Wednesday, July 25, 2012

i'm not invisible

i got married in my early twenties. i was younger than a lot of girls, but i'd dated a lot of different guys and i felt confident that i knew what i was looking for and that i'd found it when i met chris.

before i was married, i felt like a confident, self-sufficient woman of the world who could handle anything that came my way. i had a lot to say and an opinion about most subjects, which i felt free to share any time with anyone.

my husband is very good at holding his tongue and over time, i learned to keep my mouth shut until i'd filtered my thoughts through my brain and decided they were worth spilling out onto the people around me. i think this is a good quality most of the time.

i learned how to delay any real decisions until such time as i had discussed them with chris. he's never been demanding about how i spent time or money, but it seemed reasonable to share those decisions rather than just rashly do whatever i felt like without thought to the other half of my partnership.

then i became a mommy. it was what i'd always wanted and i was very happy to have my little girl. my life revolved around brooke and her needs.

over the years, it seems like more and more of my self has vanished as i've dedicated myself to caring for my family. i ate what they liked, i slept when i needed to sleep so that i could best accommodate the lives of my husband and kid. i go where they want to go and watch what they like to watch.

as a larger woman, i've dressed in a way that would blend in to the background and i didn't do anything to draw attention to myself because i didn't want anyone to look at me and think the fat girl was getting out of hand. if i was invisible, no one would notice all the ways i was lacking.

when i think back to the time when i felt most like i knew who i was and was in control of my own life, i picture a big mouthed, hootchie-dressed, smoking girl, with super-high heels. i see long acrylic nails, red lipstick and sleeping til noon.

i like that girl, but those things don't fit me anymore. there has to be a way to rediscover or rebuild myself into a current version that will work for my life and not leaving me feeling like i only exist for the services i perform for others. i want a sense of self-satisfaction that isn't about anyone else, but isn't totally selfish either.

this year has been a time for me to start figuring that out. i still don't know what direction it's going to take, but i'm putting some time and effort into exploring my options. i've made myself more of a priority than i have in many years and it feels good.

maybe eventually i'll figure it out. i don't think the new me looks like either of those girls up above. i think she looks more like this. and she's not invisible.

60 comments:

  1. You brought TEARS to my eyes! This is how we all feel and you said it so well! I have been feeling like I may as weel put a sack over my head for the amount anyone would notice. But I'm going to try to change it. By the way, you are a beautiful woman. Hugs.

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    1. i hope they were tears of possibilities. of the potential you see in your own future when you're ready to remember that you exist. no one else is going to make the time for you to find yourself, you have to fit it in because you're worth just as much as your family members.

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  2. great post ... and you look wonderful!

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  3. Amazing post! I bet it feels great! It doesn't come without intentional dedication and hard work. You inspired me...I hope I can get there.

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    1. you can get there. join me, we'll journey together!

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  4. I think I am just about to the point of embarking on that same journey. I have felt the same way about melting into the backround. The dumb part is, I stick out like a sore thumb because of my weight. I like this post.

    Melissa

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    1. you can do it! don't be scared, be stubborn. you're worth it!

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  5. i wonder if men suffer from the same feeling of invisibility as they age. or is it primarily a female dilemma?
    this post made me feel a little sick after i hit the publish button. revealing my inner inadequacies makes me queasy.

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    1. I don't think we do. I could show you some pictures.....
      But-and you may find this hard to believe-my mouth always made sure people knew I was in the room.

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    2. Sorta like always having to comment on other people's comments. When I have a comment box all to myself.

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    3. i suffer from that same need to comment on all of your comments sometimes too. you share my affliction of having too much to say.

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  6. I think you're awesome soy sausage and broccoli with almonds!

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  7. oops, that is me, Daniele above. Not Kelsey!

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  8. I can totally relate to what you're saying. Ever since having my daughter, getting married, losing my job and turning into a stay-at-home mom (now with two kids), I felt like I was losing the girl I used to be and fading away completely. That was why I started my blog - so I could say whatever I wanted and feel like I had something that was mine and mine alone. Now that I'm working again, and blogging again, I hope that I can bring back an older, more mature, and more responsible (but no less fun!) version of who I used to be. I don't know if I'll get there, but I'm sure working my tail off to find her!

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    1. it's dumb how we forget who we were. as if we weren't whole, complete, capable humans before we became wives and moms.
      now's our chance to redesign ourselves. grab onto the good parts from the past and the good parts we want to include in our future and mesh them into something great and new.

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  9. I think you look great at the heavier weight, but now I bet you feel great. Congratulations.

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  10. This line, I needed to hear today: "there has to be a way to rediscover or rebuild myself into a current version that will work for my life and not leaving me feeling like i only exist for the services i perform for others. i want a sense of self-satisfaction that isn't about anyone else, but isn't totally selfish either." Wow. Thank you for that. And you look freaking amazing, girl. Nothing about you is invisible.

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    1. it was when i had that gut twisting feeling of only being a faceless service provider when i had my big "uh-oh. this must change" moment.

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  11. Each photo was beautiful because of your smile. It has been so long since I was "me" that I don't know who I am anymore. I truly don't. I think I am pretty cool but I just don't know how to get from "here" back to "there."
    I too have the invisibilty thing going on. What's that about? I think we have to be our own cheerleaders.

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    1. you don't need to get back to "there." you need to create a new there that combines the good old with the great new. find something you love and give yourself permission to pursue it. then you will remember that you exist as a whole, valuable person again.

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  12. You are nowhere near a "larger girl." You are truly beautiful. <3

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    1. thank you, jo. so are you! and i'm glad you got that man to clean your house. enjoy it!

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    1. thanks, symdaddy. you men are kind.

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  14. You look great Sherry so don't knock yourself too much, you're in no way fat or anything. :) Great post too, I understand that life can sometimes get in the way of things like our bodies, I can see that happening to myself as I get older and my metabolism slows down.

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    1. i think it's about a lot more than just weight. the weight was just a symptom of what was going on internally with my getting caught up in taking care of everyone else.

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  15. 'Married with child/ren' life (in my opinion) is one of the greatest potential challenges to maintaining one's distinct identity and sense of self. I applaud those people who are able to blend the requirements of this unique dynamic and still have a strong understanding and connection with themselves as an individual. I think it's great that you are taking the journey to try to find the balance between the 'me time' which we all desperately need, and the time which is directed to the needs of others. I certainly don't have the answers (please let me know if you make some great discoveries), however, I wonder if the trick is to be selfish in an unselfish manner? I certainly won't bore you with my story - what I would encourage you to do is to keep on the path you are taking - sometimes if we leave it go for too long the person in the mirror can almost become unrecognisable - and I'm sure no one benefits as a result of this. best wishes for your journey. I have no doubt you have the courage and determination to reach the desired destination.

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    1. you are exactly right. being selfish in an unselfish manner. i hate hearing women talk about needing "me time" because that sounds so self absorbed, but if we don't take care of ourselves, we're less useful and happy for our families. it's a conundrum that's sometimes hard to figure out.

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  16. I also got married in my early twenties. That one didn't turn out so well.
    I then remarried in my mid-twenties. That one has held up so far. But, then again, I married Mrs. Penwasser #2 when SHE was in her early twenties. Uh oh.
    By the way, glad you're not invisible. No reason to have felt invisible in your earlier incarnation, either.

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    1. i think i was just too busy to notice myself sometimes.
      is it possible to be so busy and yet bored at the same time? that sounds dumb.
      i hope you make mrs penwasser #2 a happy lady. it probably helps if you don't pee outside the toilet. or at least wipe it up yourself if you do.

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    2. It's VERY possible to be busy and bored. It doesn't sound dumb.
      I do sometimes and I try all of the time.

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  17. words can't describe how this post made me feel. I know exactly what you are going through. love to you :)

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    1. i'm glad you can relate. and i suspect you're in the same sort of self-rediscovery right now too. keep going, you're doing great!

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  18. Love this post. Such true words. An of course you look fabulous dahhhling!

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  19. Sherilin - you are a beautiful woman inside and out and I am so glad that you are happy with your newest body! I totally get this post and have found that who I am and who I want to be has had to change to adapt to the current situation of my life. The potential for us as moms and wives isn't able to be taken away from the family dynamic, but we can work within the given parameters to have amazing lives.

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    1. thank you. i think the outer transformation is just a symptom of the inner adjustments i'm making.

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  20. that's wonderful Sherilin, and you wrote it out so eloquently. This is indeed the time to figure out who we really are now, and not just who we are to others.
    xoxo
    p.s. lurv the silver pants. I hope you kept them, no matter what. Probs not though.

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    1. i wish i still had those silver pants! i loved vinyl clothes back when i was skinny.
      i used to think it was silly to say that a person needed to find their self. because, duh, self was where they were, stop looking and being dramatic. but it's making a bit more sense these days.
      i'm half way through brooke's childhood. not that she won't need me still when she's grown, but it surely going to be less. and i don't want to just be a forgotten husk of a human when she moves out and i'm left to my own devices. if i don't start looking now, i might not even know what my own devices are by that time!

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  21. Well done, Sherilin, and well said.

    It's like you're learning to blossom. :-) How beautiful.

    Pearl

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    1. blossoms are pretty. i like that mental picture.

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  22. Hi, I'm a new reader coming via BPOTW. Good for you and you look fantastic!! You're on the right path and I wish you all the very best!

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    1. thanks for visiting mom of A's. =)

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  23. Good for you!. I can relate to your words as I have been also dealing with visibility lately

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    1. i hope you succeed at becoming exactly as visible as you want to be.

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  24. I can totally relate! I've really transformed over the last couple of years. I like the new me. Not perfect, but I feel better than I once did, which is the overall goal, isn't it? Good for you. You are (and look) amazing!

    PS - Buy something flashy to stand out a little. Maybe a great necklace or some shocking shoes. :)

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    1. i do need something flashy. maybe i'll get some rhinestone eyebrows.

      i like the new you too.

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  25. You are definitely not invisible. To me, you are very very easy to see.

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  26. It amazes me that someone as beautiful/funny as you could ever be considered "invisible." You were beautiful before and you look FANTASTIC now!

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    1. i don't think anyone besides me considered me to be invisible before. it was apparently my own issue that needed to be addressed. i just didn't realize it until i was stuck in it.

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  27. Thank god you're not invisible, then I never would have seen this post and be able to tell you that by far my favorite picture of you is the last one. You look natural and beautiful and most of all comfortable and confident!

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    1. thanks, marie. i feel more comfortable in my own skin recently. like i make sense now or something.

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  28. This is so beautiful. I feel like crying because I'm really unhappy with the 50 pounds I've put on since university, and I wish I could do what you've done. I know I can't get back to university weight, but I'd love to find that middle girl you've described.

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don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!