I have always felt that people cross our paths for a reason. Good or bad, I have learned that every person I have come in contact with has touched my life in some way. But, even with this outlook, every once in a while I am surprised by who is teaching me some of these valuable lessons.
Emily came into my life about 9 years or so ago. She was a friend of my daughter and, to me, she was just another preteen girl who found her way to my house once in a while and locked herself in the bedroom with my daughter. I always thought she was a nice girl, but didn’t really get to know her too well.
Let’s fast forward several years. Emily is now a grown woman. Have I mentioned that time seems to be passing by way too quickly? I don’t really want to stray from this story, but I have a hard time believing that all these kids aren’t kids anymore.
Where was I? Oh, yes! Emily is now a beautiful young woman in her early 20′s. This picture was taken not too long ago when she participated in the color run. As you can see, she just radiates!
As long as I have known Emily, she has never been the “skinny” kid on the block. She has never, ever let that get in the way of her life and happiness. Or, if she has, you would never know it. To tell you the truth I didn’t really notice until the last year or so just how much she embraced life.
Maybe you all have heard of a little social networking site out there called Facebook. One day a couple of years ago I received a friend request from Emily and I happily accepted and didn’t think much about it until I started seeing some of her posts. All of them seemed to be full of confidence and happiness. Not fake happiness, but true self acceptance. How did she do it?
After seeing these posts time and time again, I reached out to her to let her know just how proud I am of the young lady she has become. I also told her just how much I admired her and wanted to know her secret. Here is some of what she wrote to me:
“My mom was a single mom who never failed to remind me that I was beautiful and that it was ok to be myself. She always let me express myself through many outlets. From dressing up in dresses and make up and holding a photo shoot, to smiling at the seriously ridiculous outfits I would throw together. Lol! I think there is nothing more crucial for a mom to do than this. I’ve been heavy, overweight, chunky, fat, whatever you call it, all my life. There were times when I was thinner and now I am by far at my heaviest and hoping to turn that around. Rather than dwelling on that I choose to be happy and grateful for who I am. I am a firm believer that who you are as a person is much more telling than how you look. I try to be the best person I can be spiritually and the rest just falls into place.”
Can you tell why I am drawing inspiration from this girl? How amazing is that? Here is a girl who absolutely accepts and loves who she is regardless of what society says. As far as I know she has no blog or any aspirations to be a public figure. She is just herself and she lights up the lives of the grown ups she encounters and the children she teaches. I have written a few times about fat being a state of mind or giving myself pep talks for a positive outlook, but I still struggle with this every day and I think it shows.
So, I am publicly saying to Emily, thank you so much for taking the time to teach your friend’s “Mom” a few lessons about living life to its fullest. You inspire me.