It’s strange that I can’t remember what I wore on any given day, but there are certain days that I know exactly what I wore from head to toe. For example, the day before Thanksgiving roughly four to five years ago I wore blue jeans, black Ugg boots, a maroon collared top, a black cardigan, and a big black bow in my half pinned hair. Granted my style was terrible, but I thought that I had looked top notch because I was going to dinner with my dad’s side of the family. There had been some tension as I was away at school and I knew things weren’t great, but I was excited for this dinner because I thought it would fix everything. Yet, when my dad picked me up it was just him. He said it was just us going to dinner. I spent the meal listening to him explain to me that no one wanted me over for Thanksgiving because I hadn’t kept in touch the way they felt I should. Dinner was a total of 30 minutes and he dropped me back home to my mom’s. I took out my bow to let my hair down, changed into pajamas I can’t remember, and cried in my bed.
Another day I was wearing jean shorts to my knees, a brown tank top, a pink t-shirt, and barefoot. I didn’t think anything of this outfit until my step mom sat me down and told me I had to go on Weight Watchers. Now most of the time, my step mom was the enemy and my mom was my solace. But when I asked why I had to go on Weight Watchers, my step mom said it was my mom’s decision. I didn’t understand until she said it was because of the outfit I was wearing. I never wore that outfit again.
One night I was wearing a blue long sleeve pajama top, matching blue plaid pajama bottoms, and wearing my purple wire framed glasses standing in the doorway of my dad and step mom’s bedroom door. It was the middle of my freshman year of high school and they were moving out of the apartment into a new house which meant I had to transfer schools. I listened as she listed off the ways I had disappointed them and that if I didn’t change, they didn’t want me living with them. I looked to my dad for some kind of protection, but he wouldn’t look at me. He shook his head in disappointment as she continued on. I was thirteen and I lost a lot faith that night. In God, myself, my parents. And I’ve been fighting ever since to get it back.
Moved away and in Colorado I went on a trip with my roommate to Portland. I stood in front of Multnomah Falls wearing a dark pink t-shirt, black running shorts, and a black Adidas jacket. I answered a phone call from my boyfriend as he told me he slept with one of our coworkers. I broke down in front of complete strangers as I experienced a betrayal I never thought would happen to me.
Months later, he wanted to give our relationship another try. I sat next to him at the crowded pub in my white Adidas shoes, black ripped jeans, and a white and pink windbreaker. After making a joke about another one of our coworkers, he told me he slept with her too. While we were together. I left my beer, my food, and a really bad guy behind me..
I laid in bed this morning (in my over sized Led Zepplin t-shirt I am still currently wearing) and unfolded these memories. I’ve found it so difficult to stay happy lately and I question why it’s so hard. Looking back at how each of these outfits tell a different story, I notice they all have one thing in common. I’ve always felt like I fall short. I’m not good enough for the people around me. I look in the mirror and think of the nasty things my step mom would say. I look at the girls my ex slept with and feel like I’m not pretty enough. I look at my mom and I wonder why she never protected me.
I don’t want that. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I want to look in the mirror and think of how far I’ve come, inside and out. I want to look at those girls and crush those insecurities by reminding myself it was him. It was never me that was the problem. I want to look at my mom and know she’s not perfect either, but she’d sacrifice everything for me. I want to love myself more than I hate myself and, above all, I want to be happy.