Monday, January 12, 2015

Life from Inside this Fat Suit

I am an observer of people. I'm fascinated by human behavior and social interactions.  I am usually content with being the onlooker versus the point of interest . The down side to this preoccupation is I am acutely aware of how often I am merely the onlooker and while it's sometimes by choice,  I know that is also often by exclusion.

People are attracted to -well- attractive people. Generally speaking, the more pleasant your appearance the bigger the draw. I am, too. Everyone is. It's okay to admit it. It's natural. What I guess I find bothersome is something I like to call, "The Passover Moments".  Those moments in which people can't help but know you are there, yet avoid making eye contact or any kind of contact for that matter.  Or my personal favorite, those moments when someone makes a brief stop to say hello, only to look over your shoulder for the next, nearest more interesting (skinnier?) person available.  No place is safe from these moments.  They happen everywhere.

I appreciate in my older and wiser years, this is more about the individual making "The Passover", rather the recipient of said moments.  As much as I know this, I'm going to admit, sometimes it stings. I know these moments aren't reserved for the overweight, but I've been both fit and fat and I want to assure you right here and now, the perspective from inside of this fat suit is a vastly different one from outside of it. I remember and I know.

And why do I call it a fat suit? Because while I attribute my obesity to a number of factors, and own every ounce of fat on my body, my body is not who I am. It's a shell that carries my soul. If you know me well then you've taken the time to unzip the fat suit and take a peek inside.  If that's you, thanks. I love you.

Yes, my body is a temple, and a holy vessel. It should be cared for. My sin and struggles just might be a little more obvious than yours.

When shopping recently, I heard a man speak behind me and he said, "Babe, did you see the size of her ass?" to which the woman replied, "I know. It's Huge".   Another thing age has afforded me is rationale and the ability to honestly acknowledge the truth of both statements. This actually hurts less than being overlooked because of the way I look in a more personal setting.  That feeling of being discounted can be raw and frankly, at this point, sort of just, expected.

What has been unexpected, however, are some of my very own realizations.  How keenly aware I have become of how narrow my own vision is. How often I have been the Queen of administering "The Passover Moments".   Living from inside of this fat suit has offered up an empathy for other, passed-over people. It has created in me the desire to know others inside and out.  God does not create ugly. We do. God only creates beauty and it's up to us to look past whatever suit it is in to see it. To want to see it.

On the outside, I don't have much to offer you.  I have a small house, a small bank account and a BIG ass.  On the inside, I offer a heart that's even bigger, an authentic friendship, a woman of God.  I encourage you to take a moment and peek inside someone's suit today.  You have no idea what lies beneath.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

And it is Very Good

When morning broke today, I left the warmth of my bed to glimpse what the world had waiting for me.  As I pulled back the drapes, I smirked to myself.  By now, I'd imagined the view from my bedroom would be different.  Maybe tucked into a mountainside, nestled in between the pines- perhaps overlooking a lake, if it wasn't too much to ask.  I'd imagined once I had more money, maybe when the kids were older, my view would change and I would live the life I was intended to.  Instead, what I see from my bedroom window is the yellow house belonging to Mrs. Chen, a neighbor who hands me bok choy and hot, homemade pot stickers over the fence. I see my big yard; A yard that should have been tended to before the first snow fell. A yard absent of even one pine tree. And it is very good.

I believed one day, I'd steal moments of solitude in my kayak in that lake out back. I imagined lazy days writing, deep in thought while sipping hot tea.  I would spend hours creating savory masterpieces for my family where every delectable bite is wrapped in love.  Instead, I am a laundry maven, an errand goddess and a short-order cook lucky to get dinner on the table in time.  I am a shuttle bus picking up here and dropping off there. I am a slave to a schedule, I am hurried, I am short on time.  And it is very good.

I imagined living someplace where the locals sport cowboy boots or overalls and drive pick-up trucks or Jeeps-population 1,001.  I imagined I'd dread out my hair and bathe myself in patchouli oil somewhere nobody would think I was strange or that I smelled funny.  Instead, we drive mini-vans and SUVs and wear ballet flats.  We live in suburbia with all of the other laundry mavens and short-order cooks and I rarely ever smell someone wearing patchouli oil. And it is very good.

Once, I fancied myself a future freedom-fighter, speaker on a soap-box, a pursuer of justice, hero to many.  Instead I am just a mender of little girl's boo boos and broken hearts. I am helper to some friends.  I am hero to only those who call me mom and I am loved by a man who will likely never move me to the mountains, but would move mountains for me.   I am a pursuer of purpose, I am beloved and I am the daughter of a King.  And it is very, very, very good.