21 February 2008


I took some time to take a memory lane stroll yesterday. My old non-profit job was tethered loosely to a hospital. Since I lost the job, I haven't been back into the building but once; and that was under extreme duress. (No, *I* wasn't in the hospital, but I'm not telling what it was for. Anyway.)

So yesterday I went of my own free will, because I'd spoken on the phone recently with one of my old colleagues, and he suggested when we spoke that I should stop in and see him if I was in the neighborhood. I've purposefully avoided that part of town for quite some time now, because seeing my old office shuttered and looking abandoned breaks my heart.

I know the closure of the place wasn't my fault. As much as I despise that phrase (not my fault) in this case, it is true. Intellectually, I know that. I do. Really. In my heart, it is another story. The fact that the place closed on my watch....I was the director. If not *my* fault, whose? The buck stopped with me. Even being in the neighborhood brings all of that back. The rest of the time, I don't think about it much, so staying away has been a good policy.

But I like my old colleague, and I've missed him. I decided that it was time to face the elephant in the room, bite the bullet, tackle the tiger.

Everyone in administration at that place has a gate-keeper. Someone who decides if you're holy enough, or whatever, to get in the door. I breezed past his, asking if he was in. The gate-keeper didn't recognize me, but didn't stop me either.

When I walked in to his office, he did a double take; just like in the cartoons. Hilarious, truly.

"Look at you!" He nearly shouted. "You look like a model!"

We had a lovely chat, and then I popped in to see someone else I haven't seen in a long while. She also told me I look fantastic.

Later, I was at Sam's Club, and the cute little cashier was shivering; I'd thought it was hot inside the store. I told her she was cold because she's skinny. "When I was skinny, I was cold all the time too," I said.

"You're not heavy," she said.

Um? Yeah? I am? That's what I think, anyway. So I told her that a year ago I was nearly 200 pounds, and I still think of myself as hugely overweight. She asked how much I weigh now.

"157 on the scale this morning," I said.

"Aren't you so proud of yourself? You should be so proud! I don't even know you, and I'm proud of you!" She told me. "And you're thin! You're doing great! Keep it up!"

Isn't it amazing how the words of a stranger can change your outlook? I walked out of that store on air. All I see when I look in the mirror is the additional 20+ pounds that I still have to lose, the muscle that still isn't there, the dark circles under my eyes, the things I don't like.

My head swelled just a bit. All those compliments combined with the fact that I wore a pair of size 8 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) pants......well, it was good for the ego.


MotherMe said...

Okay, get on with you and your size 8 pants. Sheesh. I wasn't wearing a size 8 on my wedding day, and I was the thinnest I'd been in YEARS that day. You do look great! And best of all, you're doing it the smart way (read: diet & exercise). I'm incredibly proud of you!! :)


Lucy Arin said...

stop it, I'm blushing. Thank you.

I wasn't a size 8 on my wedding day either; I was a 10. And my wedding dress was bigger because the sizes run so small. urgh.

My size 8 pants weren't comfortable. I wore them anyway. The fact that I could zip them....was pretty thrilling.

Dawna said...

Compliments from strangers are the BEST!!!