My Prom birthday party was this past weekend. It was a blast! People really got in to it. One friend wore an original prom dress from the 80s. Another friend came in an over-the-top version of a powder blue tux … think powder blue matador! No joke!
I wore a classy black dress with a pink flower at the waist. It was strapless, defined at the waist, with a swingy A-line skirt. I absolutely loved it! I felt beautiful, sophisticated, and sexy. I did play up the prom part, too, with a couple of fake silver and pink tattoos, sparkly hair clips, and some glitter on my fingernails. What better time to bring on the glitter?!
I felt confident as I chatted with my guests, handed out prizes for superlatives (including tackiest prom dress!), was crowned Prom Queen, and danced the night away. It was pure fun!
Afterward, however, I found myself having mixed feelings. Some of the details weren’t exactly what I’d hoped for. But that wasn’t the real issue. It was the pictures. Some of them were great. Beautiful. Others, though … not so good.
I know that photos are a snapshot of a millisecond in time and are by no means a reflection of reality.
But it’s still shocking sometimes to see myself from certain angles. Do I really look like that?? Really?? Have I really put on some of the weight again? Really?? I don’t feel the way I look. How can I feel so much like a new (thinner) person – a new version of myself – and still look like the old me?
Well, maybe that’s just it. I have indeed come a long way. But I’m still me. I’m a concoction of all my experiences. You don’t just let go of the old stuff just like that. But by no means does it negate all the work I’ve done. It does not have to take away from how far I’ve come. The journey is not a straight and steady one. It has twists, turns, U-turns, bumps, hills to go up, and hills to go down. And yes, there are even some nice, smooth stretches. Those parts feel great, but you can’t stay on those stretches forever. It’s the bumps and turns that teach us and remind us what we are truly wanting.
So where does that leave me? I’ll start by looking only at the pictures I love. I’ll continue by focusing on the feelings: if it feels good, stick with it; if it doesn’t, make a change. That sounds simple enough, but it takes a lot of awareness. And then how to make a change to get out of the bad feeling? I like to take a deep breath and then blow it out with gusto. It’s a powerful tool, as you let the negative thoughts go out with the breath. Then look for positive thoughts. Not always easy. Like anything else, it takes practice. Practice, practice, and more practice….