I remember when I was a kid and the movie “Desperately Seeking Susan” came out. I was maybe 10 years old and wanted to be like Susan. I was jealous of Roberta who was getting to be like Susan. When I decided it was time to accept the person I saw in the mirror, I had no idea that I would be more like Roberta seeking Susan. The funny thing about Roberta is that she had it in her to be adventurous and step outside the role she thought she had to live. I was like that in some ways. And with my ever-changing body and life, my 30’s were a rollercoaster and I was trying to figure out what box I should be in instead of realizing that I needed to stop seeking something I wasn’t.
A little more than a year after my gastric surgery, I was just getting comfortable in my new skin and the me in the mirror and then came new change. I got pregnant with my second child 12 years after my first. Again, my body started to change and my focus shifed to my health for the health of this new life. And then change flew through the door after the birth of my son. I dropped the weight and got back to a more aggressive workout routine and continued to seek out who I saw in the mirror everyday. As Bliss got a little older every day, we noticed that he was missing milestones and yet again my focus completely left me and moved to the well-being of my little one. The stress and worry of doing what was best for both my boys and how to handle our new world started to take its toll on my well-being. I made poor food choices, wasn’t sleeping, quit working out and withdrew into our own private world. Looking in the mirror wasn’t something I did much except to make sure my hair was not sticking up. And the person who I caught an occasional glimpse of was not the Monie I knew at all. My circle of support was a small tight knit group and they did their best to help keep me afloat.
Little by little, things got better. As a family, we found a routine and figured out the path that was best for all of us. And then I stepped on the scale at a friend’s house and the number staring back at me was 199 pounds!!! How did that happen? I looked in the mirror and for the first time in quite some time really looked at myself. I needed to seek myself the way I had sought God years before. He and I had great conversations over the past couple of years in my darkest and most difficult moments. Now, I had to start seeking the joy and victory and avoid the desperateness that was there. And seek it I did. But without desperation – instead with joy and gladness. My little one was here and my oldest was amazing. I had a wonderful and supportive man. I had framily (friends and family) that lifted me up and stood by me. How did I miss it all!!?? The joy was everywhere.
It started with the little things like styling my hair and looking in the mirror and loving the person staring back at me. Eating a healthy dish for not just me but also my family. Pilates and walking made me feel good. And the more I took care of me, the better I was at caring for my family. I started to look in the mirror and not just like, but love the person I saw staring back at me. I was no longer desperately seeking the Monie who should fit in that perfect little box. I was growing into the me I was all along – and that person would never fit into that box or any box. Embracing me and loving who I am and will become is all I need to do.
Is my weight perfect? No, I honestly want to lose 10 more pounds. That would be in my target zone for my doctors. Is my body model perfect? Never and it doesn’t need to be. My skin sags in areas no one wants to hear about and my bat wings can be kick ass sometimes and annoying at other times. But, it is my body and I will dress it up any way I want. Am I calm and predictable? It depends on the situation – I am great in a crisis, cool and calm. That has been a God send for the health of my boys. But I am loud and have been known to think of something and just do it. You only live once and I want to live life with gusto. Will I ever be like Susan? Absolutely not!! I will be Monie. Which means if I want to go to the grocery store dressed in my Underoos Harley Quinn or Wonder Woman top with a tiara on my head and Nike’s on my feet, I will. The next day, I might be sporting just a pony-tail and sitting in the library in comfy seats reading books with my little one. And the next day, I might be in a suit sitting with some friends having a business lunch. It is who I am and I have found Monie. I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. But don’t a lot of us??? So until then I will stick with Monie Just Monie.