Friday / March 20 / 2020
Have you ever said, “I’m fine,” just hoping someone would notice you’re not and offer help? This image of me was captured eight years ago at a friend’s summer party in upstate New York, a palooza in every right. I’m struck by how clearly I now see the facade I couldn’t see then.
My happiness was buried deep inside the belly of denial and from behind that veil, I wrote. Knitting together pieces of my broken life with the hopes of inspiring others. As much as I wanted to offer solutions, I stingily withheld them from myself and allowed my beloved passion of writing to be hijacked by a false sense of being fine.
“Fine,” my sweetheart Jonathan jokes, is how most people signal distress because in reality, it’s just an acronym for:
Far from okay
For decades, the smile on my face said to the world, I’m doing great. I’m fine.
The real calling card however, is my eyes. Distant and downward, they screamed from behind a soundproof wall I’d decorated with unicorns and colorful flowers. Even as I wrote the screenplay in my head with a heroine who stood taller than the evergreens, my slumped shoulders showed, quite literally, the posture of my insecurity.
At the time the picture was taken in summer 2012, I was about half way through my personal weight loss journey. That April, I had made a choice I wanted something different and I’d become fiercely determined to get it. I aligned myself with a personal health coach and crossed the start line of my journey to my true self. The 48 pounds of body fat came off quickly. It was the mental fat that took a minute.
I longed for the same things many people long for; to be happy, content, fulfilled, wanted, beautiful, fun. Why did I cloak so much of what I sought in others’ approval? Talk about defeating (and impossible).
Fast forward to the here and now and I share a recent picture of me. My smile comes from within, like the bloom of a flower that’s firmly rooted in the core of my being. Far from perfect, mind you, but, my outsides and my insides match and that’s simply delightful.
Hello, Me. It’s positively enchanting to have met you. I love you and I promise to take as good care of you as I can and continue you to help you evolve into all you were designed to be. Thank you for the authenticity in your smile. Thank you for allowing my mess to become my message.
I’m not fine. I’m free. And now, I’m paying it forward so others can be free, too.
Welcome, Donna! Those of us closest to you always believed in the girl whose naked heart and soul could never be hidden.
Thank you for believing, David. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people, who encourage my light to shine. I’m thankful that now includes me and that I’m able to pay it forward. What a gift.