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Coming back from the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, I saw a group of kids hanging around the front of a neighborhood as I drove past. They were all decked out in black, piercings, spikey hair, boots, the work. And yet it struck me how eerily similar they all looked–all boys, all wearing skinny black jeans, pretty much interchangeable.

It’s amazing how we want so hard to be different that we end up looking alike! It made me think of my 9th grade school picture. I was wearing my favorite puple and gray plaid “grunge” shirt over a purple baby tee. My hair was nearly blonde from being highlighted so often (looking at that picture is what has kept me from ever dying my hair with permanent dye again). That grunge shirt had allowed me to fit in with my little group in 8th grade…the shirt, the alternative radio station, and a certain love for all things smiley face.

On the first day of 9th grade, I wore that shirt. And I was too afraid to wear my matching puple nail polish, for fear I would seem too weird and NOT fit in with a new group of people. I went to a magnet school for high school, where I think I knew two souls before the first day of my freshman year. After a few days of the new school, I begged my parents to let me go back to my home school. My mom bribed me to stay with an outfit from the Limited.

This has all come flashing back as I’ve prepared to go to Blissdom this weekend. I don’t remember ever being so concerned about what I’m wearing before. It has skyrocketed to the point of ridiculous. I was nearly in tears Monday night as I can’t even find a shirt that I think fits well over the lovely nursing rack I got going on.

I spent so many years walking into a crowd of people assuming that everyone hated me unless proved otherwise. A few years of Paxil really helped that! And I feel I am more confident now, more of a woman. And yet the thought of wearing the wrong thing to a little cocktail party is enough to make me want to hide under the covers.

So, Blissdom, I’ll probably be wearing the wrong thing. I have no fashion sense. I am lumpy.

But I’m still the same Jessie who writes here. I think I’m a likeable person. I have a great smile that I think attracts people, and I will be wearing an adorable baby who will hide whatever I’m wearing underneath anyway!

It’s time to move on.

4 thoughts on “Fitting

  1. I FEEL you so much in this post. I have been looking for every excuse under the sun to get out of BlissDom….but I’ll be there. And I’ll be wearing the wrong thing, too. 😉

  2. The first few months after having a baby can be really hard! I struggled with very disordered eating in college and its still a struggle for me, and the ups and downs of pregnancy and breastfeeding weight and body re-distribution have been hard. I don’t like that my belly will never be flat or wrinkle-free again, that I’ll have stretch marks on my hips forever, and now that my nursing breasts have deflated back to their normal size that’s a bit of a downer, too! But you are absolutely right: as a mother I feel more womanly and confident, and at times I’m even glad of the dismissal of appearance that so often happens to moms. I don’t know that that was said very clearly… but I used to feel like I was judged based on appearance prior to having kids, but now I feel much more based on behavior – which is more fair since I have a lot more control over my behavior than over my appearance! Though sometimes I’m irked that the fact that I have kids with me means that no one notices me or perceives me as attractive… But, its a trade off, and having kids has been an amazing, wonderful journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

    And now I have to go because Ellie is fighting sleep mightily…

  3. I know exactly how you feel!!! I’ve been struggling with the same issues this week (I’m blaming pregnancy hormones). Trying to talk with people on Twitter, and they don’t talk back…leaving comments on blogs that get ignored….slow trickle of comments on my own blog…it’s been a rough week for the old esteem!!!! So I can’t even imagine facing everyone at a conference right now!! (even though I’d LOVE to sail on out of here, away from dirty dishes and diapers!!).

    Relax, and enjoy yourself. I’m sure you’ll have a GREAT time and look FABulous!

  4. Jessie! I know, I've been thinking, "Please don't be high school, please don't be high school!" LOL! But honestly, there's something weird about blogging (weird in a cool way) b/c even tho' we're going to be seeing each other for the first time, we're also reuniting! I've known & loved you for too long to care what you look like, kwim?


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