Grain of Sand

Here are three things I didn’t think were possible:
1. That someone could have a crush on me.
2. That someone could look me in the eye and tell me I’m beautiful and mean it.
3. That someone could love me for the rest of my life.

I want to focus on number 2 for today.

I’m not beautiful. I know that. I’m not conventionally pretty. I’m not the blonde haired, blue-eyed bombshell. I’m the dishwater brown haired, grey-eyed, mediocre-looking fat girl. I have a pretty face and that’s about it.

I know beauty isn’t about looks, at least not all of it. Some people are beautiful on the inside, too. Some people are ugly on the inside. I know I’m not ugly. I don’t really think anyone can be physically ugly. Although, I will admit, some people’s babies are hella ugly, and I feel terrible for those parents because they know…they just don’t want to face that reality. Sometimes a baby looks worse than a sack of potatoes.

So I’m not ugly. I’m not flawless. My form is imperfect. I have rolls everywhere. It’s gross and I hate it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate myself for the way I look. The truth of the matter is, I’ve always been this way. It didn’t matter how many sports I played, how often I went to the gym, what I ate for however long…I’ve always been fat. I think that’s what I hate: the fact that I’ll never be regular sized. I’d honestly be happy if I wore a size 14 jeans. But I can’t. I’d always imagine myself skinny, but my body isn’t meant to be skinny. It’s meant to be fat.

Is it even possible to feel good about one’s body anyway? I don’t think that anyone likes their body. People are always trying to lose weight, get bigger, stronger muscles, get the six-pack abs, get the pelvic “v” thing on dudes. I think it’s a losing battle. Yes, its good to go to the gym. Eating whole foods, high in nutritional vitamins and low in sodium and bad fats is good. Staying healthy is always a better life style option.

I do those things as often as I can, with being a college student on a dwindling budget. Going to the gym is hard with my class schedule and after-class schedule colliding, but I go when I have time. I do the cardio and weight lifting. I eat salads with no dressing and all the good stuff in it. I get a healthy amount of REM sleep. I drink only water. I’m losing weight. I’ve lost 16 pounds in a year. That’s it. That’s a little more than one a month. I hate that all I’ve managed to lose is 16 pounds. And I really can’t tell. Maybe it was all in my boobs or something… My pants sill fit like they used to. My shirts still fit the same. I hate it.

If I hate something about myself, I need to change it. So I am. I try to muster up enough motivation to put yoga pants on, then I have to go to the gym. It works every time. I climb the stairs up six flights every time I come into my building, no matter how heavy my backpack is.

But back to feeling beautiful. It’s hard to feel beautiful when I feel like I look like a beached whale. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe him when he tells me that he thinks I’m beautiful. I know that beauty encompasses a lot more than my physical appearance. I’m funny, sarcastic, gentle, and generally down-to-earth. I don’t have a problem with my personality, and that shows through my physical insecurities. I don’t feel so bad about myself when I remember that I can make people laugh or that people don’t care what I look like when I’m listening to their problems.

Why does life have to be a contest? Why do people do beauty pageants? If I ran against a blonde bombshell in a beauty pageant, I don’t care if her talent was baton twirling or doing a cartwheel or any other lame skill, and she was super impersonal and cold, I’d still lose. I could win over the judges, answer their questions with gusto and honest clarity, wow them with my awkward jokes or something, and have the crowd laughing along with me. I’d lose every time because I don’t look like I should.

I don’t want to have to compete with some perfect Barbie in life. I just want to be myself, my healthy, but fat, self. The reality is, I can’t. I have to work so much harder than those other girls in life. It’s easy for a pretty girl to make it in life. I have to go above and beyond, which is good, I guess. Maybe being fat makes me work harder for what I want because less people want me. If I can work harder, more efficiently, and connect with people better than the other posh Barbie, then maybe I can be more of a role model.

No woman wants her children to look up to someone who had the world handed to them. They want the women who worked hard to make it in life. They want the ones that overcame the astronomical odds stacked against them.

The world isn’t against me, per se, but they sure aren’t working with me. It’s just enough friction, enough pressure, to push me ahead, to make me work harder than other people, to make sure I get where I want to go, to make sure my dreams don’t stay dreams.

Maybe one day, I’ll be able to honestly look myself in the eyes and know I’m beautiful. Today isn’t that day. But I know that diamonds aren’t made overnight. I don’t even like diamonds… Okay, so a pearl. Pearls are just a grain of annoying sand that managed to get into the oyster…like a pebble in your shoe. It’s annoying, it hurts, and it irritates your every move. The world really is my oyster, I guess. Everything in the oyster is trying to get the nasty grain of sand out, but instead it turns into a beautiful pearl. Somehow, a grain of sand become worthy of value. We are all grains of sand, but some of us get to be pearls someday, and I hope I’m one of them. I hope you’re one of them, too. Then maybe we can end up on a string of beautiful, imperfect pearls to be worn around someone’s neck with pride.

Be beautiful, you’re own kind of beautiful. Be yourself, your best self. Be the pearl, but not the fake pearl; be the real one, with perfect imperfections.

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