Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Denise chose: Write a breakup letter. It can be to a person, of course, or to a place or a thing.
Do you remember when you ran your first marathon in 2011? Shortly after, you wrote an inspiring post regarding coming to terms with the way you view your legs. You talk about appreciating them. Respect. That running for 26.2 miles had given you a whole new meaning when it came to what God and genetics had handed you, one appendage at a time. You said, and I quote: “I think it’s time I go put on a pair of shorts.”
It’s been three years, and you are back to where you started. I think I can count on one hand how often you’ve worn anything above the knee, and those long jean shorts from Old Navy don’t count. Whenever you have sported a summer dress that might show some leg (let’s get real here, nothing has ever shown even a remote amount of leg skin) it’s been inside the confines and safety of your own home. You wouldn’t dare show thigh. Not even in a hot yoga class where the temperature is 105 degrees. You always wear long pants.
Your husband knows this. Your friends know this. Even your own children know this. Anyone who knows you, knows that you never feel comfortable showing your legs, and the big question is: Why?
When did this paranoia begin? I know you look at yourself in the mirror and see a lot of lumps and bumps from the knee up. Truthfully, you always have, even in your teen years when you had nothing even remotely resembling cellulite. Even if you had, did it really matter? Right now, does it matter? I don’t think anyone cares. The world does not revolve around your backside. There’s no reason to be so hard on yourself, to work yourself into a frenzy on whether or not too much back leg is showing.
Recently, you went shopping with a fashionista friend of yours who wanted to help you out by helping you pick out cute clothes. Help you think outside the long-skirted box. She persuaded you to pick out a dress that was way above the usual “down to the ankles” length you are comfortable with, and you nearly hyperventilated when you walked out of the dressing room and showed her the dress. On you. Bare legs and all! You wanted to believe her when she told you how great you looked, but you didn’t. All you could focus on were your stems protruding from the dainty fabric, and while buying the dress, you wondered if you’d even wear it once you took it home.
Listen, no one is telling you to stop wearing jeans or long pants, or long dresses. You can wear whatever you want. You should wear whatever you’re comfortable in. The issue is the insane notion you have in your head that you don’t deserve to wear anything that shows your legs, because you legs aren’t worthy enough. That’s simply ridiculous. No one should have to feel that trapped within their own body and mind to feel as though they aren’t worthy, no matter what. You don’t judge someone based on their physical attributes, so why do you punish yourself by doing that very thing to your own body and soul? Why are you so hard on yourself?
It’s time to stop this insanity. It’s time to break up with the negativity. Break up with the barriers, the stupid rules. The focus has been your legs for many years, but you and I know it’s other things too that you feel you aren’t worthy to have, or to showcase, or to believe in or achieve. Your legs are just the catalyst, and it’s time to unburden yourself. You took that first step towards freedom recently when you bought an actual pair of shorts that YOU picked out. White ones that rest mid-thigh. No one else noticed when you wore them, and that’s the point. NO ONE ELSE NOTICED. You were just another leg baring citizen on God’s green earth, trying to keep cool in the hot summer sun.
Embrace what you have, and who you are. Appreciate what you’ve been given, not just in a physical sense but in all aspects of your life. You are a brave, beautiful soul and people are going to love you for who you are, not because of the appearance of your legs or the shape of your body or any other stigma you’ve come away with over the years. It’s hard to let that go, but you can and you will. I know you will. If someone doesn’t like what they see, they can kiss your dimply ass.
I’m breaking up with myself, in a sense. My old self. And I’m going to love who I am. Legs and all!