All the Shapes

pattern-3

If you know me well, you have probably heard me mention my weight at least twice. Now, if I consider you a very close friend, then you’ve heard all about how fat I am at least thirty times throughout our friendship. Feel honored!  I would consider myself a semi-private person, so why would I share such a personal thought so freely? I finally decided to figure this out.

Yesterday, I made a note every time I had a bad or insecure thought about my body in order to see how strong these emotions had to be in order for me to share them. I was expecting the number to be fairly low because I woke up feeling happy and healthy. But by the end of the day, I had racked up twenty-three insecure moments. From walking past a size 2 beauty, who was kind enough to hold a door open for me, to passing too many mirrors while wearing leggings, I had twenty-three moments of doubt. Moments of self-hatred. People, this was a good day for me! If anyone had asked how my day was, I would have said, “Man, it was so relaxing and fun!” Am I so used to my own sense of insecurity that I would consider that a good day?

You know it’s ironic because I love looking at people! I enjoy all different body types because it’s amazing to me that though our bodies function the same way, humans can look so different from each other. One man has a long torso and short legs while another has no torso and the longest legs you’ve ever seen. I’m intrigued! Much of my favorite art is the human form. I love seeing depictions of real people: women at the beach with big thighs and big smiles, men sitting outside a cafe with pouchy stomachs and looks of pure contentment. It’s real and that makes it so beautiful. So why am I the one who has to be skin and bone? Why do I put that on myself when I love seeing the imperfections of real people. 

In high school I was always trying not to care or just caring way too much. I ate good food, and on multiple occasions, I was even called out for my obsessive clean eating! I love the gym and how it makes me feel like I could join the lineup of WWE. I pushed my body every single day. I would never not drop my bag at the door, throw on some gym clothes, and jog the half mile to 24 hour fitness. I lived for it! It got me through my parents’ divorce, gave me bizarre friends, and made having clean t-shirts impossible! It made me happy…until, I looked in the mirror before I left for college and said, “This is the way I look, I guess.” It broke my heart. I had worked so hard, eaten gluten free everything for a year! Do you know how disgusting that stuff is if you love bread?! I had muscle, but I still looked like me, and it wasn’t enough.

I wanted to be somebody else. That’s the bottom line. I wasn’t looking to change my thighs or my arms. I was looking to change my life, my family, change my bone structure, change the fundamental things that made me Mimi.

I went to college, and things were different, like they always are in college. I lost twenty pounds my first semester purely by walking everywhere. I felt amazing…until, I looked in the mirror and still saw myself staring back. I stopped eating food. I mean, I ate “food,” but not food. For months I lived off Builders bars and steamed vegetables. I went home over Christmas, a shell of my former self, and I was being talked about, people were noticing me, and I felt beautiful. I felt like somebody worth talking to, and I felt amazing…until, I started eating again, and my body reacted in the way it should after being starved for months. I bloated up and then gained back. Every. Single. Pound. It broke my heart. I was just me, again. 

Here I am, a year and a half later, feeling better, but not yet fully satisfied. In truth, I know and have always known that I am a broken human being in need of a Savior. I may only feel beautiful or worthy or beloved when I am seeking after the only One who truly knows me, and made me. Psalm 139 will always be the life vest keeping me afloat, but God is the great rescuer who pulls me out of the water. 

My life either revolves around my weight or trying to be successful. Do you know how exhausting that is? I’m either not good enough because my jeans feel too tight, or I’m not good enough because my design wasn’t chosen for the student gallery. What are these troubles compared to those of so many others? But they are mine, and I will use of the armor of God to fight them until my dying day. 

I write this to prove to myself that I am imperfect. By sharing my story, I no longer have to maintain this front of ‘having it all together.’ I am free to find and love the daughter of Christ I am meant to be, Wholly broken and fully saved.

Illustration: Leah Reena Goren

 

 

Coming to you from Waco, TX

waco

Hello Hello Hello!!

I have not written in about 7 months. That is baffling to me. So many new things have started to unfold on this curving path of life, and I want to catch this crowd up!

  1. I have started some truly amazing Art courses where I’m working under renowned artists from all over the country. (yes, it’s incredible)
  2. I have an amazing job at Magnolia Market where I get to work under Chip and Joanna Gaines (HGTV’s Fixer Upper) and be a part of this new and fast-paced company with them here in Waco, TX
  3. I have decided to go to Florence next fall and study Studio Art at the SACI University of Art (which I am more than a little excited for)🎉
  4. I am so excited to be a part of Buttoned Bears Pop-Up Shop of this Spring 2016! Come see me and buy some of my WILDTHREADS CO. embroidery hoops on April 29th from 3:00-6:00 pm!🌵
  5. I am currently a t-shirt chair for AXO here at Baylor, and it’s been pure S-T-R-E-S-S
  6. I’ve started writing a short story about a mother and her son (which I have no plans for😂)
  7. And I am, everyday, surrounded by the most genuinely beautiful girls, and it is my privilege to call them friends

I get to draw, paint, weld, torch, knit, and sew on a daily basis. My hands are constantly layered with charcoal or ink, and I cannot describe the joy it brings me! Yes, these projects are hard and very challenging. I have burns, cuts, stains, and scars, but, man, is it fun! I will never stop thanking my dad for the gift of Baylor and then my other Father for the blessings that have followed me since day one!

This is starting to sound like a long, overwritten Facebook status, and I’m almost expecting comments like:

“MIMI, YOU SOUND LIKE YOU ARE HAVING A GREAT TIME AT SCHOOL. SENDING YOU LOVE FROM MISSISSIPPI. -AUNT MARY”

(I really get these from my great aunt, 93, who has had her computer keyboard stuck on caps lock for as long as I can remember…)

But to answer her back: I am having a great time, Aunt Mary. I really am.

PS: Tell the dog I say hey

I feel like I’m right where I need to be, right in the middle of content and challenged, and I’m really liking the view…

 

From Accounting to Design

I wish I had a witty line with which to open up this post, but I’m honestly too tired to find one, which, I think, is a testament to how crazy my first few weeks at Baylor have been!

I started my first week as a business major, and after a stressful, comforting, and tearful Friday afternoon, I changed my major to my one great love. That’s right, my friends. I am now studying the great art of Graphic Design! The joy I felt when I signed up for my new classes (Design and Drawing) has not wained or faded. I am overjoyed with every project I’m assigned and all the new subjects I’m learning about.  I’m scared of the future, for sure, but what’s the point of getting a degree in something you can’t stand. Honestly, Accounting reduced me to tears on the first week, so I took that as my green light as far as making a change.

Despite the constant pep-in-my-step, I’m very tired most, if not all, of the time. Living off campus without a parking pass has been rough in the 100 degree Waco weather. Not to mention I’m taking 18 hours from here until graduation in order to fulfill my course load. But all that said, I am so blessed to just be here! A year ago I was floating around Lubbock with zero support system, but here in Waco, I feel loved; the intentional kind of love that only lifelong friends can supply. Also, my almost sister, Miss Holly Hart Draper, lives a block away from me, walking distance if its below 98 degrees!

I love where I am, right here, right now. It’s a full and happy feeling, and I’m so grateful.

Sic ’em, Bears!

Thompson + Hanson

My four week internship with Thompson + Hanson landscape design has already taught me so much:

  1. Linen clothing is always a good idea.
  2. Chacos are the only shoes you’ll ever want or need.
  3. Some people actually want landscapers to make their homes ugly.
  4. Plants are expensive.
  5. People of River Oaks will pay anything in preparation for a party.
  6. I want this job.

I was blessed with the opportunity to work alongside two amazing landscape designers. The job consists of meeting with new clients, getting an idea of what they want, picking the right plants for the job, and then installing them. I have had so much fun watching these ladies work. They get to be creative for a living, and the more I watch them, the more I want to join their team. This would be a perfect fit for me!

I have also found the most beautiful Fiddle Leaf Fig trees here at the garden, and I am pondering a purchase.

You can’t beat those leaves, right?!

Bye, I Guess

Coming to the end of my freshman year at Texas Tech, I am faced with the fact that not only will I never be a freshman again, but I will also never be right here, right now. I’m leaving behind so many amazing people that have taught me so much about myself, the world, and all things Rap-related. I see the girls whom I’ve shared Wall Hall with slowly leaving me behind, and I have cried more tears than I’m proud of. From the random faces I passed in the hall, to the guy on the third floor that plays his violin at 3 o’clock sharp everyday, I have found a little bit of home up here in West Texas, and leaving for good is a heartbreaking prospect.

I’m so mixed up emotionally because I know that I will be happier at Baylor, but leaving behind so many friendships is not only frustrating but cruel. These girls were my family for nine months! I went to Shelby and Memory with all my frustrations, Emily with all my tears, and Kierstyn with all my insecurities. They know me, truly know me, and leaving that behind is like leaving my family all over again. Emily, thank you for mothering me, Memory, thank you for holding my hand through every crisis. Shelby, thank you for making me brave and pushing me out of the nest. Kierstyn, you are a sister, a mentor, a role model, and I will miss you every hour of every day.  I love you all for just being there. I was blessed beyond words when I chose that empty room on the 5th floor and the amazing Alpha Chi Omega sisterhood.

So, I leave in two days. 48 hours with a bare room and three finals. I miss my sisters and my mom,  Croissant Brioche and the salty girl at the cash register, and my dearest friend, Holly Draper, but all that aside, I will miss dusty weather, loud and kinda scary rap music, the back of Mem’s Jeep, and (I’ll admit it) Texas Tech.

Peace out, Lubbock

Things I Need Pt. 2

Part 2: the sweetness of this circular food.

I dump my coins on the counter, desperately searching for 80 cents in the array of dimes, nickels, and pennies. I hand over my change, and  with a look of triumph on my face, I choose the most colorful donut I spy. Instantly, I am transported to a brighter and more colorful world. I can only describe it as the equivalent of Dorothy stepping into Oz for the very first time, but instead of munchkins, I get sweet, fried, bready goodness. I feel like a five year old on a Sunday morning trip to Shipley’s donuts with my family. Abby, my older sister, always ordered the powdered sugar donut even though she wore it for the better part of the day, while Emma, my younger sister, always ordered the red-iced donut, whose flavor I still can’t figure out (maybe cherry, but it tasted like liquid Benedryll). I inevitably grabbed the pink with sprinkles with a side of chocolate milk. These are the images that flood back to me, and they are so sweet. 

Things I Need Pt. 1

Part 1: The ease that comes with a cup of coffee.

In my hand, it takes me to a place where walking for hours by myself is acceptable, where thoughts come silently, threading together in simple waves of reality vs. imaginary. Simple yet so complex is its power to move me through time. Taking that last sip, I am woken up from my peaceful dream.