a taylor swift song

an introduction! wow! who am I!

today’s question I want to answer in my personal diary series thing is “how would you describe your personality” because who doesn’t love talking about themselves.

In acronyms and analogies, I’m the ENTJ who seemingly rules the world with “brilliance” and “confidence”. I’m Slytherin who is not quite self-obsessed as much as “putting myself first”. I’m a Sagittarius who works alone and may quite possibly outlive everyone on a desert island because I don’t need human interaction. Debatably (assuming I carry the will to live), but you get the point.

My favorite word to describe myself is “wallflower”. If I had to compare myself to a fictional character, it would be Bianca from The Duff novel, who supports deconstructing societal norms (also, I’m a massive supporter of the “friends with benefits” ideology or, at the very least, sleeping with someone you may not be “dating”). I observing everything and absorb nothing. My mind is open and I try to understand different viewpoints (unless, of course, it hurts another person or just supports a system built by old white dudes for old white dudes).

I don’t know. I don’t want to be perfect, but I want to be somewhat like a normal person. I want to have friends and go out and laugh and do stupid shit and just be like a person. Instead I feel like I’m wearing a suit made of bubble-wrap and watching the world happen through someone else. I’m living but I’m not alive. My personality consists of traits of your basic rom-com female lead: kind, stubborn, doe-eyed, innocent, youthful, you get the gist. If I could, for a second, be someone, anyone else, I would. I feel stuck in one of the rooms in an asylum where they feed me through a crack in the wall and put blocks on my hands. When I look in mirrors, I see someone else. I don’t know who I am and I feel like, at this point, I should have some general idea.

I’m pieces of the stars and the earth and everything in between. My personality is ever-shifting from bright tulips in Spring to the firewood ambers in Winter. I wish I had control, but I wish I didn’t need control.

Firefly

I used to be a wallflower. I would sit back and watch people and mimic their movements. How to talk, how to walk, how to breathe, how to live. I became a compilation of any person I had ever seen who smiled like they enjoyed their life. I became a compilation of emotions I did not have.

This isn’t to be sappy. This isn’t to be pitied. I’m a girl who doesn’t know how to be ‘normal’. I’m a girl who is stuck, or trapped – really, in her own mind. There are days where I feel real, where I can smell nutmeg and feel raindrops on my nose and feel comfort beneath blankets. I live through a TV sitcom  that I have never seen and laugh with people I’ve built in my head. But there are days where my heart beats so fast I think I might choke. I wish I would choke. I sit on my hands because my nerves are alive and their one goal is to claw at my face until I bleed. Muffled sounds in my head become whispers that become voices screaming that my place on this planet is a waste of space and if I try to fight back my nails will rip apart my thighs until they’re too thin to carry me . There are monsters in my head who have stuck around longer than any friend I’ve ever had and I worry if they’ve created my personality and who I’d be without them. If I’m left alone for too long I’ve been told I become catatonic. My insomnia is made up of inner demons who play poker in my head and shoot thoughts around the room. A day can only be as good as they let it.

I’m doing well. I can still breathe okay and have happy moments. No one understands my mental illness and that’s okay. I think I can handle it alone. I try to, anyways.

I just want to make inner peace.

This is not for pity. This is not a call out post. I want people to know. Loud noises scare me because of PTSD. I’m always to blame for arriving late to places because my demons told me no one cares. There are days, weeks that go by where I feel high as the clouds and everything is flowers and I can’t imagine how I’ve been so sad for so long. There are nights where I lie awake until the sunrises and wait for someone to wake and help me slip beneath the sheets. I feel like I’m raising a toddler, relearning how to act in front of people. My brain is slow and my thoughts move fast and my comfort comes from a cat and ratty sweatshirt. I wish I had someone who could help me walk and teach me to stand until my mania arises again and has me ziplining through life.

I’m okay, though. I’m okay because I only have myself and I’ve learned to be okay with that.

the “average” woman is not so average

Everybody wants to be famous

 

Not me though. I mean, I would love the recognition and maybe some extra money to keep myself and my girl happy but I don’t need fame. I want to make a difference. I started sharing photos of myself on my Instagram so that others could see me. Like really see me. I shared photos of myself that a year ago would have been way out of my comfort zone. Some of them are still out of my comfort zone, and I’m the last person to give a shit about comfort. I will wear what I want and I know I look damn good doing it. I started posting because Aerie made me love myself. Aerie made me love my body despite not having a conventionally attractive figure. I became proud of myself for the first time. I wasn’t thinking “Oh God I look so fat compared to her,” anymore. Instead I was thinking “Damn, she looks so good! But so do I!” I began to see myself as just as worthy of attention as the professional models society fawns over. I had a goal in mind. I decided I want to be a model who represents the average girl.

 

I am not “skinny”. I am not “plus-size”. I am average. And average means boring? I guess? Realistically, average gets overlooked. “Average” seems to be big boobs and big butt with a slim waist. Or an athletic size 12 is seen as plus-size, making me feel like I should be wearing the plus size clothes that are too big for me because the “regular” section is fitting too small on me. I’ve got broad shoulders, thick thighs but no ass, I wear a 34D bra and I’ve got a slim waist, wide hips, and a tummy. It isn’t a particularly large tummy, but it’s a tummy just the same. Where is the love for girls who are bigger than a typical size Large but smaller than a plus-size?

 

Recently, I’ve been shopping around for professional clothes for my new job. I work at a mall part time so I tend to shop the stores within my mall. I’ve shopped Aerie and American Eagle, Forever 21, Rue 21, Charming Charlie’s, Aeropostale, H&M and a few other stores for my demographic. I’ve also looked at Target and a few discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. What I’ve found across the board is that for stores like F21 and H&M, my size doesn’t really exist, and if it does, it’s only in a few items. At Forever 21, I struggle to find tops in the non-plus section that fit across my torso evenly. Tops usually fail to accommodate my chest. However, the tops in the plus section absolutely swallow me. They’re unflatteringly too large and never hug the curves I do have. It doesn’t help that F21 doesn’t carry XL in most of their clothing. If you’re bigger than their size large but smaller than their plus size, you’re shit out of luck. Most of the bottoms at F21 either fit in the waist but not the hips and thighs or vice versa. This tends to be the case for me with jeans at most stores as well.

 

My size never stays consistent across the board either. At American Eagle and Aerie I can wear a medium or large top, depending on the stretch, but at Target and Old Navy and Aeropostale, I have to wear an XL. The inconsistent sizing of women’s clothes contributes a lot to body image issues and self-confidence. I also think it’s ridiculous that sizes are inconsistent because that’s probably why the lines for women’s dressing rooms are always so long. Men don’t seem to have to try much on at all, because their size is almost always the same wherever they go. Why haven’t we addressed this problem beyond switching to a “one size fits all” mindset like Zara or Don’t Ask Why? The “one size” solution doesn’t even work beyond socks and hats, anyway, and sometimes that isn’t even true. All bodies are made differently and beyond having to change sizes because of the stretch of different materials like satin or velour/velvet, most clothing that is primarily cotton or polyester should already be made the same way, therefore the same size.

 

Think about it, clothing companies! We all claim to be body positive, but we aren’t doing anything to make sizing more consistent so that girls who are typically a medium don’t have to feel like shit when they only fit in a store’s XL. We need to do better.