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And if so, why?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Where does the need to explain myself comes from?
Let me explain. <– see! ;)
After I lost the weight I went through a bit of identity crisis. People didn’t see me as "chunky" or "fat" any longer. They just assumed I was always thin and, frankly, it bugged that crap out of me. I wanted people to know my thinner physique took a lot of work. That I wasn’t "born lucky." That I used be made fun of for being fat. That I am not just another skinny girl.
Those feelings have passed, somewhat. There’s still a tinge here and there but I have maintained the loss so long I actually feel more and more like it’s a moot point. People will make judgements on my body regardless what size it is. That’s just the sad truth.
Here’s the thing though, I also feel the need to explain myself when it comes to my work. I’m not quite a stay at home mom, not quite a working mom so I feel judged by both groups. I do work, not in the traditional sense, I don’t have a boss, but blogging is work. Conference planning is work. I need time and child care, and an office space. I have conference calls and deadlines. Clients and associates.
I also feel the need to explain my upbringing. I wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in my mouth. I watched my single mom struggle to better our situation after a divorce that left us with nothing. No house. No money. Nothing. I grew up on yellow cheese and powdered milk. when people see my nice house, in a nice neighborhood I want them know I wasn’t just born into it, I worked hard to get here and needed some helping hands along the way.
I also feel the need to clarify little things by saying..
"No, really, I didn’t start running until I was 30."
"Seriously, I never wear dresses."
"Really, I didn’t grow up eating kale and butternut squash."
Do I really need to explain to people I’m an exercise immigrant, a tom boy at heart and learning to eat healthy has been a choice not my norm. Why is any of that important?
I mean, these are all trivial but I’ve been pondering why I feel it’s necessary for me to prefix conversations or let people know things aren’t always what they seem. Is the "need to explain" a personality type? Maybe everyone feels this way? Maybe it’s a confidence thing? Self-esteem? Maybe it coincides with why I like to blog? Maybe it’s because I’ve changed so much I want people to know it is possible? Maybe it’s stupid and I just need to get over myself?
Honestly, I don’t know. I thought this made a great question of the week. Your thoughts? Do you ever feel the need to clarify or do you just let people make their own assumptions about you?
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I’ve been doing this a looong time…