If you could walk into a room full of strangers or meet someone on the street, what’s the first thing you’d want them to know about you? First impressions are often based on looks, right? Maybe you would see me and think “Wow, she has fantastic taste in handbags!” Or maybe you would wonder if I always wear a scarf when it’s 80 degrees outside. But most are more inclined to notice my size first.
So when I walk into a party or a bookstore, and someone approaches me, I’m more than happy to answer the questions they ask…”What do you do? Where do you live?” That is my opportunity to show them that I’m not a lazy schmuck who sits around eating ice cream all day.
It is my opportunity to prove that I’m a person who is driven, likable and accomplished.
Living in New York is fantastic, but I often wish I could wear a t-shirt or carry a pamphlet explaining my life story or at least what brought me here. Because while I’m earnestly trying to change who I am on the outside, I am definitely worth knowing because of who I am inside.
Last week, someone actually said to me “It’s too bad that you can’t look as good on the outside as you do on the inside because you’re a great person.” My response: Really? Eff you, dude. Just to clarify, the person who said this is not someone I know well, nor is he someone that I care to know well. But I did not have a witty retort like I normally would because when he said it, I knew he was right. (He’s still an a$$hole for saying that. Just saying.)
I know I shouldn’t care what other people think…blah, blah, blah. And if I cared everyday, I just wouldn’t wake up. I certainly wouldn’t make a fool of myself with my trainer in a gym full of people. And I would never have walked into a Weight Watchers meeting (which, by the way, is turning out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done — ever.) But I would be lying to myself (and you) if I didn’t admit that the way I’m perceived by others bothers me.
All I can do is change it, and if you know me, you know that’s exactly what I’m doing. And most days, I hold my head high because I face my battles and conquer them. And most people who are quick to judge me have no idea what I’ve been through or what I have already accomplished.
But those people don’t matter ultimately, do they? The ones who matter are the ones who take time to love me just the way I am — the ones who stand by me regardless of the circumstances surrounding our lives. And even on days like today, days when I feel like it’s just not fair, I know that I have more to be thankful for than I could have ever imagined.