This is my book bag from high school. I loved this book bag and carried it proudly while sporting my Guess jeans and feathered hair (and Swatch watch and blue mascara and everything else that was awesomely 80s).
Now, welcome to 2015.
My son is a high school wrestler and had a tournament last night at my old high school. I was excited to not only watch him, but to also go and sit in the gymnasium of my alma mater, walk the halls, and reflect on sweet memories of my high school years when I was my son’s age (he is a Freshman). My high school years truly hold some of my dearest memories; my friends from high school are among my best friends today, and my big brother (one year older than me) is still my hero. Those were some very good years!
To get in the spirit of the occasion last night, I carried my old book bag and feathered my hair (oh yes I did). I was going to wear my old Guess jeans (I still have them and can still get into them) but decided against it. The zippers on jeans "back then" were a lot longer than they are these days so the waistband nearly touches my boobies which is uncomfortable. Also, the back pockets on jeans "back then" were not sized nor placed in flattering spots. What was the deal with those tiny back pockets placed so high anyways? Mercy.
Not to be a buzzkill, but you know one is coming. Right!?!
As I sat on the bleachers last night taking in the old sights and smells, I looked over at the doorway of the girl’s locker room and my tummy suddenly had a wave of nausea recalling my freshman and sophomore years’ gym class. You see, I was the fat kid so gym class was a horrifying experience. My mom handmade my shorts for gym class because I was chunky and had a hard time finding clothes that fit - even in the “plus section." (She handmade my jeans too – complete with the fancy stitching on the back pockets to look like Calvin Klein jeans which I could not fit into either.) Changing clothes in front of the other girls in the locker room was devastating for me. Participating in gym class was even more devastating because I was so uncoordinated and everything jiggled when I moved. (As a side note – my gym teacher was a dead ringer for Beulah the Ballbreaker from Porky’s. No joke.) You get the picture.
I tipped the scales at 200 pounds my sophomore year of high school and I was only about five feet tall - complete with braces and all.
Oh yes I was.
As I sat there last night looking at the door to the girl’s locker room, and that wave of nausea took me back 32-33 years, I suddenly felt a sense of peace because I’m not at that place emotionally anymore.
These days I will change my clothes in front of other women at the gym and I can buy my shorts off the rack. I’m certainly not a swimsuit model, but I’m OK. And I was OK back then too – I just didn't see it. "OK" is not in the size of clothes you wear – "OK" is in your heart. I did not have a size issue as much as I had a heart issue. My 14-15 year old self was not capable nor mature enough to understand that, but she understands it now. I am not fully recovered emotionally from being the fat kid, but for the most part – I’m OK. I’m still working on getting in better shape and losing a few extra pounds, but I think it will be a lifelong journey and I’m not sure if anybody every fully “gets there.” I still wish my belly were flatter and my rear-end were tighter, but for the most part – I’m OK.
"Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be."
— Rick Warren
Fast forward 2015.
I’m about fifty pounds lighter, five inches taller, and a billion times more at peace with myself.
I’m not where I want to be, but I am a LOT further than I used to be.
Growing up is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!