Today I saw a news article in my paper about a friend I had in high school. She moved to the same city I did about the same time and we didn't know about it. My dad told me she was here so I found her on facebook.
In junior high she was pretty much the most popular girl in my grade level. My dad played racket ball with her dad so when I switched to her school in 8th grade she took me under her wing. It was like getting a free ticket to first class because I was the new girl and got to sit with the popular kids.
But at that point I was so upset about being overweight and tall and felt ugly. I couldn't see why this group would just take me in. And of course there were those who actually did treat me like "Why are you here?" For the most part they were all actually really nice to me though. But I assumed they were being nice because they felt bad for me. So I found new friends and "hated" the popular kids.
It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized I had pushed them out before I gave them a chance to let me in. I refused to open up to them. But this one girl, no matter how much I tried to push her out, remained nice to me. She even invited me to sleep overs, parties, out to lunch, ect.
Now she's gained weight. She's not obese but she's overweight. This is the only time in her life that she's been overweight. She started painting gallery work in college and came up with the concept of putting the 50 ft woman in every one of her pictures because that's how she feels. And if there is always a food reference to go along with it. If there are other people in the picture they are always the copy of the same girl- what I would call a cookie cutter cali girl. Here's the link to her article: www.star-telegram.com/20
She's Michelle Brandley. In the article she says she's the 50 ft woman because she feels awkward, like she's going to knock things over if she walks.
It breaks my heart to see a girl who was once so confident in herself lose hope in herself over weight gain. She's really not even that big. It breaks my heart that she thinks this makes her any less of a person.
At the same time it makes me upset that I didn't get onto myself sooner about my negativity towards myself. I guess you just have to watch someone lose themselves to find a new perspective on yourself. It's sad that this happened. I hope she can realize she's still beautiful and will always be a wonderful person.
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger- I know she'll someday get back to the size she used to be. I hope that it helps her regain her confidence. But for now I hope that she can find confidence in who she is now.
I'm praying that she'll have lunch with me or something so I can really tell her thank you for what she did for me in high school and be a support for her with her weight like she was for me when I was lonely.