This picture is of me today, in a place that does not put me at ease like it once did. It was was supposed to have rained and stormed by the time I took the picture. Hours later, and it still hasn’t.
For reasons of my own, I’ve started counseling. Doing the comprehensive assessments yielded some surprises. Because of the pandemic and the bureaucracy of anything related to mental health or healthcare, I’ve only done distance counseling so far. My first face-to-face talk therapy session isn’t until next week. I haven’t done such navel-gazing since I was much younger and struggling to understand the demons that some of my family members dealt with.
Oddly, I’ve convinced so many other people to get counseling or at least seriously consider it, especially at work. Talking things out can’t hurt. Knowing your truths isn’t something to shirk away from, even if the conclusions aren’t what you expected or wanted to hear.
One of the things that caused issues on my assessments was my sixty-five lbs. of weight loss in the same time period that coincides with my life issues. Absent some pathology, it’s rare for someone to do something so successfully and simultaneously fail on a personal level. But that is precisely what I’ve done. The vision I had in October propelled me toward success. I’m grateful. That I crashed and burned on a personal level is still a shock and sadness that prevails. I’m struggling to “pull up” meaningfully. As hard as it is to accept, I’ve got an anxiety problem that is keeping me up at night.
In the future, maybe I can share those surprises and defeats here. Part of the story doesn’t belong to me, even though it’s mine to tell. Hurting people isn’t part of my natural repertoire. Time and distance either gives us grace or the ability to revise our narrative despite the path that we took. Most of us can’t tell our story without revision, especially if we know we didn’t treat everyone as we would like to be treated.
The part I can tell is that I was so confident of the outcome and that my path was one of ascendancy and fulfillment. I got crushed in that confidence.
Today, I stood next to one of the men’s display tables at Sam’s. On the one hand, I was a little chagrined. On the other, it pleased me to know that the perfect size of that pants style wasn’t available to me. Because I was too small. If anyone had told me last September that I would encounter the problem of being too small, I might have laughed. Wearing such pants wasn’t possible for me before. Now that I realized that I love the fabric and fit, I’m a fan. This brand and fit aren’t available in 30″ waists. For the record, I’m a 32″ waist for the brands I used to wear.
A man saw the displays of pants and walked up. Almost immediately, I realized he had no clue what his exact size might be. He began to fumble and hide his attempt to ‘see’ his pant size. Because I was only a few feet away, he looked at me and laughed. “Hey, can you read the tag?” he asked me as he turned the back seam of his pants down. “Don’t make it awkward,” I told him jokingly as I leaned in and looked. “34 X 30,” I said. He replied, “What brand?” I didn’t have to look. “Eddie Bauer,” I said. I had a moment of surprise as I realized that my waist was smaller than his.
Because I knew Sam’s had no Eddie Bauer on display, I gave him a twenty-second presentation of why he should buy the pants I had on. And because he was listening, I sold him on the same style of shorts. He picked out four pairs of pants and four pairs of shorts. I should have asked for a commission.
When I got back to the house after Sam’s, I grabbed five pairs of pants and discarded them. The 36″ ones float on me. Because I’m still overly confident that I’m never going to the size I once was, I don’t begrudge the money I spent on these pants. As my size reduced, it has been a comfort to ritualize me throwing out the old.