I am not the size of my pants.
I am not the number on the scale.
I am not a quitter.
I am not a flake, though it may seem that way sometimes by my actions.
I am not a person who has completely figured themselves out yet.
I am not my anxiety.
I am not less than because of my gender, my age, my job, other’s opinions of me.
I am also not my job. My job does not define me as a person.
I am not failing.
I am not all of the cruel things others have said to me over the years.
I am not the small person I feel I am when others seem to have better things to do than listen to me or have a conversation with me because I don’t fit their M.O. for being “cool enough.”
I am not ungrateful, though I certainly don’t say thank you as often as I should.
I am not the harsh thoughts my mind tries to tell me I am sometimes (fat, stupid, ugly, worthless).
I am not the additional weight that my body has collected over the years.
I am not my stretch marks, my cellulite, my bulging bra, or my dark circles.
I am not JUST anything. JUST a receptionist. JUST a woman. JUST an overweight person. JUST.
Here is what I am:
I am a woman. I am a 27 year old woman. I am a 27 year old woman who lives in Chicago. I am a 27 year old woman who lives in Chicago and is married. I am a 27 year old woman who lives in Chicago, is married and has two cats. I am a 27 year old woman who lives in Chicago, is married, has two cats and works by day as a receptionist. I am a 27 year old woman who lives in Chicago and is married, has two cats, works by day as a receptionist and is also a musician. I am a sister, wife, daughter, friend, aunt, cousin, co-worker.
I am overweight. I am overweight and ready to lose the weight I put on. I am overweight and ready to lose the weight I put on and spend way too much time reflecting on what others may think about my weight, and not enough on what I want to do about it. This is unfortunately something I define myself by. I hope this will not be the case forever.
I am kind. My heart is larger than life, sometimes it scares me how large it is. I take on other people’s moods. I am deathly afraid of other’s opinions of me, even though they do not matter in the long and short of life. I spent my childhood being rejected by many people that I loved and because of that I spend my adult life pursuing friendships, but cautiously, so as not to be rejected in the same way again.
I am genuine. I don’t know how to manipulate others and even if I did I wouldn’t bother with it. For me, being straightforward and honest is my preferred way of living, even if oftentimes that makes me an over sharer. I’m okay with that. I’d rather others know too much than too little.
I am smart. Smarter than I let myself believe I am, because again, I like to remind myself that I’m nearly 28 and JUST a receptionist. But I’m more than that. I help others and talk with people for my job. Since moving to Chicago I have been able to become a part of a professional network to do what I love. I know how to successfully run a business but I’m so terrified of failure that I won’t try. I read and absorb books like water and I can memorize text in 10 minutes flat. I may not always remember your name, but I’ll remember that story you told me 10 years ago at that bar where we got way too drunk and drank way too many shots. I often overlook my experiences as less than others, though when I hear them listed off to me by proud parents or my husband, I often wonder if I heard my accomplishments from others if I would be impressed.
I can be lazy. Sometimes my voice gets too loud. I don’t always do chores the way I should and my husband ends up taking on the majority of the housework. I can’t wear a pair of flats more than twice without them getting a little smelly. My idea of a perfect evening is parking it on my couch watching reality TV with a rotisserie chicken, potato wedges and a glass of Pinot Grigio (or three). I sometimes don’t think before I speak. I can be forgetful. I’m not great with money, but I only spend on little things.
But I am also thoughtful. I meticulously think out gifts to get for my friends, even if it means spending my last dime to make them smile. I feel like my favorite TV characters are friends of mine that I can always go back to on a bad day. I can make a pasta dish like nobody’s business, and I will make sure your wine glass is always full. Sarcasm is a fluent language for me, and sometimes people don’t know if I’m being serious or not. I am a Christian, but it took me a long time to feel like I was, because after I got depressed I felt like I had a strained relationship with God. I love my cats more than I probably should.
I’m quirky. I’m lucky. I’m thankful. I’m working on it. I’m getting there. I’m me.