Monday, October 17, 2016

Perspective

Running around in a frantic frenzy as a poor attempt at preparing for my #1 choice of a Graduate School program, I texted at least ten people. When I write a letter of intent for something this important, I seek the help of at least five proofreaders. Usually a few English majors (for the grammatical proof), a few Education majors (for the content proof), and a few other friends and family who know me, my goals, my aspirations, and my passions best. My letters of recommendation had already been designated, my application form was complete, my test scores had been submitted, and all that was left was my letter of intent.

I never had a problem with writing. I write every day, and I've been known to crank out extensive essays in less than an hour. If there was ever one subject in school I was good at, it was English. If there was one assignment I always vouched for over a project or final exam, it was an essay. This letter should not have been this hard. But with everything else going on, I was really beginning to stress. I'd filled out a strong header and written To Whom It May Concern; then stared at the page for an hour.

Okay, maybe it was four hours. With a journal entry, two homework assignments, and a nap in between. At least my procrastination was paired with more productive things... Right...?

It was just one more thing that made me feel like my life was far out of my control. Sure, I have dreams and plans for my life after graduate, but that plan can only be achieved after being accepted into a certain graduate program, securing an apartment, and landing a job in another state. All of which require administrators, landlords, and bosses to all want me. Yikes.

I needed one more proofreader, so I texted a friend and fellow early childhood major. Would you proofread a letter of intent for me sometime soon? 

Sure! she responded, What's it for? 

For the Master's program application. Let's all have a mini anxiety attack together... LOL! 

Expecting to receive a haha or an I'll take a look right after I finish this lesson plan, I tossed my phone to the side and went to write another lesson plan myself. But when the phone buzzed again, I literally laughed out loud.

I'm so envious of how much you have your life together. 

How "much" I have my life together? To me, it felt like I had about 15% of it together. But to her, I had it all.

Perspective is important. And I've mentioned this before... Why else would other girls want the same parts of your body that you hate? Why else would you want the same aspects of their personality that they hate? We all see things a little differently, and we all want what we can't have. We all want that one thing that's seemingly holding us back from being just like (or preferably, a little better) than the girl sitting to our side.

My aunt called me a few weeks ago in the middle of the night. I saw a painting today, she told me, and it reminded me of you. Of your blog. It was of several large women, but they were dancing and smiling and holding hands with one another. 

I glanced down at the picture she had texted to me a few seconds prior to the phone call.

As a large woman myself, she continued, it just made me so happy. You know, acceptance of different body types and sizes is very important. But until a woman accepts herself, no real change is made in her heart. 

The more I stared at the picture, the more I realized I couldn't have said it any better.

Through the Crayons to Confidence Movement, I'm constantly crusading for beauty in our society, specifically targeting the kiddos I see losing confidence in themselves every day, and the people who question their ability to teach, lead, and raise these kiddos to the best of their ability. Statistics. Personal testimonies. Videos of photoshop programs being utilized to the fullest potential... I share it all, with the hope that my stunning readers will realize how normal imperfection actually is. How distorted our society has become. How beautiful they really are.

But until they accept their beauty themselves, no real change is made.

Have you ever met a woman completely secure in her beauty? I've seen it once, on a woman who was 85 years old. Every time she laughed, she threw back her head and let her stomach bounce. When someone was in need, her hand was the first to be extended. And when someone needed to be scolded, I have never seen anyone more gently stern in all my life. Wrinkles creased at her eyes from years of laughter. Her lips were stretched thin from smiling. Her hands were calloused from all her labor, and her heart shone from within. She embodied pure, undistorted beauty because she was completely and unapologetically herself.

My aunt was not captivated by that painting merely because she related to it. She was captivated by the painting because every woman should understand what it feels like to be like that woman. To truly love herself. To be happy with herself. To be confident in herself. The women in the painting weren't laughing and dancing because someone told them to. They were laughing and dancing because they wanted to. Because they felt compelled to. They were inspired to.

How you see yourself is important. It's even more important than how others see you. Because while other bloggers and I are trying our hardest to get society on our side, we all realize it probably won't happen. Sometimes, you're all you have. And even if everyone loved you and told you that you were smart and talented and beautiful every single day, it wouldn't have any real impact at all if you did not believe it all yourself.

Can you imagine how much greater life would be if you could look in the mirror and recognize all the ways you're great? Emily Freeman from the She Is Project said it best...

"I can't imagine anything more dangerous to the enemy of our hearts than women who know who they are."   -Emily P. Freeman

Isn't that the truth... I don't want to be the kind of woman that haters and bullies wait to attack. I want to be the kind of woman that when my feet hit the ground each morning, the devil panics and says Well crap! She's awake. 

Perspective is everything. Not just because someone else wants what you have, but because you should want what you have, too.

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