My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Eating Disorder recovery’

For the love of Peter Pan…IT’S A FOOD BABY!

Hey friends!

So…

funny story.

When I was at work today, I was asked the one most taboo-no-no-off limits-what are you thinking-have you been sniffing paint again-question. The one question that you, me and the next guy or gal must never, ever, neverevernever ask someone. Like, ever.

A woman came through my line at Tarjay, her cart full of beef jerky, apple sauce, toilet paper and duct tape. I always get a kick out of some of the combinations of items that guests purchase. There was once a man who had, and I am not joking, three 1 gallon jars of hot sauce and four giant bags of marshmallows. A new spicy take on the s’more perhaps?

This particular woman looked to be in her thirties, give or take a few years and seemed very nice. We were making small talk (“Can you believe how nice it is outside?!” “Are you going to watch the Oscars tonight? That Bradley Cooper is one fine piece of actor is I ever did see one, isn’t he?”) and everything was going along swimmingly until these words escaped her mouth…

“I hope I don’t offend you, butt…”

Now. Anytime this phrase is uttered, one can assume that nothing good can come from it. In fact, you can almost guarantee that you will be offended in some shape or form. This was no exception, however what this woman would eventually ask I never in a million bajillion years saw coming.

“I hope I don’t offend you, butt are you pregnant, miss?”

PREGNANT?!?!?!

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

I stood there. Just stood there.

Unless I pulled a Mary Magdalene, then yup. I am sure.

Unless I pulled a Mary Magdalene, then yup. I am sure.

At first I wasn’t sure if I heard her correctly. She didn’t just ask that question, right? Anyone who’s anyone knows NOT to ever ask that question.If anyone knows that unspoken cardinal rule, it would be a fellow woman, right?!

The woman didn’t waste a lot of time before she followed up with, “You have such a cute little belly. And you’re positively glowing!”

PREGNANT?!?!

WHAT?!?!?!

I looked at the woman and said very calmly (or as calm as I could), “No ma’am. I am not pregnant.” I could feel my face turn a shade of scarlet red, my palms started sweating and I think I may have sprouted my very first gray hair. The woman of course apologized for implying such a thing and seemed to be pretty embarrassed by the whole thing.

At that moment a Rolodex of comebacks spun through my head, things I wanted to say, should have said but probably would have gotten me fired. For example:

“Cute little belly?! It’s called a food baby, lady!”

“No, I am not pregnant. Are you?”

“Willy Nelson called. He wants his mustache back!” *Note: This lady did have the biggest, fuzziest caterpillar of an eyebrow (just one. A big ‘ol uni) that I ever did see! It was actually quite impressiveimages

Oy.

The whole situation was pretty funny, but you know what was even more so? The fact that I didn’t allow her comment to make me feel bad. Not at all. Before, I might would have took that as a sign that I was the word that shall not be named. No. Not Voldermort, but a word that is equally as negative. The “F” word. FAT.

Sure I have a little more padding on my bones now. I have a bit more junk in the trunk and a little pudge around the middle. But you want to something else? I am strong and healthy, and am able to run and bike and swim and wrestle with my dog. I eat what I want, when I want it simply because I can. Because this body needs and wants those yummy and delicious nutrients (whether they come from Mega Stuffed Oreos–HAVE YOU SEEN THESE HEAVENLY COOKIES?! A unnecessary necessity for sure!–or green beans). And that glow? Well I think that stems from pure happiness. photo4-630x470

I may have a food baby belly, but gosh darn it all to Reese’s Pieces, I earned that food baby belly! And you know what else…..

WHO CARES?!

Not this gal! And nor should you. Or you. Or you. We all have those days where our hair will not cooperate whatsoever even after a bottle of hair spray and our clothes fit a bit too snug. We all have our flaws (caterpillar mustache eyebrow included),  but those flaws are what makes you and you and you unique. We should embrace them, not hide them or be ashamed of them!

And we all should feel free to eat a big breakfast or lunch or dinner (or brunch or linner or lupper) and let that food baby hang out, baby! Just let it out! (Wow. That sounded better in my head but a tad weird in writing, no?)

But promise me one thing, k?

Neverevernever ask that question. Like, ever!

I hope you guys have a great rest of your night. I fully intend on planting myself on the couch with a big bowl of ice cream (after all, I am “eating for two” now) and geeking out to all three hours of Oscar mayhem! Helllloooo Bradley Cooper ūüėČ

Question of the day:

Have you ever been asked an equally embarrassing question? Have you ever asked an embarrassing question?

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My New Year’s Wish

happy_new_year_charlie_brown

As we approach the end of 2012 and embark on a new year, a fresh start, a grand beginning, I have one final parting thought for all of you….

Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself.

New Years to many is the prelude to second chances, new beginnings and fresh starts. If you think about it, that is what life is all about isn’t. But why wait until December 31st of¬† every year’s end to challenge yourself to new experiences, opportunities and goals? In the same respect, why pressure yourself to do things that you don’t think you are ready for or even need to do?

Instead of focusing on the negatives, think of the positives; all of the exciting things, wonderful things, things that will make you happy and fulfilled in the new year to come. And once you have thought of those things, go after them! Don’t hold back! But most importantly, DO NOT feel badly if you don’t accomplish them right away or even at all.

The major lesson that I have learned this year is that when you are ready to do something, when God is ready for you do do something, you will. It took me nearly ten years of my life, 10 YEARS, to finally be “ready” to kick my roommate, my eating disorder to the curb once and for all. I struggled for so long, fought and battled and raged war on ED, often feeling defeated or even hopeless that the day when I would be healthy and happy and ED-free would ever come.

But you know what?

That day came!

It finally came!!!537524_911715843832_1708376582_n

2012 was a year of victory, of accomplishment, of triumph and opportunity. It was a year that I kicked some serious ED ass (pardon my French). It was a year that I finally began to live. I took off my foggy glasses, tore the chains from my hands and lifted that ginormous boulder from the top of my shoulders. It wasn’t easy by any means; in fact, it probably was one of the hardest years of my life, but it was because of that struggle, that fight and that war that I am where I am today, this December 31st, 2012 a whole new gal!551502_876808678072_1414670172_n

A gal who isn’t afraid to go to town on a giant burger and fries.

A gal who doesn’t stress about the size of her pants.

A gal who appreciates every waking moment for what it is, not what it could be or was.545493_963375916632_828531675_n

In this thing called life, there are no definite rules; we can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of. And if by some chance you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again until you do.

Happy New Year friends!

Let’s make it great!

No, let’s make it the greatest!

Thank you to all of you, my dearest friends and family for being my rocks, my inspirations, my hope and my strength. This year wouldn’t have been what it was without all of you!!

Angry Birds

Anger (noun):

  1. 1. A deep and strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong, injury or injustice; wrath; ire.
  2. 2. An emotion related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied

No matter how one defines it, I have always had a hard time with the term.

You see, I have always been a very positive person.¬†I choose to look at my glass of¬†chocolate milk half¬† full, to smile whenever I can, to laugh at myself when I fall walking up¬†the steps (which has happened more often that I want to admit) or any other slightly embarrassing moments that for some reason, have a way of finding me. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, to believe the good in¬†them.¬†I don’t like confrontation. Life is too short to¬†harbor¬†on the negatives in your everydays.¬†¬†Part of this positivity¬†persona that I have accrued in my almost 25 years has also caused me to be weary of this emotion.

I¬†can’t think of a time when I¬†really got angry. Believe you me, there definitely have been times when I have gotten pretty upset;¬†the time my dog Thunder¬†decided to eat¬†all of my new Victoria’s Secret underwear to bits (maybe that was her secret–that her skivies served as dog treats as well), the time my sister snuck into my closet and ‘borrowed’ most of my clothes to take down with her to college, when the Brewers decided to leave their A-game at home during the last few games of the championships last year or when I stubbed my big toe on the dresser (boy did I have some choice words for myself then) all come to mind.

I have¬†gotten upset. I have¬†gotten angry. But I never really have allowed myself to show it, to express it. I don’t even think I have ever yelled.¬†In the past, I¬†tended to hide this emotion, to ignore what I was feeling and try to move past it. Whether it was¬†directed at someone or something, I have always chosen to take the passive route, to almost forget what it was I was angry at or for. I didn’t want to stir the pot, to speak up, to be the¬†‘bad cop’.¬†I¬†think a lot of this had to do with ED; she silenced me in more ways than one.¬†I became afraid to¬†say what I needed and wanted to say or think because I wanted to be everybody’s best friend.¬†If there was one thing that scared me more than anything, it¬†was¬†the idea of someone¬†being mad at me or, heaven for bid,¬†not liking me.

In the process of kicking ED’s ass to the curb (pardon my French), I have gotten stronger (and I’m not just talking about the serious guns I am now sporting–which reminds me, I should really get a licence¬†for those puppies). I have taken off that muzzle that ED placed on me for so long and am learning to be more assertive, to not just sit back and watch life happen with no say or input from me, but instead grab a hold of the horns and take that bull for a ride. As hard of a pill to swallow as it is, I¬†am also learning (I say learning because I still have a slightly hard time with this. But I promise, I am working on it) that not everyone is going to like me.¬† After all, would I really want to be friends with someone who didn’t like me for me? Nope. Nadda. Negativeo. I am so very lucky to have such an amazing group of friends and family who do love me for the crazy and silly gal that I am and that is really all I can ask for.

I¬†am recognizing¬†that anger is not as negative as I thought it was. In fact, it is healthy to feel and express this emotion. It prevents you from keeping it inside until it eventually explodes like Mt. Vesuvius–and that would just make for a lot of unnecessary¬†vacuuming and Mr. Cleaning and really, who wants to do that? If it is a person that you are angry with, it also allows them to be made aware of your feelings and can help them make positive changes. Now I wouldn’t suggest going all Naomi Campbell and throwing a cellphone at someone’s head whenever you get a bit upset, but I would suggest allowing yourself to feel, and show your anger in a healthy way.

I’m not going to lie, this is going to be a challenge for me.

But I am up for it (that’s what he said–sorry, I just couldn’t resist)!

After all, if it is perfectly acceptable for some birds to get angry, surely it is perfectly acceptable for me to do the same, right?

Have a great rest of your Tuesday guys!

Question of the day: Is there any emotion that you have a hard time feeling/expressing?

That’s the Plan, Stan

Hey guys!

I hope you’re having a great Sunday!

Let’s talk about plans, shall we.

Merriam Webster defines it as this:

Plan: A method for achieving an end; an often customary way of doing things; a detailed formulation of a program of action; an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective.

The term itself stems partly from the latin word planum meaning ‘level ground’ and from the french word planter meaning ‘to plant’ or ‘fix in place’.

Most of you already know that I am a planner. In fact, I think my¬†middle name is Plan (along with ‘Danger’ of course). ¬†For as long as I can remember, I have been this way. I think I was the only sticky-fingered¬†kindergardener who scheduled what they were going to do at recess before even setting¬†foot on the playground. I collected Lisa Frank¬†pocket planners not only because they were, like, the coolest things ever, but because I actually used them to keep track of my homework assignments and daily reminders (Tuesday: HUGE Spelling test–STUDY! Thursday: Eating lunch with Billy at the cool table–remember to bring extra pudding cup to share. Friday: Remember to bring cupcakes for Valentine’s Day party.)¬†I guess I have always liked having a set direction, a course of action. Even though I still consider myself a planner, I have learned to be a bit more spontanious in how I go about my day to days. It’s important to be able to take things as they come and be open to anything and everything. After all, you can schedule and plan and follow everything to a tee, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be thrown a curve ball every now and then. You can only control so much and then you just have to leave the rest to the big guy upstairs (and I’m not talking about your unruly neighbor who finds it necessary to blast Queen at 3AM in the morning while dancing around in his underwear–Mr. Cashaw, I’m talking about you and please, at least consider boxers for the love of Pete.)

What’s that expression? You make plans, and God just laughs?

Speaking of God, he is another person who likes a good plan.

Recently, a couple of things have happened in my life that really got me thinking about the idea of God’s plan. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason; there is a purpose and a meaning behind every action and experience and situation that we are given. I also believe that God has a plan, an amazing and wonderful and exciting plan for each and every one of us. He may not always present this plan in the most blatant and obvious of ways, but it is there. It is most definitely there.

There was a time in my life when I was very angry with God. I didn’t understand why, if he loved me so much, did he allow me to suffer such pain and loneliness, such heartache and loss. For¬†almost ten years, I battled with an eating disorder that took nearly¬†everything from me; my hopes and dreams, my family and friends, my health and my life. How could the Lord allow such a thing to happen to one of his children? Where in the great plan of his did this disease fall? What purpose did it serve? Why? I prayed and prayed, seeking asnwers to these questions. Almost ten years.

We are faced sometimes with a lot of trials and tribulations that make us ask “Why?”

WHY did a soldier, just a boy really who had so much life left to live, die at the hands of war, bravely serving our country?

WHY did a hard-working and comendable father of four lose his job, leaving him and his family scared and homeless?

WHY do truly good and decent people always get handed the bad deck of cards in life?

WHY?

God’s Plan.¬†It’s not written in bold, flashing letters or is blasted through the earbuds of our i-Pods. Many times we are given obstacles and challenges. We may ask for hints, clues, or inklings as to what our plan is and may not be given absolute and direct answers. We suffer loses, get our hearts broken and have to brush off the dust. We may ask “why” and feel like there will never be an answer.

I guess that is what faith is.

You believe even though you may not hear it.

You believe even though you may not see it.

You believe even when there isn’t a clear answer.

You believe when believing seems impossible.

For almost ten years I prayed. And waited. And prayed. And waited some more. Even though I didn’t understand or knew what it was, I did know that there was a purpose behind everything that I had been through, a reason, a deeper meaning. I kept believing and kept praying and then one day, I¬†finally got an answer. Sitting on the beachy shores of Alabama two months ago, God came to me and told me that it was time. I can’t really explain it to you; it was feeling, an overwhelming sense of hope and inspiration, of encouragement and direction. It was¬†as if¬†he said that I had learned what I needed to¬†learn, that my lesson was up and it was time for me to move on, to heal and to help others.

As much as my eating disorder hindered me, it also changed me for the better, allowing me to grow and learn, shaping my life in ways I could never imagine. I found out how truly strong I am, how incredible my life is, how much I have to look forward to and that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. I built long-lasting and amazing new relationships, rekindled former¬†ones and remembered how awesome my family and friends really are. More importantly, I was able to help, give support and guidance and inspire other people who are going through the same thing that I was. God¬†may not have necessarily¬†handed me a Lisa Frank notebook with an inscribed ‘plan’ on it; I may have had to do a little reading between the lines,¬†but¬†I think¬†part of it was to turn around and use my recovery, my story, as a platform to help others. Maybe he knew that this was something that I could handle and would benefit from someway or somehow in the future. Whatever¬†the details of¬†his¬†plan for me are, I know that I am well on my way to finding out and can’t wait¬†until¬†I do!

For those of your out there who are facing some difficulty in your life right now, who are scared or alone or are left with many unanswered “WHY’s”…

Pray.

Trust.

Believe.

Have faith.

God presents us with opportunities, chances to grow, to learn and to change. He may not always be clear in his meaning and message, but he will always deliver, he will always be there just waiting for the right moment to text you his plan. Be ready for the call ūüôā

As for me, I think I am going to leave all the major planning to the big guy upstairs (and no, I am not talking about you, Mr. Chashaw).

Have a great rest of your Sunday, whatever your plans may be ūüôā

They’re Baaccckkkk!!!!

Hola mu chachos!

It’s Friday!!!

And¬†I couldn’t think of a better way to start off the weekend than with a bit of exciting news to share with you all….

You’ve waited and waited.

You’ve counted the days.

You may even have had many a sleepless night thinking about their glorious return (I know I sure have).

But it is time, my friends. It is time.

THEY. ARE. BACK.

No, I’m not talking about¬†the Terminator…

But speaking of Ahhnold, did you hear that he and his brotha¬†from anotha¬†motha, one Mr. Sly Stallone¬†were seen partying it up at¬†a local¬†California, or should I say, ‘Cal-ee-for-nia’¬†hospital together? They apparently both¬†had scheduled shoulder surgery tune-ups at the same time and didn’t even know it. I guess that’s what you get¬†for¬†spending over 40 years kicking some serious butt in high-octane ¬†and action-packed movies. I’ve got to hand it to ’em, they’ve still got it.

No, I’m not talking about these¬†cutie-pa-tuties either. Although, I will say that Howie, Nick, Brian, and AJ were rocking my world today as I cleaned the house. Yes, I¬†may have broken out my microphone broom and belted¬†out “Shape of my Heart” like I was¬†a contestant on¬†The Voice, and yes my dog may have been looking at me like I was crazy (but if you ask me if I was indeed¬†performing such ludicrous acts, I will fully deny, deny, deny.)

And no, I am not talking about these loveable pre-historic pals. Which reminds me, DO NOT watch this movie without a box of Kleenex nearby.¬†This was one of my all-time favorite movies when I was¬†just a wee one (I wanted Rex to be my best friend). I watched it so many times in fact that my VHS tape started to unravel. Ahh¬†VHS…remember those day? I was so excited when I saw it on¬†TV the other night. I cried like a baby then, and I cried like a baby now. ¬†SOOOO good! Here’s a little clip to wet your whistle…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqLdZwkajvY

So what is it, you ask?

What is this thing that has got me going ga-ga? Drooling and salivating over?

Are you ready?

You might want to sit down for this.

The thing that has finally made its return is….

drum roll please (badabadabadabadabada)….

Awww yeeahhh!!!

 Start drooling now.

The¬†once a year,¬†smooth, ice creamy, dreamy, minty, melt-in-your-mouth, perfect bite of heaven master piece is BACK, Jack!¬†When I was little, I pounded these things back like no other (brain freeze or bust),¬†but after ED showed up, I no longer allowed myself to have quite the same Pavlovian¬†response to this decadent¬†treat.¬†As much of an ice cream-a-holic¬†as I was,¬†it sucked like a vacuum¬†that this was one of the things that ED placed on her ‘no-no’ list of things I could eat and enjoy. As much as I wanted to slurp up a Shamrock shake, I didn’t. I couldn’t. Or so ED made me think. “Do you know how many calories are in that thing? Do you want to have a blubber butt?” These are just some of the crazy and ridiculous things that she would taunt me with. The nerve, right?!

Well now that ED and I are no longer on speaking terms, and she has packed her bags and¬†is well on her¬†way to getting the heck out of¬†dodge, I have been able to finally, once again, allow myself to drool over, and sip up this, and any other sinfully delicious¬†¬†ice cream treats. The thing that ED didn’t realize was that once in a while, something like this is perfectly okay to devour. She always saw things in black and¬†white; If I got an ‘A’ on an exam or in a class, I ALWAYS had to get that same ‘A’ from there on out. If I was happy, I ALWAYS had to be happy and smack a smile on my face. If I ate healthy, I had to ALWAYS eat healthy, no exceptions.

What I have come to find these past few weeks living almost entirely without her is that things aren’t ALWAYS black and white. In fact, there is this whole world of grey that I had been missing out on, shades of silver and mesh that are necessary in our everydays. Getting an average grade every now and then, having a bad day, or even enjoying a big cup of Shamrock Shakey goodness every once in a while is A-okay, it’s normal, it’s healthy.¬†Now I wouldn’t say that knocking back one (or three) of these everyday is the best thing for you, but if you want to go out and have a shake every now and again, do it!¬†ANd enjoy it!

I’m running like the wind on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, I’m sprinting to the finish line of this recovery road and can see the end in sight. I’m not quite there yet but am SO looking forward to when I can say with gusto and pride…

I AM BACK!

Now that is something to celebrate.

And I can’t think of anything better than with one of these ūüôā

Total shake domination! And another plus: my post-slurp belch smelled minty-fresh ūüôā

Have a great Friday guys!

The Un-Busy Bee

I like to tell myself I‚Äôm a busy-bee. I write ‚Äúwatch The Office‚ÄĚ on my calendar (because that is obligatory), get stressed about trying to find a part-time job, keeping the house¬†(somewhat)¬†clean¬†and¬†fuss over¬†trying to manage time to go to the grocery store AND¬†Target all in one day. Oofta! I‚Äôve mentioned before that I have a problem with feeling like I have to always be productive; I feel lazy and almost guilty if I am not constantly doing something ‘good’¬†with my time.¬†I have never really felt like I could take some time just for me, to step back from the hustle and bustle of things¬†for¬†just a minute and just be(e).

You see, my wicked ‘roommate’ ED always had something on my ‘to-do’ list. In some ways, I think I always felt more comfortable always doing-doing and going-going because when I was, I didn’t have time to think about ED. I could focus on other things and if just for the brief hour of apartment cleaning or two hours of studying, I could put her on mute and not think about how tight my jeans felt that day or if I ate too much Captain Crunch that morning. Recently, I‚Äôve become sick of trying to think of things that I have to do. I have found that I don’t have to be always on the go, 24/7 and that it¬†is perfectly okay to spend a little time doing nothing. I have also found that I don’t need to be doing these things in order to put ED on mute; I can just do it. She must have come down with a bad case of¬† laryngitis because for the past few weeks, I haven’t heard her constant demands and controlling and manipulative attitude. I am learning how to block her out and go by what I want to do, what I need to do. And can¬†I tell you, it has been amazing!

I‚Äôm currently in a bit of a limbo. I have yet to start graduate school (September can’t come fast enough) and I am still pulling hairs trying to find a part-time job which leaves me with a lot of open and free time. My planner hasn’t been this empty since, well, I can’t even remember. I used to have that 9-5 “Big Girl” job, waking up¬†with the sun (and sometimes even¬†before it) and working all day. I¬†really loved what¬†I did and I took comfort in having a set purpose to every day, but¬†it seemed like I never had any free time. I didn’t¬†get months off from¬†my responsibilities. This time last year, I would have¬†done anything¬†for not only a Klondike¬†bar, but¬†also¬†to have any time to be unproductive which is one of the reasons¬†why I have decided to take full advantage of this situation¬†and appreciate it while I can!

Today I saw an opportunity to do absolutely nothing…and pounced on it.

I took a drive to nowhere.

I stopped and smelled the roses, really appreciating my surroundings.

It’s amazing how¬†much you miss when you are not looking, not taking it all in. My little town of Cartersville really does have a lot of character and before now, I am not quite sure if I ever really saw how unique and special it was. I was always too busy, too preoccupied.

I even took some time to put on my chef’s hat and kind of¬†whip up an amazing lunch.

I wok it out, I wok it out ūüôā

 

I saut√©ed¬†some pineapple, carrots, peppers, broccoli, chicken, and¬†a little EVOO¬†and threw it over brown rice. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but it¬†was awesome! I think I am really starting to get a hang of this cooking thang. I can’t tell you how fun it has been trying new things and allowing myself to for once enjoy cooking AND eating again. Take that, ED!

Overall, this day in the life of a reformed busy-bee has been great! I don’t think I can ‘bee’ this unproductive everyday, but I can assure you I am scheduling in an ‘off’ day on my calendar at least once a week, right beside ‘watch the Office’.

Hope you all are having a great Wednesday!

Question of the day:

Do you feel the need to always be busy?

What do you like to do with your free time?

Where’s the Line?

Hey guys!

I hope you all are having a great last day of January.

Oh my goodness! It’s the last day of January! Whoofta! How did that happen already?

Before anything else, I wanted to be sure to wish one of my very bestest of friends miss Jenna a very happy birthday today! I hope she is living it up, having the most fantabulous of all days full of fun, friends, family and of course, lots of cake and ice cream! I love ya girly!

Earlier today I partook in¬†a little therapy of the retail variety. I am not the biggest fan of shopping;¬†this is blatantly obvious¬†when looking at the insides of my closet and dressers–I think I still have, much to my mom and sister’s dismay,¬†sweatshirts and jeans, t-shirts and tanks dating all the way back to my middle and high school days. Yikes! I tend to spend more time shopping in the Store of Lindsay than I do at Target or the Gap. Just one of the perks of having a sister who LOVES to shop and is about my size; I get all of lasts seasons trends. I guess it’s safe to say that Mr. Tim Gunn would have a heart attack if he ever knew the lengths to which my fashion sense goes. I would much rather spend my money on DVD’s and books than clothes. And that goes for shoes too.

Are any of you out there a big fan of shoes? Most girls, including my sis Lindsay,¬†have a closet full of shoes, including everything from gladiator sandals and high heels to flip-flops and leather boots. Of every color. Whenever she travels anywhere, she literally has to pack a separate piece of luggage just to house her collection of footwear. Supposedly she has to have many options of shoes to coordinate with her many outfits. That is definitely NOT this girl. I think I probably have¬†a total of¬†six pairs of shoes; three of which fall into the tennis category, a pair of Uggs (a Wisconsin girl has to have her boots after all), Nike flip-flops¬†and of course the ever comfy (but oh so hated) Croq’s. Yes, I¬†wear Croq’s. And they are amazing.

I could give a monkey’s uncle about what is on my feet and for the most part, don’t really give it¬†serious¬†thought.¬†That¬†is of course with¬†the exception of my running shoes. I will admit I have a slight obsession with my pumped-up kicks. Because they are all I wear, and I am an avid runner, and I end up wearing them until they literally start to fall apart, and they can get on the expensive side, much research, thought and hours of trying on and testing out goes into the purchase of said shoes. Today was a little bittersweet for me. Not only did I have to say a fond farewell to my Asics, retiring them after a good 3 years together (ah, the memories), but I got to say a big hello to these puppies…

I was just a little excited!

And the best part? I paid only $20 on a price tag of $85 (thank you, gift cards and Kohl’s cash). I LOVE deals like this! I¬† can’t wait to see where these guys will take me in the future (hopefully far, far away from any fresh dog doo–I’ve been there and done that and trust me, nothing spoils a new-found relationship with you and your brand new shoes than stepping in a chocolate swirly).

Before I walked out with¬†my gnarly new shoes however, I came across somewhat of an uncomfortable situation. While I was perusing the aisles of Kohl’s, checking out the candles and home goods section–speaking of which, they have this new Mint Chocolate-Chip ice cream scented candle that is to die for! It made me almost want to dig my spoon out¬†of my purse (because naturally I had an actual spoon in my purse) and dig right in–when I stumbled upon a mom and her son doing some shopping of their own. The son looked to be around 3 or 4 and was the cutest thing you ever did see. He started to walk ahead of his mom, making a bee-line to the toys section. All of a sudden, his mom flipper her lid and ran over to her son, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him towards her. The small boy was caught off guard and fell to the ground, hitting his elbow against the hard floor beneath. He began to cry which made the mom even angrier. She proceeded to yank the boy back up off of the ground and yell,”You stop that crying bullsh*t right now, you hear me? I told you to stay by me! I knew I should have left you in the car. Come on, let’s go!” The mom grabbed a hold of her son’s arm and dragged him through the rest of the store, not even stopping to see if her son was alright.

I was standing a mere few feet away, watching this all play out before my eyes and was stunned. I felt terrible for that poor boy, an innocent little guy who just wanted to innocently check¬† out the games. He may have gone against his mother’s wishes by walking away from her for a brief second, but he in no way deserved to be treated like that, to be talked to in such a harsh way and to be physically harmed. I sneakily followed the mother and son¬†around the rest of the store, making sure that¬†a replay of what I had just seen would not happen again. I wanted to make sure that the little boy was okay.¬†The boy was still crying as they left the store, the mom still yelling at him¬†to “Shut up!”¬†¬†and “Pick up the pace!”.

As I watched them drive away, I just stood there for a second. Could I have done something? Should I have said something?

One of the things that ED took away from me was my ability to speak up for myself, to be assertive and face confrontation head on.¬†A lot of times¬†I silenced myself in fear of being criticized or rejected, of stirring the pot and making unnecessary waves. ED¬†constantly told me¬†that what I had to say wasn’t valuable, that¬†I wasn’t good enough to be heard or respected.¬†The funny thing is, I never had a problem of standing up for someone else, making sure that others were heard and treated fairly with the respect and acknowledgement that they deserved.¬†But when it came to me, I just couldn’t do it. To everyone out there who may be going through the same thing, who feels as though what they say will not matter or make a difference, that they are not worth it, I want to say YOU ARE. You deserve to have a voice, to speak up and stand up for what is right. You deserve to have opinions and ideas. You deserve to give yourself the same respect and honor that you do others. I have slowly but surely started to gain back my voice, learning how to be assertive but, after years and years of being silent,¬†it is definitely going to take some practice to feel comfortable in doing so once again.

As I watched this mother and son pull away from the store, I felt torn. I so badly wanted to put into practice what I have working on. I wanted to speak up, to say something. Besides wanting to really lay into¬†the mom¬†and give her a piece of my mind (which probably wouldn’t have been the best option), I wanted to take the her¬†aside and let her know, in a very respectful manner, how she could have handled the situation a bit better. I wanted to tell the mother how her son was hurt and that she should comfort him instead of the yelling and further physical assertion she was placing on him. I wanted to do or say something to fix the situation and prevent it from happening again. I wanted to protect that little boy.

The thing about this situation is that there is a line; a line that a stranger like me,¬†looking from the outside in, has a hard time distinguishing. I could have said something, did something about the actions from the mother tha I saw, but did I have the right? I didn’t know anything about them outside of what I saw. I didn’t know the specifics of the relationship and¬†I really had no right to comment on how she chose to parent her child. I also could have caught this mother on a bad moment; she maybe had a rough day at work or was feeling under the weather, which was reason for her slightly negative attitude. As much as I wanted to say something, to use my voice, was this an appropriate¬†situation to do so? Where does one draw the line?

As I made my way to the register to check out, shoes in hand, I decided to mention the mother and son to the cashier. I didn’t say anything to the mother, but I could say something to someone. The very kind lady thanked me for sharing and told me that she has witnessed similar incidents of this particular mother acting ill towards her children in the past.¬†That¬†broke my heart. How could a mother treat her children like that?

I left Kohl’s with a new pair of shoes, and a slightly heavy heart. I am a fixer. I like to fix problems. I like to fix people. Leaving the store earlier today, I felt horrible and helpless that this was something that maybe I could not fix. But was it even my place to try to do so?

What do you guys think? Should I have crossed that line? How do you know where that line is?

 

 

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