I am starting to notice the positive effects the healthy, lifestyle change that we have adopted is having on my body. Clothes are little loser than before, I am sleeping better and have way more energy that I did before. I notice it in my wife too. I can tell how much better she feels both physically and mentally. She is pulling out jeans she has not worn in a while (HUBBA HUBBA!) and I see happiness in her that can only come from oneself. I am so proud of her and she is really and inspiration to me. I am glad we have made this change in our lives but the change is for the right reasons. We are changing to be a healthier version of ourselves but we are not trying to change WHO we are. WHO we are is great!
I have been told that I put off the aura of confidence, that I seem to be a man who is comfortable in his own skin. At my age, I am who I am, if you like me, great! If you don’t, I really could care less. I am not trying to be self-centered here by no means. I am just not going to change who I am to please others. I am too old for that and if I have to change who I am for you to like me, we have no business being friends anyway. That has not always been the case. Honestly, I am probably the least confident person you can meet, I just accepted who I am and very happy that I have.
When I was younger I had no self-esteem at all! I said it earlier, I took everything said to me to heart. I have told you, I was a red-headed, freckle faced boy. I looked like Opie Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show for Pete’s sake! Think I am exaggerating?? Check this out:
I was a nerd! Nerds were not cool in those days!! I wanted desperately to be in the popular group. I tried to change who I was to fit in. If being the class clown would get me attention, BOZO I was! If it was uncool to be smart, I would act dumb as a box of rocks! I had friends but we definitely were not in with the “Cool” kids. It was even worse in junior high. Oh man. PUBERTY! My face looked like a military map with red push pins all over it due to all the acne on my face. I had gotten taller though, not so pudgy and was an athlete so, I started to move up the social ladder….or so I thought.
I started drinking alcohol when I was around 15 to fit in. All my “Cool” friends drank beer so, I had to. To be accepted by them, I had to act and talk like them. I think I was a well liked kid for the most part but, I was also the most gullible. We would play the drinking game Quarters and my “friends” teamed up on me once. Cheat and lie to get me drunk and I guess it was funny to watch. I knew I should not be drinking in the first place but I wanted to fit in. I changed who I was, what I had been taught and let myself and my parents down, just to fit in. I so wanted to be liked that I changed from the person I was. I would give them money when they had none, that I worked hard for, never got a penny back. I would continue to do those types of things to fit in high school and all the way to college. I wish I could go back and talk to that version of me sometimes.
After college, my self-esteem was not much better. I still had a habit of changing or adapting my personality to fit in. I wasn’t a “Serial Dater”. So, if I started dating someone, I usually liked them right away and fell way too hard and way too fast. I got burned, hurt, cheated on and used more times that I care to count. Because I was that guy that was so gullible, so wanting someone in my life that I would look the other way or make excuses for them. Looking back, I just picked the wrong people for me. They were either coming off a bad relationship that they weren’t over or someone who really did not fit who I was. I had grown so accustomed to changing for others, I had no idea who I really was anymore. One thing I learned from all those experiences in that time of my life was, for others to love you, you first have to love yourself. I did not in no way love myself then. If I had, I would not have put myself through all that abuse.
I married my first wife when in 1997, I was 32. I knew 6 months into the marriage that I had made a mistake. We did not love each other, not the way a husband and wife should. We were not in the least bit compatible. We did not believe in the same core values and did not see life in the same way. She was a smoker, I was not. I accepted that about her though because hey, I loved her. I would get up earlier than she, iron her clothes for work, and wake her to go shower so she would not run out of hot water. She would go close the door to the bathroom, smoke it up and use up all the hot water. I started having sinus trouble and my doctor told me it was due to the cigarette smoke. I told he about it so the next day, she smoked up the bathroom again. I would spend every dime I had to make her happy and it would not be enough. I changed everything about me to please her but that only caused tension in our marriage. You bottle things up to the point that little things become huge. I was not me any longer, I was just a shell of me. My own family noticed it. They knew me better than anyone. They knew I was not happy and they knew I was not me any more. My ex-wife left us in 2009 and besides the day my son was born, that was the best thing that had ever happened to me in my life time.
It took me a long time after my divorce to find me again. I had to stop trying to please everyone and concentrate on my son and myself. I went through a lot of anger issues, some I still struggle with today. There were times where I just hated myself and to be honest, that still happens from time to time. I did however, reject and push anyone away that tried to change me. I had to be who I was. I could no longer change me so that someone else would want me. It took me almost to the age of 50 to figure that out. I had to love me for me if anyone else was going to love me. I had to stop changing to please others and I could not expect others to change who they were for me. Changing who you are will not and does not work EVER. And you can’t change others to fit you either. You have to be true to yourself always. If being you isn’t good enough for someone, it is their loss, not yours. Find someone who loves you for you, faults and all. Find someone you can love for who they are, faults and all. You will be so much happier in life if you do.
Change for the right reasons is a good thing. Change in inevitable, it happens to us all. We all grow as people, from the way we think to the way we handle day-to-day life. We all mature, (Most of us anyway) and the way we handle ourselves changes too. What should not change is who you are fundamentally and what your core beliefs are. Love yourself for who you are. Be the best version of yourself always. What is inside of us is so special that God only made one of us. Each is unique in our own special way. Never settle for less that you deserve. I truly believe that God has someone out there that is meant for just us. We spend a lifetime looking for that person, our other half so to say. Some find it right away, other take years. Most times we are not patient enough to wait for that other half and we mistakenly choose the wrong one. But, if you wait till you find the one that God made just for you, if you love yourself enough to stay true to yourself, that person will come along and make your life whole just as God intended. I am loving proof of that. God sent me this angel, the one that is meant for me and the one that love me for who I am and vice versa. She says she would not change a thing about me and neither should I. The day she became my wife now ties the birth of my son for the happiest day of my life.
Love yourself just as God made you!