Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

(Yes, I realize I missed yet another day yesterday…eh, whatever…the goal was to revive this little blog of mine, and I’m posting almost every day…that’s enough for me).  Moving on. ;-)

I’m the sort of person who projects an air of confidence to the outside world.  I’m pretty sure that the average person meeting me would think me to be strong, confident, independent and comfortable in my own skin.  In fact, if you ask most of my friends, they will likely describe me the same way.  I know this, because I’ve been told often that this is how people see me.

And some days, this is, in fact, exactly who I am.

However, the truth lies deeper than that.  Behind that confident demeanor is a shy little girl, mercilessly teased and bullied in junior high, practically invisible in high school, and still, daily, completely unsure of herself.

I am a social butterfly, but am, in truth, painfully shy.  I am the life of the party, but much prefer the position of the wallflower, people watching, taking it all in.  I walk with my head held high, but whenever I walk in a room and heads turn my way, my immediate reaction is “are they laughing at me?”

I could go into a tirade of the effects of bullying, and how it has affected me into adulthood here…but this is not what this post is about.  I could also, just as easily, launch into a speech about the detriment of the media, specifically the “beauty” industry, and how it’s made me (along with millions of other women) feel less than.  But again, not where I’m going with this.

No, this post is about growth.

It is about the change taking place within me as I get older.

And I'm not talking about external change.  I'm not talking about my weight loss.  I'm not talking about my successes as a new runner, or about my improved level of physical fitness.  I'm not talking the shape of my abs, the texture of my hair, or the quality of my skin.  I'm not even talking about the more positive feelings I get when I see a photo of myself, or catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I'm talking about internal changes.  I'm talking about the fact that there are days I realize I haven't looked in a mirror at all since I left the house.  I'm talking about the fact that I can walk in a room so much more often and not care IF they are in fact talking about me.  I'm talking about the fact that being comfortable in my own skin now means that it really isn't so much about how I look as it is about how I feel.

Don't get me wrong, the insecure, and sometimes vain girl still lives inside me, and is present way more than I would like her to be.

But every day I'm more and more able to live by this quote which has been my email signature line for years now:

"What you think of me, is none of my business" - Terry Cole-Whitaker