with my weight. Inside my head I have been overweight since I was fifteen. I don’t think this is actually true though.

Before I started high school, before I hit puberty, I was barely a size zero. I fully believed I would be able to fit into a size two my entire life. I weighed 98 pounds when I was a freshman and I thought I would always be small and always be able to eat however I wanted. My sophomore year I was having some knee problems, so I couldn’t be as active and I remember being in my english class and looking down and for the first time noticing my stomach. I wasn’t fat. But in my mind I was.

I remember going shopping for shorts with my mom when I was 16. I was doing physical therapy to repair my knee that I had messed up running track, but I was the largest I had ever been. I tried on the size that I thought I should be and it was way too small. This is one of the reasons I won’t buy pants from places like JC Penney or Target, because their sizing is off. A four at Old Navy is an eight at JC Penney. Trying on a six at 16 and having it be too small shattered me. I felt so fat. But a six is not even large. It’s barely considered a medium. But my head believed I needed to be a two, which I will never be again.

My weight has gone up and down over the years. I’ve been in really good shape and I’ve been in terrible shape. I’ve gained weight and I’ve lost it and people have noticed. All I want now is to be healthy.

This year I started a bullet journal, and I’ve dedicated one of the pages to trying to reach my goal weight. I have no idea if I’ll reach it, because muscle weighs more than fat, and who knows if I’ll lose motivation. I want to weigh 130, because I feel like that’s a good weight for my height. However, muscle weighs more than fat, so if I drop in size but not weight, I guess that’s okay too. I guess I just want to see if I can do it. I want to be accountable.

So here’s to 2019 and health and happiness. I want to be my best self.

Things I am Self-Conscious About

I think it might be human nature to be self-conscious.  We are ourselves, so it makes sense to be most aware of ourselves.  And we are the most aware of the things that other people don’t notice.  Most of the things are stupid.  Some of them would go unnoticed for years if we didn’t point them out.  Some of them aren’t even real.  Some of them aren’t noticed, even if we do point them out.
So here are a few things that I’m self-conscious about:

1.  I have a lisp
When I was a kid, my lisp was really bad.  Now that I’m older, not many people hear it.  But I hear it.  I hear it in recordings of my voice.  I hear it when I talk to guests.  And as soon as I hear it, I try to fix it, but when I try to fix it, it gets worse.
I was telling this story to my manager one time.  I used to work at a camp in Sonora.  One day I was in the snack bar with a girl that I worked with and it was really slow.  We thought it would be funny if we used accents when we talked to guests.  “Or we could have lisps!” She announced.  “Oh wait… sorry.”  She apologized when I gave her a look.  I laughed.  This story makes me laugh, but my current manager told me, “You don’t have a lisp.”  He fully doesn’t believe in it.  He can’t hear it.
My best friend can hear it, but only when I point it out.
Really, I’m self-conscious about my speaking in general.  I talk fast.  But I work in customer service, and I often deal with foreigners whose first language isn’t English.  So I try to speak slower for them, but it’s a heavy effort.  When I get excited, I speak much faster.  And I mumble.  I trip over my words.  Not always, but enough for me to notice.
I also talk too much.  I have so many things on my mind all the time, that I just want to say them.  I find myself annoying.

2. My Handwriting
I have terrible handwriting.  I mean, terrible.  It’s legible.  But it’s really not pretty at all.  And it’s inconsistent depending on my mood.  I look at it and cringe.  Thank God we’re beyond the days of guys asking for a handwritten number.
The worst part about this, is that I’m a writer.  I write all the time.  I heard that messy handwriting is a sign of intelligence, but it still doesn’t make me happy.  Maybe I should have been a doctor?

3. Texting People First
I would much rather give people my number than get theirs.  Unless I am standing with them at the exchange and text them right then.  I hate texting someone I’ve never texted before, or someone that I haven’t talked to in a long time, and them responding with, “Who is this?”  It makes me feel so awkward.  Like, why do I have your number?  Are we friends?  Most of the time, I don’t even want to respond.  Which is probably more awkward.

4. Dancing/Playing sports
So, I’m not a horrible dancer.  But I hate when people watch me, or if I feel like people are watching me.  If I’m with the right friends, it’s great.  Most environments, I’m too self-conscious, so I’d rather stay in my seat.
As for playing sports, I used to be good.  I had fun.  And I still have fun, if we’re just messing around and it’s not competitive.  But if I kick the ball wrong, or if I fall while snowboarding, or miss a block in volleyball, I don’t want to play anymore.  Unless I can laugh about it.  If you’ll laugh with me, I’m fine.  If you’re mad, or if you give me a hard time, forget it.

5. My Appearance
Obviously we knew this one was coming.  Every female, scratch that, every human, is critical of their appearance.  But I didn’t used to be.  When I was younger I thought I was pretty.  I thought I would be thin forever, which is kind of what my mom told me.  I had always been active and eaten whatever I wanted.  I had clear skin.  I looked great in a swimsuit.
And then that slowly started to change.  I stopped swimming competitively.  I went through puberty (dear god).  I hurt my knee running, so I had to take some time off.  But I still ate what I wanted.  I have my mother’s hips.  And I’m short, so I feel as if my body is disproportionate.  I’m not even fat, but I feel like I am.  We all feel like we are.  I hate my stomach.  I hate my legs.  I hate my butt.  And I hate when people draw attention to my body at all.  Girls do it far more than guys do.  But I just wish I could hide.
And my skin is not clear, not all the time.  It’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.  I don’t break out nearly as bad as other people, but if I get one spot, I mess with it, and it only gets worse.  And I have moles on my face.  They’re not harmful, and aren’t even that bad, but I am very aware of them.
I obsess over every stray hair.  I have never had good hair, and I am shocked when I hear that people actually do like my hair.  I’m lazy, and I do nothing with it.  I just dye it a lot, because I get bored.  Really, I probably shouldn’t have hair at all.

But none of these things make me a bad person.  They don’t make me ugly.  They don’t make people like me less, even if I sometimes feel like they do.  They won’t keep me from finding someone to spend my life with.  They don’t affect me as a writer, and they shouldn’t affect me as a person.
Remember that you’re beautiful.  Don’t sweat the little things, but that’s just what they are, little.  No one notices but you.  And if they do, they’re not worth it.

When a Stranger Speaks Your Name

I’ll rest in this a while
Although I’m not sure what this is
A stranger passing spoke my name
Without ever saying a word

I find myself unable to move
Carrying a weight of a land that I never knew was home
My heartbeat is this rhythm
The beat of the rain on the roof over my head

There is a love here that took me away
A longing that aches for a return that is on its way
Could you ever know it?
Wake up and hear this song

These words slap you across the face
Yet gently tuck you into bed
Somewhere safe to lay your head
As you belong here

A welcoming with open arms
An unexpected arrival
A pasture to lay down in
Sectioned off fields of fairness

Floating through every step
As if a ghost lives inside of me
Maybe it’s time to start listening
When strangers call my name

Whispers of warmth tracing across the cracks in this cobblestone heart
Hearing angels pulling at the seams
Take off your coat and feel the mist
Be ready to experience a homecoming

You don’t have to know where you are
In order to know that this foreign land is your home
Your entire life you have been on holiday
Let the prodigal return

Ireland waited for you
Embraced you in her loving arms
Not ready to let you go
Hear her in the whispers of strangers