Today, I’m proud to say that my relationship with myself is one that I truly cherish. Truth be told, however, it was not always so rosy.
Like many of us, I once accepted things from myself (and others) for way too long simply because I didn’t believe that I was “worth it” or “enough” to deserve or ask for more. At the same time, I felt I had to be perfect, know everything, and figure things out easily. I was afraid to ask questions or ask for help, because that would be admitting that I didn’t know something and that I was weak. I was insecure, shy and painfully codependent, terrified of life and change and trying anything new. I tortured myself with the shame and embarrassment of it all.
On top of everything, I always tried on clothes that I saw the “cool girls” wear and nothing ever fit the same on me as it did on them. They all had athletic body types. I was curvy, and wished that my boobs would shrink to match theirs. I saw models in magazines with perfect non-gummy smiles, and perfectly bouncy and shiny, wavy or straight hair and wondered why on earth my curls never dried like that.
I had sampled (and quickly given up on) many things in my half-hearted, (and hugely private), quest to find solutions. I didn’t feel worthy enough to spend any money on myself so any “thing” I ever bought, if I paid for anything at all, had to be dirt cheap. So at the ripe old age of 19, I resigned myself to having an unfortunately shaped body and frizzy hair, and a lifetime of “mom-jeans”. I thought that I was the problem, that there was something inherently wrong and unfixable with me. Or if I was somehow fixable, any process would have to be way too expensive and exhaustive to take on. I was beyond help.
Then one fine day I watched an Oprah show about bras. I was shocked to learn that eight out of 10 women in America aren’t wearing the right bra size, and that most of them don’t even know it. All the women in the audience went on to have bra makeovers by the Nordstrom team, and I saw each woman have their own transformative Cinderella moment. It was like a magical light had been turned on within each one. The change was palpable; they became magnetic and vivacious. They were happy. Could it be that I, too, was simply wearing the wrong bra size?
The show opened my eyes. I realized it was possible to go to Nordstrom where, just like the lucky women on the Oprah show, even I could also be helped and fitted by a pro (for free!). It also allowed the beginning of the most amazing, relieving and sweet idea that I wasn’t alone, and maybe, just maybe, there was nothing actually wrong with me. And that maybe, just maybe, there were solutions out there to the other “problems” I was having.
After working up the courage, off I went to Nordstrom, where I got an expert to help me get the answers I needed, and finally tried on a beautiful bra that fit correctly. It was my own Cinderella moment in that dressing room. In one instant, my self-image and I magically transformed from Roseanne Barr to Sophia Vergara.
Just one little bra could be the catalyst for such powerful change. Just one little bit of knowledge. Just one little Oprah episode. If I could make one tiny change and it could have this huge of an effect, what else could I change? What else could I learn about, or research, or question?
All of a sudden it was a whole new world. I knew that if I didn’t know something, somebody somewhere else had the answers, and those answers weren’t necessarily expensive or difficult to come by. Most importantly, I finally knew that I was going to be just fine. I knew I wasn’t alone.
These days, we are so lucky to have blogs that teach how to sew a button or build a window bench seat. Facebook friends that are at the ready with tips and answers to any question you ask. YouTube videos that teach how to fry an egg.
I love that I’ve learned to put my pride aside. I love that I love to learn. I love that I love who I am today. And I love that there is so much more to do and learn while I’m on this planet. Bring it on.
Pay It Forward:
Here’s the info for Nordstrom’s bra fit specialists.
For any bosom-blessed ladies who need some special bra help, I swear by Jenette Bras in Pasadena/East Hollywood. Let’s just say, their slogan is “The alphabet starts at D”. Click here for some fascinating tidbits and facts about what it takes to hold the ladies up!
And while you’re at it, check out Oprah’s Bra and Jean Intervention Page.
February is the month of love. We see it as an opportunity to create deeper connections with your loved ones and with anything that ignites a passion in your soul. We see it as a moment to appreciate the little everyday things that put a smile on your face. We see it as the chance to show yourself that hey, you’re pretty lovable and you deserve a little TLC, too. (And that’s always a good thing, no matter what month it is!)