There are a few things things that have been on my mind for months now and I am about to tell y’all about one of them. This might go a bit deep for a blog and perhaps even a bit personal, but I am willing to put it out there knowing that it’s possible that the entire world could read this if they wanted to. I am not intending to offend anyone, but maybe just asking you to check yourselves.
I recently visited the school I last worked at just to say hi and to show Piper around. But when I came home, I found myself wanting to do something, suddenly I wasn’t content with my current situation. I wasn’t sure what, but I wanted to work again. I felt that I was becoming worthless. The last entry on my résumé, if I were to go and apply for a job would be from over 4 years ago and I felt needed to do something about that. Brian replied, “That saddens me. I hate that you would find your worth based on what your résumé looks like. You are so much more than that. Who cares what they think.” Apparently I did. I find myself in introductions saying that I used to teach before being a stay-at-home mom, because I feel the need for people to know that I actually had a career I guess.
In the past year I have gained weight. I am not happy about it, but I was happy to get some answers from the doctor. We are working on treating some of the hormone levels that have gotten out of whack with pregnancies and hopefully shed some of these pounds. Not an easy thing to talk about, but I know I am not alone in this struggle. It is a struggle to meet people and know that they don’t know what the “old” me looked like. It is a struggle to not say, “Hey! I didn’t always look this way. And pretty soon, I’m hoping you will see what I used to look like!” I want to tell them that I actually ran a half marathon this year and that in the process of training I didn’t drop a pound. I want to tell them that I don’t eat processed foods, and that my diet would having you scratching your heads at why I am not thinner. I want to explain away just because I care that much about what others think about me.
Some of my friends struggle with not owning a home and feel that their place is inadequate. I know others who feel lacking because they didn’t get their degrees. Sometimes I find myself out-of-place if I think I am not “trendy” enough at a particular store or restaurant. For some reason, I have allowed these areas where I am lacking, whether it be lacking in appearance, or education, or home ownership define who I am as a person. It changes the comfort level of how I feel in my own skin and how I feel with my identity.
This is humbling. It’s humbling because I think it shows me that my discomfort comes from my own thoughts. Being a home owner? Not a struggle! I don’t put emphasis on that. I don’t think others look at me and my house and say, “Wow, did you see her place? I would not be able to live there. Her living room is the size of my closet.” Maybe someone is saying that, but I don’t care. I hope someday I will have a house of my own, but I see our life as too up in the air to settle down in a house right now (oh yeah, that and the fact that we really can’t afford to buy where we want to live). But I do care what people think about me and my “job” as a stay-at-home mom. I care if they think I am sitting on the sofa eating bon bons and watching soap operas. I do care if people are thinking, “She sure did let herself go. I would hardly recognize her.” I care about these things probably because I am guilty of having such thoughts toward others.
I am sure we are all guilty of having judgmental thoughts, and those thoughts are probably the same as your struggles. If you feel that you could never be seen shopping at the Dollar Tree, then it is probably because you have certain judgmental thoughts toward people who do. When I was thin, no one would have thought that I overeat, but now I think about and care about those individuals that think that. Why?
I don’t know. I do know that I shouldn’t. I know that when my child goes off to school and comes home saying, “Joshua told me I wasn’t smart”, or “Lisa said that my hair looks like a bird’s nest and that my nose is crooked.” I will tell my child that it doesn’t matter what these people think about her. I will tell her that she has a purpose on this planet and that she can’t let these people stop her from fulfilling her job. I will remind her that she is a child of God, and a beautiful gift to her parents.
I needed that reminder.