… and it is not possible to find it elsewhere." ~ Agnes Repplier
Just a heads up, this is one of those I'm putting myself out there blog posts.
In Friday's post, I wrote "I met a new guy I'm sort of interested in. As suave as I'd love to pretend to be, I'm not and my insecurities regarding my looks came into question. His text message back to me was, 'Well, get over it. 🙂 Every guy likes a girl who likes herself. Cuz if you don't like you how do you expect others to like you.'
First, I'm not going to be able to get through this post without mentioning the new guy a time or two, so I'm going to nickname him Marshall because he's into martial arts.
Now that that's settled….
I've been turning over Marshall's comment in my mind a lot since I received it. I was super impressed that this guy, who's actually closer in age to my sister than he is to me, not only had the balls to call me out whenever my insecurity reared it's ugly head but that he also told me not what I wanted to hear (I won't deny I occasionally go fishing for compliments) but what I needed to hear. And so even if nothing ever materializes between Marshall and me, I will always like and respect him for those two reasons. The second reason I've been turning over Marshall's comment in my mind so much is because I know myself well enough to admit: I'm not my own biggest fan.
Don't get me wrong. There are things I truly like about myself. I think I'm a good writer, I know I'm a great cook (hey, my size should go a long way in proving I can cook), and I love my sense of humor. I'm of above average intelligence (most of the time), quick to grasp new concepts, friendly, and there's no denying I'm outgoing. I could go on about more things I like about myself, but I'll preserve what modesty I have left.
Yet I am sooooo quick to jump to the, "It's not him/her, it's me!" point the minute someone says something I personally deem to be a criticism. Case in point: I had said something to Marshall about maybe getting together one of these days and his response was somewhere along the lines of that he was too busy at this time between work and his martial arts training. I immediately took that to mean he was rejecting me. A very nice interchange followed and that's when Marshall made the remark about how I needed to like myself before anyone else could like me.
But it's sooooo hard. And yes, you can picture me using a whiny junior high voice because hey, I deserve it.
I don't have the greatest self-confidence. In a society where looks are deemed the deciding, determining, all encompassing factor, it's extremely hard for a plus-size woman to have self confidence. When you're raised by two parents who were both very body beautiful focused, having a chubby kid garners a lot of criticism (remember when I mentioned my mom used to tell me I could be so pretty if….?). I felt like a constant disappointment to them despite the fact I got good grades, was well liked by both my teachers and my peers, and played piano well.
And while it's embarrassing to admit, I will admit to a certain level of promiscuity in college and beyond. If a guy I found even remotely attractive showed an interest in me (yes, even Sasquatch was deemed attractive with the help of alcohol), chances were high that I'd embrace my inner wanton and go a lot farther than was healthy in the hopes the boy would want to date me. YES, I completely understand this is self-destructive unhealthy behavior but again, I was in college and therefore, slightly delusional.
When I met Dipshit, I was ripe for the picking. He was my first boyfriend, my first love. He could've promised me a pig farm in the hottest, humid-est, mosquito-infested part of the world and I would've followed him anywhere I was so desperate for someone to love me.
What a crock.
I will one day write a blog, or perhaps a series of them, regarding my relationship with Dipshit. It's too much to cover in this one post but our relationship goes a very long way down the road to my self-worth issues. Suffice it to say, he was someone who consistently chipped away at my self esteem (probably in an effort to get me to break up with him but who knows), cheated on me, and chipped away at my self worth some more.
While we were going through the divorce, I once asked why he didn't want to at least try working on our marriage. He looked me up and down and scornfully declared, "You're just not worth it to me."
And I believed him. Sad to say, but in many ways, I still believe him.
It took me two years after the divorce was final to start dating again. I just wasn't in the right place. And again, I won't deny that once I did start dating again, I may have unleashed my inner wanton a time or two (or acted like a horny slut, whichever you prefer to say). I dated a married guy, and by dating I mean we went to dinner, did the movies a few times, went to bars, slept together, etc.. For two years. He's since divorced his wife and has a new girlfriend after telling me, "You're a good friend, you are, and I enjoy talking with you. I'm just not romantically interested in you."
I've been hit, I've been hit! And no, I won't deny the hit could have come from Karma.
I've made a few other bad mistakes since my divorce (anyone care to take out a hit on Mike for me?). And I've made some really good mistakes, too (there's a certain guy out there who shares my birth date whom I will always think of when I hear Sheryl Crow's "Favorite Mistake").
But the biggest mistake I'm making is not liking myself. So instead of finding a man who is going to wave his magic wand and try and make me feel better about myself, I'm going to get to know myself better. And while I may not like every aspect of myself (because really? I'm not perfect and I already know that and I'm not going to pretend to be), I really should at the very least like myself.
And Jen, while I realize you've been trying to tell me this all along, it's very different coming from someone whose known you all of two weeks and not thirty-two years. Love you!
And Marshall, thanks.