Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket.
Move to that city. Do all the things that scare you, because they’re worth it.
What have you held yourself back from doing?
Who in your life has insisted you couldn’t do something?
Have you been told you can’t do something simply because of your size?
Has fear kept you from living your most authentic life?
What would you do, right now, if you knew you couldn’t fail or be hurt or shamed?
One of my nearest and dearest friends, Tigress, posted something along these lines on her iofthetigress page and I found myself typing my own responses before reading what others had written. I just immediately knew what that list was and how much I’ve done in my life despite what others said I couldn’t or shouldn’t. My list of things I’ve done feels both bigger and smaller now than they did when I did them. Time is a funny thing! Haha!
It is a terrible thing to allow others to steal your thunder, to crush your dreams, and worst of all, make you doubt yourself and what you’re capable of. These things become impossible to affect you once you stop caring what anyone else thinks of you. They are also impossible to live with if you want to live a life of our own making and choosing. At a certain point, you have to decide what is best for you. No one else can do that but you.
At the age of 14, I was part fearless and partly lost. It was an exciting time, it was a dangerous time. I’m quite certain that many who knew me then but didn’t keep in touch would assume the worst of my life’s course from that point on. Luckily, I’m one helluva survivor and fighter when I need to be. It is unfortunate that I had needed to be at such a young age and for so long after. An abusive boyfriend took control of every aspect of my life and identity, though I escaped five years later, it left me a shell of my former self. I literally had to start over from scratch. I really don’t want to call it a blessing. I’ll never know what those important and formative years could have meant for my life’s trajectory, but it is what I survived and formed the individual that I am today.
Finding love in a friend and bonding over our mutual life traumas created a relationship that was strong, long lasting, if not entirely healthy. We were young and broken. We tried to fill each other’s brokenness, but never addressed our own on our own. Instead of telling each other that a traditional marriage wasn’t really our thing, we both entered into that institution thinking it the only way to stay together. We spent so much of our lives not living for ourselves but for each other. That likely sounds normal and right to many of you, but I can assure it is not. Making life decisions for yourself so that you won’t upset or lose the other person is not an authentic life at all. You begin to live a lie and lose yourself and all that you are in the relationship. That is the reason I left my marriage, after fifteen years together in life. I can assure you that nothing has scared me more than leaving my best friend. I am not sure I would make that same decision knowing what I do now, but it felt absolutely necessary at the time.
“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.” David Bowie
When I first had the idea to open my own cafe, it seemed so ridiculous and far-fetched. I went to my nearest and dearest friends with the idea, secretly hoping they’d talk me out of it immediately. They did not. They cheered me on, lent a helping hand, and encouraged me every step of the way. Every second of that, we’ll call it a project or obsession as it was never a lifelong sort of dream, felt terrifying. And yet it is one of my proudest achievements! It taught me so much about myself, what I’m capable of, who my true friends are, and where I do and don’t belong in the world (business is the short answer). It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done on my own terms. I had so many business professionals insist that what I wanted to do was pointless, fruitless, if not downright impossible. I defiantly smiled right into their faces and said, “You don’t get it. So, watch me!”
What other great big scary things have I done? I started fat positive meet up groups a few times. I started this blog and talked about so many things others call taboo. I organized 2, some may say legendary, fat positive events in San Jose that were free and open to the public: Fatty Affair! I have become a regular performer in the annual big moves bay area dance shows, both as a dancer and later as a singer. I have walked a fashion runway three times now (once in lingerie), though each time it feels so ridiculous and not “me” at all. Haha! I have walked an imaginary runway in front of a group of not imaginary strangers completely naked. I have been photographed completely nude for Adipositivity. I have flown in a helicopter in Maui, even though I had to buy two seats…it was gloriously worth it! I have been to Paris and Rome and a large portion of Ireland. All at a size 26/28 or roughly 300 lbs. Yeah, I did that shit! It was scary as fuck each and every time! But I did those damned things and no one can take that away!
We can’t allow others, the haters, to dictate our lives! Whatever obstacles you may have, I hope you will stop holding yourself back from living your best life! You deserve to have and be whatever you want! Get out of your comfort zone and Choose You! You’re worth it!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
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