What I’ve done with my life (thus far)

What day is this? Day 12!! Not… quite… half way there. (Though I got it all out of order on Twitter. Eh. They will figure it out.)

Your proudest accomplishment

I am not going to say something like “getting my degrees” because I didn’t have to work all that hard for them. School is easy for me. So it was great to rock it out walking across the stage for my M. Ed., it isn’t the thing I am most proud of.

It isn’t buying a home either. Lots of people buy homes. Big deal? Sure! Proudest accomplishment? Nope.

I’ve done lots of other awesome things, too. Mission trip to India, managed 4 estates (my parents and grandparents dying) in 4 years, learned how to figure skate, lost a bunch of weight (then re-gained. OK. Maybe not so proud of that part). I’ve traveled a bunch. I’ve eaten interesting and very scary things (beef heart and pig trotters anyone?) But I think this is what I am most proud of…

Back in 2006, I entered my first ballroom dance showcase. You can view the video here. I would encourage  you to take 3 minutes out and go take a look.

But I put that up on the internet for everyone to see… and comment upon. Scary and terrifying but I was so proud of how hard I worked – first on losing, I think about 40 lbs at that point. I practiced every day on that routine – at least an hour – for weeks. So much so that shortly after, I had to go to Sports Medicine for work on my back and ankle.

My friend was blogging for a local TV station at the time and she linked to it. She thought it was awesome and wanted to share it with the world. For the most part, the response was positive… except for one guy from Memphis who called me a “blogging whale.”

The Nashville blogging community was very tight knit (at the time). We could tear each other to pieces but the second someone came in from the outside… no. You just don’t do that.

I cried a lot. I was so hurt. It cut me to the core of who I am. On a certain level, I probably still think that no one will see the good that I do for the fat. That being fat negates performing well in anything – as a writer, as a dancer, as just a human.

I finally responded to what this dude had to say a few days after the interwebs erupted (at least for me. It wasn’t viral-viral but many more people watched it than I ever thought would). As proud as I am of the dance, I think I’m more proud of what I learned from the tiniest bit of hate thrown at me.

I will continue to live with joy.

It is a lesson I have forgotten of late. Joy can be a choice.

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