You're Amazing. Show It!

I see you, my peers. I read your blogs, your comments, your emails. I know from my own experience how you suffer at the nervous stares and cruel words uttered by others. Worse yet, I know how you agonize over not being "normal", over being labeled and judged and dismissed by the masses.

You're worried about the same thing everybody else is worried about. Everybody get labeled and judged; everybody. Everybody wants to be better, prettier, smarter, thinner, fill-in-the-blank.

I wish that I could make people instantly look past your handicap and see who you are inside. But, since that isn't ever going to happen, I want to wave my magic wand and help you look past your own handicap long enough to realize what an amazing person you are. If you have CP you are coping with challenging circumstances on a daily basis that no one but your peers can appreciate. And that's really the point. Nobody can tell anything about who you are by just looking at you. They can't know what your favorite food is, or how much you love your dog, or how scared you are during thunderstorms. They have no idea how hard it is for you to stop moving, or unclench your hand, or get your facial tics under control.

You live with the constant reminder of your limitations everyday yet you expect others to ignore them the instant they lay eyes on you. It's just not fair to expect that much from others. You will  encounter countless disappointment if you do.

Instead, think of yourself in these terms.  "Although we all know not to judge a book by it’s cover, most will have a quick glance at the cover to see if it’s a book they may be interested in reading." I'd love to take credit for this sage phrase but it is, in fact, a comment left on my About page by astimegoesbuy (you really should check out her blog. She has impeccable taste).  More importantly, she's absolutely right. You are an amazing book, a page-turner, a best-seller. Why not work on your cover and see how many people want to have a read?

Your Mama

On this Mother's Day I'm finding it difficult to push the thought that the older I get the more I look like my mother out of my head. A shorter, rounder version to be sure, and one with my father's skin and eye color, but the facial features are undeniably hers.

Big shoes to fill as my mother was a model in her younger days with an 18 inch waist, smaller boobs, and perfectly arched eyebrows. It seems as if I was born fat. I certainly always had big upper arms and my chest developed early and rapidly surpassed hers. It always disappointed her and I was put on many diets as a child. No matter how much weight I lost I was always going to have my great grandmother on my father's side's body type. When I was in my mid twenties I decided that I was going to have that 18 inch waist if it killed me. I consumed only 250 calories a day and dieted and exercised my way down to 92 pounds. I wore a child's size 14 and was finally able to fit into my mother's black straight legged jeans.

My cup size never changed, though. I still wore a D cup. I looked like a popsicle stick with two cotton balls glued to it. More importantly, I had done all of it for the wrong reasons. I wanted my mother's approval - which I did not get. "Just ten more pounds and you should be there." It was then that I realized I would never be "there" and began eating normally again.

The fault for this little fiasco rests squarely on my shoulders and no one else's. My mother wasn't, and isn't, a monster.  She's a smart woman who is a talented musician and artist and went from riches to rags to self-made woman. She just wants things to be exactly as she thinks they should be  - even if that's not possible. It is this one personality trait that finally made it necessary for me to establish some boundaries that she finds unacceptable. I'm sorry things have ended up this way, but it's her choice at this point.

So, when I look in the mirror, as I did yesterday on my 51st birthday, I hope that I can retain all of the positive qualities that are my mother and let go of all the ones that don't work so well. But I think, perhaps, this is the struggle that every child goes through.

Thanks for the great cheekbones, Ma, and for every good thing you ever did for me. And Happy Birthday to me!

Me at 51

I promise the next post will be much less maudlin and much more Spashionista-like.