I is for.. Image.
As in self image. Of which most of my life I have had a poor one. I never felt pretty when I was growing up. I always had plain clothes, and plain hair, and all my friends were prettier than I was.
Then I had a life trauma that caused my self image to go right down the drain. At the same time, I was developing. I was the only girl in the 6th grade with large ladies, and I hated it. I started wearing big shirts, and baggy everything.
Have you ever watched What Not To Wear? They show you how wearing big baggy clothes makes you look awful. It's true. And when you see yourself looking awful like that it doesn't help your self image any. I wore long shirts to swim over my suit, I wore tee shirts all summer because I didn't like tanks, I wore long shorts and baggy sweatshirts and I was.. well.. frumpy.
It wasn't until I met the boy that I started to overcome this. He made me feel beautiful. When someone you love greets you with, "Hello beautiful, or goodnight beautiful, or Yes? Beautiful.. when you ask them a question.. very slowly you start to believe it. Very slowly you start to think that maybe you are OK. Maybe your body is fine, and you can come out from your shell. You think to yourself, maybe it is ok if I wear this shirt that clings to the ladies a bit. Who cares who sees them, and that they are big.
I have been with that man for 13 years now, and over that time (and yes, it took a LONG time) I have come to realize that I am ok with myself. I like who I am and how I look (mostly). It's ok to wear stylish things and dammit I am worth something. I am very grateful to that boy.
One thing I realized today at school, is that my daughter will never be like me. I thank God for that. She is a beautiful young girl, and she is very in tune with herself. She will get up in front of people and sing her heart out, or give a speech at morning assembly on Fridays, or lead the new student around the building and introduce them to all her friends. She is not shy, and she has a huge heart. I am so happy for her. (she's on the far left)
We watched her and her group of classmates show off a dance they are learning through a local college sponsored program at school at the talent show this afternoon...and I remarked to a coworker how proud I was of her. I am thrilled to death that she has the self confidence to get up there and do that, along with the out-goingness to be able to perform in front of the whole school. And she remarked back that last year, I got up in front of the whole school, and then the community and performed a part in the staff play. A part that was changed the day before the show because one of the main characters couldn't make it and would I step in and learn her part? I guess maybe she's more like me than I think. More like the real me, that is finally starting to come out of her shell.