There are just some things that are so amazing and powerful that you just need to let them speak for themselves. But then, I’ve never been one to not get in a word.
My love of SoulPancake is pretty large. It’s hilarious, it provides great videos. And then they went and made the That’s What She Said series with Darling Magazine, which pretty much guaranteed my love. I mean, let’s talk about a crazy powerful series that makes you think. I started with the Beauty and Body Image conversation, for reasons that would shock no one that knows me well. Authentic women having authentic meaningful conversation.
But the one I love the most is about perception and confidence. It is so simple for people to look at the outer and have no idea what is going on inside. I hear a lot of comments about how I have it all together. Pull myself together and be perfect. It spins in my head like a mantra. I fight it and I know that it’s a lie, but how to know and how to move past it.
“Wait, you don’t think well of yourself.”
Little did I know that what had slipped out of my mouth would get me that response. Much do I know that truth always comes in the most unexpected places and wonderful people. But I grew up in a world where the presentation is perfect and failure is non-existent. Where arguments were loud discussions but we always went above and beyond for family, friends and neighbors. There will be time for boys and relationships after college, after you’ve built a career, when you don’t need the distraction. Above all, never ever weigh more then 130lbs. The stress weighs upon you. Some of it projected and some of it self-inflicted. But no matter what, it weighs you down.
You feel like there is no way to catch up, no way to be the best, no way to be the smartest, and definitely no way to be perfect. My home isn’t always tidy and lately I can’t respond to email to save my life. I am about as non-confrontational as they come and I feel insanely guilty when I don’t bend over backwards to accommodate everyone else. There will be time for relationships and the time is now, even if I am the largest hinderance in that department. But mostly, I weigh way more than 130lbs and on most days, that thought makes me want to curl up in a ball and never eat again. Once upon a time, that would have been my response. Because the pain and suffering of being a little hungry fades to a feeling of being numb, and when the goal is getting away from the millions of voices telling you that you aren’t enough (or your size is too much), numb always wins.
Public perception is never right and true. And confidence can wane. But we are better then that. I am better then that. So I repeat it over and over again.
I am enough. I am always enough.
It plays like a loop in my brain. When I can’t hear it anymore, I say it outloud. I sharpie it on my arm. When that fades (or accidentally transfers to my clean white sheets), I wonder if people would think I was nuts to permanently tattoo it on the inside of my wrist. Then I remember it doesn’t matter if they do. A reminder to take anywhere, at anytime and to anyone…enough. We have had enough of the ups and downs. I have had enough of meddlesome people who write insensitive articles and blog posts that do nothing to further goodness. So no, to some people I may not be enough and I may not be perfect. And you know what, I’m not perfect. Thank God. But I am enough.
My voice may not be louder, but it is greater, and it will be the last one standing. I may not be an amazing author, but there is power in words written in power and emotion.
You are allowed to be as you truly are
There is space for every person on the spectrum
We are dynamic if nothing else
We are women of something greater
Speak and the universe will react
Align your actions with your intentions
And watch your life become breathtaking as sunset.
I DARE YOU! — Natalie Patterson