I usually take beach vacations that require a couple of swimsuits, a few sarongs, some flip-flops and sunscreen. Vacationing in Seattle for a week requires a decidedly different sort of attire. Jeans and t-shirts are probably best, right? I hardly ever wear pants, much less jeans. I have a closet full of dresses and skirts. I like them. They make me feel extra girly. They also hide a multitude of body sins that seem especially sinful at this time in my life when dragging my weary bones to the gym at 5am is way more challenging than it was a few years ago.
When I booked my tickets to go to see Hope two weeks ago, I pondered what I would/should wear to see my daughter for the first time. Heck, I haven’t spent this much time fretting over what to wear on what is similar to a first date in decades. I knew I used my girly dresses to hide my body, but I didn’t realize how much or rather I haven’t been able to admit it until this week.
I’ve long struggled with body issues, but I thought I had come to a place of acceptance, especially this year. I’ve been too busy to worry about size and shape. I have a nice sense of style; I pick clothes that fit and flatter. With everything going on, I try to eat well, get some sleep, and press on. This year has been the first time in probably 10 years that I’ve not been overly concerned about my body. I’ve just been too busy. It’s actually been a freeing relief for this gal who was held in the grips of an eating disorder for quite a few years.
Getting ready to go see Hope has made me take a breath from the swirling of work, school and even the totality of the adoption process. Gosh, insecurity is a b*tch. In the first real inhale/exhale sequence, Insecurity showed up right away, and she’s got me shook about what to wear and what my choice of what to wear to this meeting will say about me. I want to seem approachable, warm, loving and cool…to a 12 year old. Oh and I don’t want to seem fat or dowdy. I mean I’m not fat or dowdy, but eh…you get the picture. Good–friggin-grief; am I really having a mini-meltdown about whether to pack dresses that I just realized are a sort of security blanket? Jeesch, guess I have something to talk to my therapist about later this month. Awesome.
I want to embrace this body, and because even if she doesn’t care, I want Hope to see me embrace this body. I want her to embrace her body and develop a good, healthy sense of self. I tripped over a nugget last week when she revealed that she’d been bullied about being too skinny. Well, I’ve never had that problem, and I can’t say that I was ever bullied by my weight actually, but I do know I want to model a healthy body image for Hope. I want her to feel good about herself; I’m going to have to feel good about myself in order to help her learn that lesson.
So, yeah, jeans and t-shirts it is. Thank heavens I got around to buying a couple of pairs of jeans over the Labor Day holiday, and I’ve picked up a couple of cute tops to give me a relaxed, yet put together look. Oh I’ll pack a casual dress or two, as well. A girl needs a security blanket every now and then, and old habits die hard.