If you follow this blog you’ll have seen a lot of seemingly random collages and posts from my Polyvore and Tumblr accounts. To me, it’s not that random and there is a reason. It’s not just about the clothes and pretty pictures (though I really do like them!). It’s more about reshaping how I see myself and rediscovering my body type, self image, and self esteem.
If someone, something, or an idea has inspired you in any way to do better, or strive for something then by all means GO FOR IT. In today’s world, the media is a lot less about inspiring people than it is about teasing women (and men) with the unattainable. Airbrushing, celebrities endorsing products that have no practical application in your life other than to make you feel inadequate, rail thin models that in real life should be seeking counseling for THEIR body image issues, etc etc.
I do have a counter argument for those that think the media is the devil. Moderate yourselves please. That’s all I ask. Rather than casting stones, realize that the media only puts out what they project that we will buy and accept. When we start asking for better and refusing to accept less, it would change. They are only capitalizing on the trends in cultures that we, the “public”, have created and promoted through our own actions and lifestyles.
The other side of my argument/challenge is, for every negative and ugly thing out there, find something you find beautiful or meaningful! Don’t fall in line. Express yourself. FIND an outlet!
I have chosen to take what I find from the media and turn it into something understandable, relatable, attainable, and lord willing, a little bit more meaningful. This blog is an outlet for me. I have always been a very visual person and this just helps me focus a bit and organize my scrambled thoughts.
Now back to self image & self esteem. In health class you should have already learned that those two are separate things, but two very important things. Though sometimes they have nothing to do with your looks! It’s the way you SEE yourself and the way you FEEL about yourself. I have had the lowest amounts of both for several years now. Almost non-existent. I began to believe that my goals, dreams, happiness were totally irrelevant and that life was mostly about just making it through somehow. I AM SO SICK OF FEELING LIKE THAT!
Doing better, feeling better, and dreaming again are things that I have become pretty passionate about lately. I’m not even going to talk about my marriage, because until I get all these things stabilized, I cannot expect my marriage to improve or be that sanctuary that it was meant to be. How could it be when I am going through so much inner turmoil? How can I possibly give anything back to another person, when I have left so little for myself.
So my theme has become “baby steps”. I should be very thankful that I have a man in my life that is willing to have backed off and given me space to find myself again. Last night, out of the blue he turns and says that even he noticed that I have been a shell of myself. That the past few years have really eaten away at me.
I can’t just “survive” anymore. I actually want to live! My baby step started with this very blog! While I did not believe I had anything worthwhile to say, I just HAD to get it out. For so so so long now I have bottled up almost every opinion, interest, disappointed, and stress. I thought there was simply no room in my life for all that.
The military life is a hard one. If you let it, it can take over your whole identity. We moved an ocean away from everything I knew, and by all accounts I left myself back there too. The girl who got out and did things on her own, took drives to calm her nerves, collected piles of magazines on fashion and decorating, made crazy lists of things I wanted to accomplish, dreamed about what my life could be was left behind. The woman I became (through more circumstances than I care to get into at the moment) became bitter, lonely, boring, listless, depressed, and homesick. I gave up on everything because I thought that all those things that I was interested in and wanted to do with my life were now up to the military to decide. Taking a car ride in Europe, for the most part, is NOT my idea of relaxing. I gained over 50 pounds from being sedentary and stuck at home. All the people and things in my life that held great meaning for me where now nowhere to be found. I realized that from here on out, even where I live is no longer up to me! I felt like all my freedom had been taken away. Being a military family and living overseas can feel like you are in a fish bowl. When my weight started to climb, looking at fashion & magazines made me miserable. Thinking of my future house and anything to do with decorating did the same. Where on earth would they send us next?? Call me shallow I dont care, but DAMN do I even miss shopping!!!! I feel like my independence is gone! Most people take for granted being able to jump in the car and do things for their family. Over here, it’s not impossible but BOY can it get complicated and frustrating! I can’t even depend on the medical system over here for my family and my needs! All of the resources that some enjoy at most stateside bases are systematically being shut down here to “do more with less” (as the military has coined it)
So instead of letting all of that consume me, I am going to be the woman my mother raised me to be! I am going to be hopeful. I am going to be the planner that I am. I will find away to find myself again. Baby steps. It started with a blog. Then through reading what others have an interest in, I figured out that there was at least one thing that I could control in this lifestyle, and that is the health of myself and my family. So I took back control of what we are eating and how active we are. I started to lose weight even! I found new ways to live a more natural lifestyle and just FEEL BETTER in general. Like I hadn’t been able to in a long time. Now I can finally look at fashion and design with a light heart again. I don’t feel as bitter or hopeless.
So you might find what I blog about to be shallow and without meaning, but to me it’s almost like a life line. My advice to you, is find your purpose. Find your drive in life. What makes you tick? What makes you smile? What holds your attention? What is in your power to accomplish? What will make your life a better one? It can be anything!!
Mine just happens to have always been leaving things a little better than I found them. That is what drives me. It might eventually turn into something worthwhile and benefit others, but for now I am just trying to live again.