Saturday, 6 May 2017

What this photo taught me

I took this photo last week and I just wanted to share a little bit about it because it's been on my mind so much.

The night I took this; I was going out for dinner with some good friends that I hadn't seen for ages. I was on holidays and I wanted to see them so much that it overtook most of my usual social anxiety feelings. Feelings that, simply because it was in public, would normally cause me to not really look forward to it, but I'd go anyway and just handle feeling a little sick and on edge the whole night, wanting the ground to swallow me up. 

Anyway - despite this, it was actually still a very real effort to go out. I'd been almost completely bedridden for 2 days - (bad back stuff again, I'll fill you in on my next post) - but it had been bad. 

I hadn't brushed or done my hair in a couple of days. It was in half a falling out pony tail that had been slept in twice and was further messed up from being stuck in bed during the day, not being able to move. And I'd also had a physio session. 

I'd managed to leave the house that morning, to get to my GP and a chemist. It wasn't exactly a social occasion, so I didn't care about how I looked, and did nothing to my hair. It was bed hair DOUBLE PLUS.

Later on though, when I was getting ready to go out for dinner, I threw on my 'black uniform' (just for something different) :( and knew that I had to at least pull my hair into a complete pony tail, or do something. It was acceptable to be at a doctor surgery looking like a just woken toddler, but not at a restaurant. Pass the bottle of milk. 🍼 

Anyway, I managed to do that awesome girl thing where *sometimes* a Long Shot Hair Punt (LSHP) works: I pulled one hair tie around my mop to one side with a strange twist, and it actually transformed into that semi dishevelled look that we always aspire to achieve but rarely pull off. 

You know, that style that you get when you throw your hair up to have a shower before bed, or shove it back with an old bandana to clean the house....and it accidentally looks FREAKING AMAZING. Yes it's always awesome when this happens, but more often than not, it happens at those times where you're not going to see ONE PERSON. The 'messy on purpose but actually looks good' thing never happens just before work or brunch or before running down to the shops in your active wear. It's rarely caught (read: admired) by anyone. So many wastes... 

Anyway, even though LSHP's are hard to do, this night I managed to do it. Well, on my left side anyway. My right side was still half-bed-head-kinky-wash-your-hair-Kate-bogan: but let's just focus on the positives in this post.

I added a few bobby pins and voila! LSHP was pulled off! 

Anyway, as I was rummaging through my bobby pins, I saw a big white flower clip / fascinator that I have for Melbourne Cup days. 

I was feeling pretty gung-ho about my instant bed hair transformation success, that, looking back, I think I started getting a little ahead of myself.

Looking at the huge fascinator, I caught myself thinking: "nah, I couldn't wear this, it'd make me stand out too much, as well as: "I'm too big to wear this".


As I picked it up, I noticed another flower clip underneath. It was a lot less Melbourne Cup size, and I must have forgotten that I owned it, because I started admiring it as if it was the first time I'd seen it. It was really pretty and I can remember now why I bought it. (Years earlier).

I asked myself whether I should clip it into my half fixed bed hair.

And again, I found myself pausing and wondering whether it was appropriate...for someone like me.

Like what? A female, a girl, a woman going out for dinner with friends, who would be surrounded by love...why wouldn't I?

Because, of course my first thoughts were that I was too big to wear it. You know, because hair gets fat too. :/  I thought of it as one of my pretty accessories that I'll wear again when I'm at a size that I'm comfortable in. Because fat girls can't have pretty hair? 

Yes, I know how this all sounds. I'm just sharing what was genuinely going through my mind. And I realised in this moment that I have to be kinder to myself in terms of my appearance. Aka, take more pride - even if it's just in the areas that I can at the moment. Basically, don't save up the pretty flower hair clips for when I'm a Size 12. 

The other thing for me as well though of course, was that I didn't want to draw any attention to myself. When you have social anxiety and are morbidly obese, you already feel like you stick out like a sore thumb. You never want to do anything to draw more attention to yourself than is probably already happening. This night I also had my limp - I left my one crutch in the car, but I was still walking like Bambi. I was definitely going to be sticking out already.

But something inside of me - I don't know what yet - personal growth (?) clipped that flower in my hair and I LIKED what I saw (on my left side anyway - remember we're ignoring my right). :) But I wore it out and it made me feel good. So good that I took this photo in the car as I left my place, and have kept glancing at it since.

I don't really have a summary to conclude this post, and don't know if I've conveyed what I felt that night, but I hope that someone can relate.

I need to stop saving my accessories for when I feel confident in myself. Okay, the clothes I like simply have to wait. But there are other things that I'm 'allowed' (and able) to use right now.

I have head bands, ribbons, clips, earrings, bracelets, rings, scarves, sunglasses and more that I love. I haven't bothered with a lot of them for ages. When you're obese and want to blend in, I don't know - I guess they're just things that you put aside. Well, I have.

Maybe like a 'nothing can spruce this face up so don't bother' type of subconscious internal self belief. As sad as that probably sounds.

I guess this clip reminded me that I'm worthy of feeling okay about myself, even if it's only 1% of me. 1% is better than 0%!

The funny thing was that night, that I'd messaged my friends earlier to fill them in on what was going on, and said that I was still coming but I wouldn't be staying long because I was in a lot of pain.

In the end, I was the one who kept talking, who kept bringing up new stories, that kept us all there for longer than probably even the others wanted to stay for. I was more chatty than I've been in a while and left late, at the same time as everyone else.

And I truly think it was thanks to the 1% confidence that a basic flower clip helped bolster up in me that night, and caused me to think a lot more on after that night.... :)