Friday, January 14, 2011

One of My Earliest Memories...

I woke up this morning and immediately clicked my way over to my Youtube 'Subscriptions'. I saw someone had posted a video with only text. I watched, and I immediately felt like giving this person a hug via the Internet. I really and truly hate to see people in pain, whether mental or physical. I want to help. So I left a little encouragement and help in the comments and then I sat back and thought.

You know what immediately popped into my mind? One of my very first memories that pertains to weight and weight issues that I've had since childhood. Its so silly to me now, that something that happened in the 1st grade is something that has stuck with me well into my 20's. Here's what happened:

I remember I woke up that morning all happy and excited because Mom had picked out my purple stirrup pants (yes, stirrup pants...I said it) for me to wear that day. Purple is my favorite color, so I was bouncing with excitement and ready to go and show off my killer pants. I picked out my very best sweater (as it was winter time) and Mom did my hair as pretty as she could and I was off to school. I had been sick the past few days and had missed some school and a few assignments. So, my wonderful teacher sent me out to the hallway to finish an assignment on my own, as they were grading that very same assignment in class and she didn't want me to get the answers.

So, I obediently headed out into the hallway just outside the classroom door. I sat down and hurriedly began working on the assignment. I remember it had something to do with reading and writing, which were my two best subjects, so I plunged into it head first. I finished quickly and sat there waiting for the teacher to tell me it was okay to come back inside. As I was quietly sitting there, a single file line of kindergartners was passing by. I smiled sweetly and waved to them (as I was one of the nicer big kids). Then, out of the blue, a young boy in a green sweater with that beautiful white blond hair and striking blue eyes pointed at me, looked back at his giggling friends and said:

"SHE'S FAT!!!"
The other kids in line began to laugh along with him as they all continued on their single filed line's journey out to the playground. I have no recollection of what happened after that event. Did I cry? Did I get angry? Did I yell something back? Did I tell the teacher? Sadly, I don't think I did any of these things. Considering how this memory has stuck with me and affected me for so many years, I think I may have just sat there and realized that I was, in fact, "Fat".

So, what can we all learn from this little parable of mine? First of all we can state the obvious, kids are seriously horrible to one another! (haha) But nevertheless, that horrible-ness is all apart of the necessary pains of growing up. Secondly, we can learn that our words have weight to them. Words can cut as deep as a knife and affect someone for years to come.

Now, do I hold a grudge against that small blond haired boy? No. I know he was young and obviously hadn't been taught the rights and wrongs of things that we do and do not say. On the contrary, I'm thankful to this little boy for doing and saying what he did. Its no secret that his words followed me into my teen years when my depression was the worst. When I hated myself and my body the most, his words were a constant reminder that threw me into a deeper and deeper pit of self loathing.

But Jules, how can you be thankful for that???

Its simple really. In those years that were my deepest and toughest struggles. I pulled myself back up. I learned that I could change! I could be healthy, I could be athletic, I could be happy, I could be the real me that was dieing to come out. This change, this happiness, the real me, did not come easy. Its not like I woke up one morning out of the blue and said, 'Oh! I love myself today.' No. That did not happen. It took work. It took time. It took tears. It took tremendous amounts of patience. Consider this thought: Things that come easy in life are not nearly as greatly appreciated as those things that we must struggle for.

"The virtue lies within the struggle, not the prize."

1 comment:

  1. All very well said. I'm sorry that boy was rude and that It has stuck with you all these years.

    I remember back in high school.. I was like a size 16/18 then (now a 22) and I was walking the track in gym (i was not about to run lol) and one of the guys in my class (who happened to be a skeezy long haired nasty guy that I realy had never given a thought about in the past) jogged by me and said "What size pants do you wear?" and continued jogging on.

    He had no intention of really getting an answer. He was merely making a point.
    That stuck with me. as have many other moments like it. lol
    It's horrible that we go through life with that stuff engrained in our hearts. But i guess its those things that have made us stronger and the women we are today.
    However I'm still trying to make the progress You have made- so maybe one day I can look back and say "Thank you" to the people who left moments like that in my path.