Yesterday I was told that I was too skinny. I know what you are probably thinking, “What an awesome problem to have. Cry me a river, Jenn!” or “OH snap, I can’t wait to read what her response was. Get the popcorn ready!” Unfortunately, I didn’t have a witty comeback this time. I just stood there frozen, vulnerable, and hurt as every insecurity I have ever felt about my body came flooding back. That was quickly followed by the desperate need to sink into the shadows, and hide from the world. Because hearing “You’re too skinny” sounded EXACTLY the same to me as hearing “You’re too fat”. I mean, people have jokingly said I am too skinny before, but not like this. He meant it. He wasn’t jealous. He wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt me. He just simply thinks that I “should eat a cheeseburger”. Which normally I would think was a great idea. But in this moment, it was the same feeling as when I was overweight and someone told me I “should eat a salad”. That exact same devastating pain.
Now before we all grab our pitchforks and hunt him down, let me just say that this guy is one of the nicest people that I have ever met. Maybe not the smartest, but if he knew that he hurt me he would be mortified. I know that he would apologize profusely, and then hide from me for….IDK three months? We could all take bets, but I digress. Anyway, I don’t feel the need to hurt him, or retaliate against him, or even hold negative thoughts for him. Other people’s words can only hold the value that I give them. I have learned that I have to look inside to stop the pain instead of harboring negative thoughts, or ACTUALLY running to a cheeseburger for comfort. Food won’t fix it. I also have the advantage of always having 2016 Jenn with me to keep me straight. That girl would have done ANYTHING to be where I am today, and I ask myself all the time, “What would 2016 Jenn say to me right now?” I’ll tell you what she would say about this, she would say…
“Seriously Jenn?!?!? You are crying because someone called you too skinny???? Are you freaking kidding me? You HAVE to be kidding. You have everything!! Look at that ass, Girl!! Get-It-Together because I kinda want to punch you in the face right now. I really do. You are NOT too skinny. ‘You can never be too skinny or too rich.’ Everybody knows that. You are PERFECT! Keep slaying life girl!”
So today I am going to choose to listen to the girl that started this whole thing instead of a guy with rudimentary social skills. Because if I see myself through her eyes, all I see is perfection and all I can feel is gratitude.
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist