Today’s guest post is brought to you by Layne from mrspennylayne. Guys, Layne is just one of those infectious people gifted with the ability to make folks feel treasured. Because you are treasured when you’re with her; it’s magical. I need you to know that one of my favorite memories of this girl is from college when I directed the pageant on campus (and that’s a completely different post for another time) and Layne’s talent was performing the Evolution of Dance. She nailed it every. single. time. Girl has moves, y’all.
When she’s not dancing, which is rare, she’s hanging out with her husband, John Boy, and their bulldog, Gus, at their lakeside home in Arkansas. Her heart is so good and her blog is fantastic. I seriously can’t tell you how much I enjoy her point of view and distinct writing style. I know that’s the former English teacher in me, but it’s true. So, please be sure to visit her and give her some love! -MS
my goodness, it’s good here. it’s comfy to be in ohblessyourheart. it really is. probably because MS has one of the most welcoming hearts i know. her little online living room is just homey to me.
my journey to accepting my body as it is started and ended within about a 20 minute time span. maybe a little longer. maybe.
i have always been tiny. picture a normal size kid, reduce it by 20%, and there i was. just a tiny little blonde girl with a chipmunk laugh and the uncanny ability to not know when to stop. (i kid. except i was a teensy bit annoying. still am. workin’ on it.) sure, elementary school was hard, and i got teased a lot and really bullied quite a few times. but i was raised in a traditional home with some really great people. for the most part, i never felt like i had to hide who i was. (my parents, to this day, celebrate my quirks. Christmas 2012? “we picked out the ugliest purse. it looked just like you.” it totally did, and i love it even now. and then when everyone got little disney coin purses to keep in their car? “we got you stitch because you’re kind of a mess.”) all that to say, i never felt stifled growing up. but at 4’9.5″ i was just waiting to…actually…grow…up.
i don’t know what made us check. honestly, it was probably an episode of oprah or something. but we decided when i was 14-years-old to make an appointment with an endocrinologist. at the time i thought this was cutting edge technology. (and it really might have been. i have no clue. i never researched it after my 20 minutes of dreaming.) they could take a sample of your blood and determine if you were going to grow anymore. i remember dreaming of the possibilities. what if i were 5’3″ and could be like my friends that grew over summer and looked so skinny come fall? what if i were taller than my sister? my parents? what would my new legs look like? (i literally have short everything. short arms. short torso. short legs. short attention span. glitter. ponies. donuts. bye-bye.) they took my blood. i think i might have cried for a minute because i hated having my blood drawn. then we waited anxiously in the doctor’s office and dreamt of the possibilities.
“well, it’s official. you are not going to grow another inch.” (he lied. i grew a half an inch my senior year. rounding me out to a grand total of 4’10.”)
just like that, my dreams of long limbs and towering over everyone were crushed. it took 20 minutes total. it should’ve broken me. 14 is a fragile age for any girl, and i was no exception. but, ya’ll, it was somehow one of the most empowering moments i had ever experienced. i remember looking around the room and having the emotional equivalent of an “opa!” moment. it just somehow, magically, didn’t bother me. i remember thinking to myself, “welp, this is as good as it gets. better get used to it. it’s my forever.”
for me, it was a gift. it took the guesswork out, and it made me feel 20 steps ahead in this difficult self-acceptance journey. i just felt free. i felt like myself because i was myself. this was me.
sure, i still sometimes wish i was a little taller. when you’re this far under 5 foot, it’s hard to stay in shape. on a good day, my body is kind of pin-up. on a normal day, my body is kind of pinup gummy bear. i have a theory that when you gain 1lb. it looks like you’ve gained 10lbs. and, lucky me, for whatever reason, i gain weight in my face first. thanks for that, universe. care for a few more details? i’ve broken my nose well over 10 times. even tried to have surgery to fix it, but it got broken again. it’s so, so crooked now. i was told by a doctor that i have the equivalent of a 90-year-old person’s back. all kindsa loss of disk space and arthritis goin’ on there. i have random bouts of anxiety, and i have years of insomnia under my belt. (thanks, night shift!)
but you know what? it’s my body. all of it. mine. i could’t possibly be another inch taller because then i wouldn’t be me. and i have to be who i was created to be. it’s the only way my life feels comfortable. my short, curvy figure, my crooked nose, my crazy wonky back, and my ability to stay up for 30 hours for no reason. i can’t claim that i never have moments of insecurity. i have them all. the. time. it’s just part of being an ever-evolving human. i get self-conscious about my nose or if i randomly gain a few pounds. but i always go back to one particular quote that grounds me and helps me over and over again: comparison is the thief of joy.
and i wholeheartedly love this joyful life. opa.