What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?June 12, 2020
One of the most common questions I’m asked in interviews is “what would you tell your 12/14/16 year old self?”
The answer has become increasingly clear to me.
Because at varying body sizes, stages of life and appearances, I have made the choice over and over to not be a participant of life because of how I felt about my body.
I did it before children.
I did it after children.
I did it in a large body, a small body, a medium body.
I did it in the summertime, the fall, winter and spring.
I did it in toxic relationships. The healthy ones, too.
I made a choice, to not show up. To hide. To sit in my own fears, which I understand were heavily influenced by a society that profits from these types of feelings.
I don’t get the chance at those memories again.
I don’t get to relive my children’s childhood with them and be there more, as I chose to sit in the sidelines instead.
I don’t get to go back and celebrate my body at all sizes, because I was too busy hating it at all sizes.
I didn’t allow myself love and intimacy in the ways that served my body and soul, because I was too worried about what the other thought, what the other felt.
I didn’t allow my memories to swell full of the real stuff. The conversations, the laughter, the food, the moments. Too many of them, even when I look back at the photos, I just remember the shame I felt about ME.
It’s difficult in a world that makes you feel like your body is the most important part of you, to remember that it’s the least interesting anyhow, (@beauty_redefined) it is not an easy task.
To remember that when you think of those you love, and list why, their bodies don’t land on the list.
That perhaps why we are held with love in the right ways by others, our bodies do not land in the “why”.
It is not easy to stop putting our bodies in the forefront of our minds, when that feels where validation and acceptance lives the most.
But for the memories we all deserve to make, and the loved ones simply waiting for us to be in them,
I can tell you now, it’s worth it to try.
(Disclaimer: pic was edited to remove my daughter as she did not consent!)