turns out, i was right.
now, it didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen completely and it didn't happen without a few considerable bumps in the road.
but since i've been here, i've learned to enter a room -- at a party, at an office, anywhere, really -- and be myself and have faith that that self will be accepted.
i unlearned 20 years of second-guessing.
i stopped thinking that every time i met an attractive man who seemed interested in what i had to say that it was because he was just being nice.
i stopped thinking that every time people found me funny, they didn't also feel sorry for me, or think of me as someone who learned to be funny as a way to compensate for physical shortcomings.
i stopped expecting to be ignored.
and i have never felt more like MySelf since childhood.
but before any one of you suggests that maybe it was just a matter of confidence all along, and that my expectations were borne out of adolescent angst and actually self-perpetuated...well, don't think i didn't wonder that myself.
but last june, i went back. i went back east to visit my family and i made a pilgrimage to stepford and made a point of Going Out to the newest Hot Spot, equipped with my re-discovered self and all those shameful expectations banished. i looked good, i felt good, and i was ready to greet my past.
and do you know what happened?
i was completely ignored. shrugged off. for the most part, men wouldn't make eye contact with me.
in a two-room bar full of maybe 200 people, at size 14, i was the heaviest woman in the place. and even though i'm 30 years old, STILL no guy was grown-up enough to even DARE to have a conversation with me. because...well...you know.
so nope. not me. stepford.
and thus, here i am in san francisco.
and interestingly, here i am ALSO ready and willing and interested in getting back into shape. now.
not because i am constantly made to feel ashamed for how i look, but just because i want to. because it feels better than not. because it looks better, too.
certainly -- most certainly -- i will never let go of the idea that my size matters. i will never think that i look just as good overweight as i do thinner. i will never be okay thinking of myself as a "big" girl. i will never not be weight-conscious, or mindful of every single thing i eat.
(hey, you can take the girl out of stepford, but you can't take stepford out of the girl.)
however, for the first time in my life, on the days when the best i can do is just walk around with it? yeah. even those days are pretty sweet.