Born this way

As many of my friends may know, I’m a bit of a Lady Gaga fan. I was talking to a friend recently about how music hasn’t really “moved” me in the way it used to. I’m not sure if it’s a disconnect — a subconscious effort to not be affected emotionally, if it’s related to chronic depression, or something else entirely. I tend to listen to more upbeat/pop stuff that I don’t have to think too much about, or contemplate the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Lady Gaga’s music fits the bill pretty well. That’s not to say her music isn’t good – it’s just not heartachy in the way some of the music I used to listen to can be. (Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos… to name a few)

Lady Gaga’s last album, “Born This Way” connected with me for a lot of reasons, especially the title track. It’s truly an anthem for being who we are and not letting society change us, tell us how to be, or feel badly about who we are. But while I like the music, I like Lady Gaga more as a person. I respect her strength, honesty, bravery and her humanitarian efforts to rally for equal rights by supporting all people in what they do, and encouraging who they want to be.

My last blog, titled “My Fat Life” was an effort to explain the experience of being fat for life – I literally was born this way. From a chunky baby, to an awkward toddler and even more awkward teenager, I have been overweight as long as I can remember. There are no skinny jeans in my closet – only less fat ones. So while I often joke about being “born this way” in regards to my weird/geeky/nerdy/awkward demeanor, I truly was born and raised a fat person. (see cheesy/awkward photo of me, age 10-ish? I also totally still have that shirt, for some reason…)

Jazz hands!?

Jazz hands!?

That being said, it’s hard to find the place in my life where I can let go of this weight I’ve been carrying, both physically and emotionally. It has quite literally been attached to me my entire life.

I think this is where I tend to trip up and fall. When I see the number on the scale going down, it’s a part of me that’s leaving. And while it’s a part I am generally happy to say sayonara to, I tend to start slipping up in my better eating/exercising habits. My only real connection is that I’m so attached to this weight that it’s painful to see it go. There is a lot of fear involved with becoming a new person. No matter how I look, somebody somewhere will ridicule me. I know a girl who had a lapband and now has people telling her she’s TOO skinny. You just can’t win, right?

I’m trying to look at life from the perspective of where I want to be, instead of where I have been. It is hard not to look at the past, but when I truly need guidance toward a better future, my own past is not the best place to look. While we want to remember our mistakes and avoid repeating them, we don’t need to linger on the things that made us feel like we were not good enough.

While I may have been “Born This Way” that doesn’t mean I can’t change it – I can’t change my personality (and why would I want to?) and I can’t change my face, my skin color, my heritage, my sexual orientation – but I can change the things that drag me down and make me feel weak and powerless. I can stand up for the me that was born to be brave, born to be happy, born to see the world and take in every moment. I CAN AND I WILL – I just have to keep reminding myself that anything is possible.

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