When my fiancé David got down on one knee in my high school bedroom to propose, I swear I saw a flash of our life together. In a matter of seconds, I thought about our kids, the home we’ll build, vacations, Christmases, all of it.
I snatched the ring box out of his hand without even answering his question, put the ring on my left hand and sobbed.
David’s proposal was our kind of perfect. Our relationship blossomed at 3 a.m. in my car sitting outside his dorm chatting about life; our love for one another deepened in the quiet moments in my college apartment when we’d hold each other at the end of bad day and our future was solidified during a private moment with this ring.
At the beginning of the year, a vlogger I follow on Instagram uploaded a picture of herself holding a flat tummy tea type product in one hand and a mug in the other. I was immediately disappointed because 1) she was already skinny in my eyes, 2) her vlog gave me the push I needed to start lifting weights and snack smarter and 3) it felt so desperate and off brand for her.
I wasn’t the only one, the comments under the picture were flooded with opinions about how effective a tea could really be for long term weight loss. Eventually, trolls came out and it got so bad, she turned off the comments.
Before I go any further, there is something I should disclose: I’m fat. I have been fat my entire life, even when I shed 80 pounds in college, I was still “the fat girl.”
First day of sophomore year, after a 90 minute workout. I was exhausted.
The new year, new me crowd has died down and officially turned into the “I gotta get my summer body, NOW” crowd and it’s all too much. I hesitated to write this because I’m not sure I—someone who is not the pinnacle of health—should be writing it. But I decided to write it anyway because everyone assumes only skinny women deal with disordered eating and body image issues, because not eating at all isn’t the only way people try to lose weight fast.
It’s really easy to get stuck in a difficult situation. I don’t mean the situations that are moderately inconvenient. I mean the soul-crushing, life altering situations. Like what happened last week in Parkland, Florida after a man took his AR-15, entered his former school and attacked dozens of innocent students and educators. Seventeen people are now dead, fifteen were injured, the gunman is still alive and the students who survived, didn’t miss a beat. They went to work. The work that elected officials should’ve been doing for years.
It hasn’t even been a week and these kids have already organized, protested and spoken up in ways that cannot be ignored. Without even realizing it, these kids are teaching us adults how to have power in situations where the world would rather see us remain powerless. They’ve shown us how we may be victims of a situation, survivors of an atrocity, but we don’t have to move forward with a victim mentality.
Here are a few ways students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are refusing to stay silent in the wake of what’s happened in their community.
My pastor’s words hit me so hard, I stopped dead in my tracks. Do the work. I thought. You have to do the work.
My 2017 wasn’t ideal, I got laid off, again. I entered a long distance relationship for the second time, something I swore up and down that I wouldn’t do again and honestly, I entered 2018 with no idea what the hell I was going to do.
The thing that no one makes clear when you’re in college and growing up is that you are literally on your own. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a support system, but at the end of the day, you are the only one with the power to determine your destiny.