I read this amazing online blog post today by an amazing person. Brittany Gibbons writes a blog called "Brittany Herself" among many other things. She is a firm advocate of loving yourself no matter what you look like, what age you are, how skinny or not skinny you are, she gives fashion advice to those of us with larger figures and she makes everyone laugh with her struggles to love herself.
She is a wife, a mother, a daughter and an Internet friend to many. She's a Midwestern gal who replies to comments on her blog and Facebook page, she is semi famous in the Internet world and as time goes on she will be even more so. She is unapologetic about being herself and loving her body and that is why I follow her so regularly.
She wrote today about a young boy who was bullied and his quote "I didn't feel this was my place to be." She extrapolated on his feelings of unease in life and she described hers. As I read her words, her problems fitting in, the teenager being fake just so maybe she'd have friends. I felt like I was reading about my life. She even talks about being an adult and not being the typical suburban mom hanging out with old college friends on rare weekends or not being part of a group of couples meeting on Saturdays for barbeque's and picnics.
I have never had anyone put into words so easily what I have lived with my entire life. Her article is here: The Internet is a place for real by Brittany Gibbons . If you have ever felt like you didn't fit in, as if you weren't were you were supposed to be than read this! It will open your eyes to the fact that you are not alone...
I have always felt alone. I have always felt as if I was supposed to be somewhere else, to be someone else. I don't fit in anywhere. I know how to laugh, how to go out and hang with people a few times a year, I get along pretty well with my family and we have a TON of great times, I am a good mother, I love my husband dearly, I do my job well and I get decent grades in college...but I am always on the outside. I don't like walking into crowded rooms full of people I know...yes people I know. Strangers don't bother me at all. However, ask me to walk through the cafeteria at my work, during a busy lunch hour and I won't do it.
Much of my life has been spent not fitting in, over-reaching in friendships and relationships to just feel like a normal human being. I don't make friends easily. My social graces are pretty much nil. I have been married three times just trying to make a place for myself... a place where I felt I belonged. It wasn't until my daughter started school and began to communicate that I felt I had a place in this world, a reason for existing. Much of my life was spent just trying to get through, just trying to do something right.
I am a mother now. A damn good mother. But I am also a person with dreams, goals, health issues galore... I am facing the last part of my life know, this is simple truth. I am still trying to complete things, to leave this earth with a piece of me that is REAL, that is WHOLE. I have a job that is not the greatest, it is by no means challenging enough, nor does it use anything I believe I'm talented in but it pays my bills, it keeps me and my family in insurance, it is a place where I feel comfortable, and a place that I can belong in. My daughter is my one true light in life, the inspiration that keeps me going after my college education and better opportunities. My husband is my best friend. He doesn't push me to be something I'm not, he simply takes me as I am.
Physically, I may never get over the feelings of inadequacy I have about my shape, my size, my large chest, my bigger than necessary butt, my round stomach and chunky legs that can't fit into boots. I have not figured out how to accept the body that nature gave me which when combined with the awful physical side effects of the multiple drugs I take to stay alive causes me to be bigger than I'd like... However, I am a person. Inside the fat I am someone with thoughts, feelings, huge health issues, dreams, goals, and hope...
I don't know if I've found my place as well as Brittany Gibbons has. I don't know if I'll ever be as comfortable with myself as she's been able to be. I don't have the Internet following that she does. I don't have friends surrounding me that I can call in the middle of a Saturday and say "Hey want to get some coffee, I have some time here, I'd like to see you..." I'm not sexy or beautiful anymore and flirting is no longer part of my vocabulary.
BUT---- I am able to walk into a classroom and sit for hours on end digesting theories about Kurt Vonnegut in one class and deciphering industrial psychology in another. I study hard, I spend time budgeting for a family on one income, I share countless moments with my daughter. And when I feel as if I'm not in my place... I just sit back and remind myself--- It's okay, I'm okay, I'm alive, I'm still walking, working and finishing school. I don't need to be anything else but okay... okay is my place to be.