I think I’m the human version of flat Stanley. For those who have never heard of flat Stanley it is a story most second and third graders hear and get to create. It is a story of a boy who magically makes himself flat so he can mail himself to far away places. That’s where the similarity stops. I don’t travel by USPS, mostly Delta but that’s another story. I have lived my life in a 2 dimensional FLAT world.
I have dysmorphia, I think my body is different than it really is. When I look in a mirror I see the flat image looking back and generally I’m ok with that. I don’t have a lot of mirrors in my house so seeing myself is rare. However, with all of the digital media wandering around I’ve also learned to dodge most cameras. But sometimes one sneaks up on me and I’m stunned by what I see. I look nothing like how I think I look in my head.
I tried a personal shopper once and when asked which celebrity I looked most like body wise I said Queen Latifah. I told my friends that and one spit her Coke across the room so I’m apparently way off on my assessment.
About 8 months after Jerry died I was driving to work and the sun hit the mountains just right. For the first time in my life I realized the mountains weren’t a postcard picture. There were bumps, valleys, crevices, I could see TREES. It really freaked me out. When I got to work I shared it with my coworkers who thought I had lost it. Over the next few months I kept noticing things on the mountains. I finally understood where and what Potato Hill in Draper was.
Ever since I have looked at things in real 3D vision, including my dysmorphic self. What I’ve come to realize is that all magazines, TV and movies portray the “perfect” woman in 2 dimensional glory. She isn’t a tall Viking wonder woman like myself. So, I’m working on accepting the stretch marks and round belly. You know what? There are more round bellies than flat ones in real life. Even my super fit friends have a bump. Weird right?
I work with women, I have for my whole adult life and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t hear one of them talking about a diet, or how they hate something about themselves. They are concerned their significant others won’t pay attention to them or will ditch them for someone with a better body. These are some of the best women I have known. Smart, pretty, funny, generous, kind, gracious, elegant, amazing women. Let’s not focus on those qualities. Let’s instead obsess about the little dimple in a thigh.
I started thinking how much I admire Adam and how I don’t focus on what he looks like. I focus on how he makes me feel. He makes me feel smart and lovable. He focuses on my talents and asks me for help. Not once has he asked me if he looks OK or if his pants make his butt look big. Why? Because I don’t think men care about that. I always think he looks good. Clean or dirty. Dress shirt or hoody. Why can’t I have the same opinion about myself? I can’t be the only one like this right?
We recently went out with some people I didn’t know. One girl was seriously busty and I instantly took to disliking her. I didn’t even know her. I just didn’t like her girls up in everyone’s face. It was distracting and men being men well…they were not discreet in their attention to this girl. After spending some time with her I realized how insecure she was and that the “girls” were her way of getting attention. I was reminded that negative attention is still attention.
Maybe she can only see in 2 dimensions. Which made me feel ashamed of myself and how I treated her. We probably could have been friends but I’m insecure and she’s insecure and that just makes for a mess of a friendship. But, I’m trying to judge less and accept more. We are all our own worst critic. Nobody needs me to help them be critical.
It is important to understand that my vision shifted not just with monumental landmarks but how I see all things. I’ve always look at the world differently than most, now I’ve learned to accept it and embrace it. I’m learning cool things about myself, my boys, my relationships, my surroundings, everything really.
If we can alter how we look at something and reframe it into a learning experience I think this is how personal growth happens. I am not the woman I was 3 years ago. She’s gone. I’m this new person now and I’m still figuring it out. What I know for sure is that I do NOT want to go back to seeing things flat. It’s a beautiful world out there to be appreciated in 3D glory and I’m going to see it.
Not new glasses everybody…I got a new life.