my 12-year-old perspective of myself at 12 years old
- my thighs are so much bigger than everyone else in dance class.
- i have to be a "base" in cheerleading because i'm too fat to be a "flyer."
- if only i could buy my clothes at "xyz" store, maybe i'd be more popular.
- the girls on my cheerleading squad don't like me because i don't go to their school.
- mom says boys like me, but are intimidated by my being smart.
- i hate being labeled "smart"
- i have to make straight As. no exceptions.
- i need to be perfect.
yikes. it still saddens me to reflect.
what i wish this 12-year-old girl only knew
- you will fail in life. and you will survive.
- you are not defined by your body shape or size.
- popularity has nothing to do with material possessions or location. if it does, you don't want to associate with those people anyway.
- your gpa will only get you so far. your future employers have no interest in it.
- being "labeled smart" isn't a bad thing. it gives you respect in many cases.
- perfection is unattainable.
- oh, one more thing: in about two years you will meet the love of your life. definitely something to get excited about.
the good part of all this? it's the past. it is does not have to be the future. every day is a new opportunity to live, love and hope.
for many reasons, i'm glad my first child is a boy. i pray that wells will be spared the plagues of body image issues and mental illness.
accepting my changing body has been a challenge. some days more than others. i rely on information about health and this process to keep me focused. (and the fact that my husband can't take his eyes off me and always wants to touch me--while at times a nuisance--doesn't hurt.)
it helps to focus on the truth, what i know to be absolute:
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward." Psalm 127:3