I can’t believe I have not had the courage to write in such a long time. Something happened about a year ago and I just stopped writing. It was as if my hand became stuck inside a slab of cement. I stopped being my authentic self and just hid my thoughts in the recesses of my mind. It took a while to figure out why my passion suddenly felt like a pain. Well, after really getting honest with myself I can finally put my finger on it. And I hope it makes sense to you. So, here I go… the big reveal!
I began this blog in February 2014 with great intention which was to inspire, amuse, provoke ideas, and bring hope. The notion that anyone who would read my thoughts would definitely not know me held true for a while as my social network was small, and I was safe to reveal my insides to strangers. I wanted to inspire people through my own journey letting others know that whatever they are feeling, thinking, or going through in life, we’ve all been there, and can all get to the other side. Yes, I wanted to encourage others and bring light to darkness.
But, with life comes changes. Suddenly, my social network changed; I was meeting many people, and when they asked about my hobbies or what I did, I began sharing that I love to write, and I had this blog and so on and so on. I sure hope you are following me here. So, now, people I personally know are aware that I have this blog, and when I write they will know my innermost feelings and thoughts. These are not just acquaintances I run into at the market or post office anymore. These are friends with whom I have lunch, co-workers, and people who know it is me writing, not just some anonymous website called “staceyinsideout.com.” I am the “Stacey.” The thought of revealing a dark feeling, a sad or emotional experience, or even an out-of- the- box thought became so scary that I absolutely could not find the power, courage, or strength inside to reveal myself at all. So, I just stopped. Cold Turkey! Heaven forbid anyone knew the truth about my insecurities, fragilities, and nuttiness. But then I began to really think hard about the passion that burns inside where my dream was to move people. I mean, that’s what this entire website was all about in the first place. So, as a result, that is why I began this journey. I have to deal with my fears of putting myself into the light. I can’t run any longer from my desire to write and share my heart with others. So…what is the expression? But for the grace of G/d go I.
So…. I’ve been sitting on this thought for a really long time now. Actually, it has been since early in the year when I was at a dear friend’s birthday party. I have tried to put it out of my head, but time and time again, the same nagging pain comes back to punch me in the gut when I look in the mirror and remember the words of a “friend” who got up from her seat in a booth with five or so other friends and walked over to me while I was sitting on a bar stool waiting for another friend to join me.
“Hey, Stacey, we were just sitting over there and wondered if it hurt you to sit on the bar stool? “
I looked at my friend a bit confused. “What do you mean?”
“Well,” she said, “you are so skinny, so we were just wondering if it hurt your butt sitting on the wooden bar stool. You are just so boney.”
“Nope, it doesn’t hurt,” I said, trying to find the humor in her comment. In fact, I had never even thought of whether my butt was comfortable or not. I was having too good a time to think about myself at the party.
But…. Seriously? Take a knife, and just stab me in the gut! I had to run to the restroom, cry for a few minutes, and then attempt to compose myself.
Then, I began to think… A group of five or six women who are in my social circle decided to focus their attention on my body’s skinniness. Instead of all the things they could focus on like the food, the alcohol, laughter, fun, friends, world famine, social inequities, or homelessness. Instead, I was the focus. My skinny body was their focus.
This comment took a toll. It took a big toll. It was a smack in my face that forced me to look through my insecurity window that I had thought was covered so well.
I never told this woman how deeply her comment hurt me. I continue to wonder if it is my insecurities about my own body that cause this moment in time to reverberate through my mind on a daily basis. I am not proud of being skinny. I don’t work on it. It’s me. It’s just my body. It’s who I am. Perhaps, I don’t eat enough, or, perhaps, I am too stressed out to hold my calories. Or, better yet, perhaps, it is just no one’s business whether or not it hurts my butt to sit on a wooden bar stool. How dare this friend even ask this question of me? Should I have laughed? Should I have ignored the foolish comment of my “friend” who may or may not have meant to hurt me. This is not the first time someone has made rude or idiotic comments about my weight. I call it “Skinny Shaming,” and I think it is cruel. I would never, in a million years, dare to go over to an overweight friend and ask her if it is painful to squeeze into a booth or fly on an airplane because the seats are so small. The mere stupidity of people who sit in judgment of others is what is ruining the world. Wouldn’t it be nice if that friend had come over and asked me to join them instead of breaking me with her totally embarrassing question?
I share this story with you, not to be a victim, but to inform you that words do hurt. Words matter. In this world where women have been treated unjustly… economically, socially and the biggie women often forget about, gender injustice with respect to medical research and drug testing, isn’t time to begin to stand up for each other rather than bring each other down? There is so much negativity that surrounds our daily lives, wouldn’t it be nice to know that when we are with our women friends, we are advocating for each other, not negating each other’s self-worth by focusing on appearances? There is so much more to us than what lies beneath our skin. I believe we should bring each other up, not tear each other down!
There, I got it out. I said it. Can I move on from this comment said to me so many months ago, or am I going to keep letting it nag at me like a pain in my boney ass? I think it’s time to let it go! Yes, I think so.