Friday, August 8, 2008

self-evolution

I think there are very few people out there who are truly 100% comfortable in their own skin. Me? I'm on my way.

Working at EFY always seems to help the cause....I mean, you have to wear the same ill-fitting polo as everyone else, so when you're constantly getting side-hugs and sincere compliments from teenagers saying they want to grow up to be like you, you KNOW it has little to do with your physical appearance. I like to think that in heaven we will all wear versions of The Great Unifying Polo...probably in white.

This summer has been a summer of firsts for me. For a long time I've had a lot of ideas about myself, but I'm gaining a new perspective on a lot of things. For instance, I've never worn heels before...NEVER. Always flats...cheap flipflops or threadbare moccasins were always my go-to kicks of choice. My reasoning? Well, besides the comfort factor, I've always been self-conscious about being too tall. Wait, I'm only 5'6, right? Well add in the whole awkwardly-skinny factor and I felt like adding any inches to my height only resulted in me looking like a spaghetti noodle. In fact, I used to try on my roommate's heels and laugh at myself in the mirror and call myself "Lurpzilla." For the same reasons, I always tended to gravitate toward wearing jeans that were slightly too big for me....I hated feeling like a twig. I know, I know, every perfectly plump girl who reads this is ready to jump on my case and tell me I have no reason to complain...but, it's all in the eye of the beholder, right? (And trust me, those same media images telling all the heftier girls they need to starve themselves are the same ones throwing curvacious, womanly figures in my face. It's a double standard, my friends.)

So this is the realization I've come to this summer....my look is about ME. And my self-image is just that...a SELF image. My reasonings behind my former viewpoints were lukewarm, at best. They all boiled down to how other people would perceive me, and who wants to live life trying to impress everyone else? Hello, not me. I finally caved and (with the help of Miss Katie Lee, the self-image master) bought a pair of heels. And a pair of jeans that actually fit me. It has definitely taken some getting used to...but it's a transition that I'm thoroughly enjoying. I feel like a lady...not a lurpzilla.

And by no means do I think I'm conforming or losing myself to the latest trends....because trust me, the parts of me that want to wear sweatpants and baseball hats are still holding sway in my daily apparel decisions. And that's what i LOVE about me...it's just ME. It's not what other people tell me to wear....it's not how other people say I should cut or dye my hair...it's not how I'm too tall or too skinny or wear too many bright colors or shop at DI (thrift stores forever!!)....it's about ME and what I want for me. If I let my self-image revolve around other people's opinions then I'm probably on a quick spiral staircase to No-happiness Land.

And besides, I'm feeling ever-more strongly that self-confidence has little to do with physical appearance, because I think courage and self-esteem are built as we become comfortable with ourselves....and comfort with ourselves only comes when we know we are living our lives correctly....and considering the divinity in each of us, I've concluded that our best selves and best chance at self-esteem are only available if we are cultivating those godly characteristics within us. Hence....a person's best bet at confidence is absolute purity and unselective obedience to Gospel standards, not what shoes you choose to wear in the morning :)

In the words of a wise, prophetic man...."You can't spend your life worrying that the world is staring at you."

And in the words of a best friend's dog...."I do what I want."
Turns out little Murphy knew it all along.

6 comments:

Katie Lewis said...

Um...as I said on facebook...why don't we live with eachother? I think I'm much further away from accepting myself than you are, but you really are such an inspiration. Everything is in the eye of beholder, not the people surrounding you. Just so you know, I think you're beautiful no matter what you wear! Love you girl!

The Ballard Family said...

KATIE. You join the short list of people who have made me speechless. And the LONG list of people who have made me cry.
That was a fantastic piece of work and the best part is that I can see you spouting off the exact same blurb in an everyday conversation. I love that you write from your heart and it never sounds overly rehearsed or edited. Though, of course, it comes out perfection and doesn't need editing! :)
As I lean toward the plumper side of the spectrum rather than the lurpzilla side (did I get the word right? I don't remember...sorry if I spoiled your signature word...) I would like to assure you that at least some of us see the double standard completely and realize that it's not all about being skinny. It's about feeling good in your own skin and, hopefully in the meantime, being healthy. Your message is pure power and should be strewn across the very billboards and magazine pages that attempt to crush our spirit with our very own bodies. Hmmm...that sounds like someone else I know...oh yeah, SATAN.
I think I should be done now becuase I just type-yelled Satan and feel this going to a dark place... :)
Hahaha, thanks for the memory remark on my blog...totally forgot about that and was laughing out loud. I remember being mean to you when we were little and it will haunt me forever but other than all that stuff, a favorite memory (and possibly the turning point of me being mean to you?) was when we were on vacation at Disneyland and sharing a queen size bed. In the middle of the night, you sat up suddenly enough to wake me from a dead sleep and looked over at me (with your eyes closed, you still looked) and screamed "SHUT UP!!!!" Pretty scary stuff.
Haha, just kidding...this is so long...

Matt said...

Oh Katie. You're so cute, and not the least Lurpzilla-ee.

dani said...

Hey Katie! What a cute blog of have! So good to see you at Dason's reception. We should do lunch sometime!

dani said...

BY the way you are a REALLY good writer. I think your form of blog is the way its supposed to be, not my picture-and-caption version. haha Anyway, I'm procedding to read all your blogs and be enlightened.

Blake and Celeste said...

Aw, Katie I love the way you write! This makes me miss you. I laughed when you called yourself a spaghetti noodle. You are so beautiful inside and out! I am so glad you are able to do EFY. I bet you have had the best experiences and a lot of stories to tell!