Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Impossible Things Are Happening Every Day...

Two weeks ago, I had the great fortune to see the Broadway production of Cinderella.  The show was completely enchanting, but one particular scene totally captivated me.  Preparing for a second visit to the palace, the Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella’s frumpy work clothes into a lovely gold ball gown, and off she goes to meet the prince.  The song tells us that “Impossible things are happening every day…”  Why did this scene in particular resonate with me? 

Well, once upon a time…

I needed to attend a conference in San Diego.  I was quite heavy, not very happy about it, and definitely feeling frumpy.  However, since I wasn’t going to lose 75 pounds overnight – it was time to focus on my assets, my curves, and my face.  Weight does not define a person – a person defines a person. 

Shopping at Macy’s, I found a dress, or should I say – the dress found me.    It wasn’t a big fancy designer item, rather, it was just hanging in the INC area, and it literally leapt out at me.  It gleamed.  Long sleeved, knee length with an interesting zigzag pattern woven throughout.  Resembling something very hip and retro that Goldie Hawn would have danced in on Laugh-In (whoa – did I just date myself or what?), it shimmered with just enough glitz to make it fascinating but not distasteful.    I named the dress “Goldie”, grabbed it and made the purchase, subduing all the negative thoughts of “how will this look on my rather large backside” and “is this really appropriate” as best I could.  In that moment – I just delighted at the thought of how I would feel to walk into a room of people wearing “Goldie” and imagining the reactions.  Isn’t that really the magic in a nutshell?  The vision of the feeling?  The possibilities of that moment?  The joy of the arrival?

Fast forward to the conference, and to the night of the dress debut.  Getting ready for evening - I began doubting my wardrobe selection.  Having a “fatter than normal” day, I was filled with trepidation that perhaps “Goldie” was too much for the event.  Would it draw too much attention (meaning would I)?  Would it cause whispers about my weight?    I had loads of curves, and this dress hugged each and every one of them.  Did I “deserve” to wear such a, dare I say “sexy” dress at my size? 
I was so self-conscious about my looks that I was not able to embrace the powerful person that I am.  It was not about the dress.  That was merely a cover for the insecurity boiling under the surface.  After a few minutes reflection, the real question dawned on me - was I too much?  I was in a new job that I didn’t know well, in a new situation that didn’t fit quite right, and in a body that wasn’t to my liking.  It felt like the clock had just struck midnight, and I just wanted to run into the woods and go back to hiding in my own little corner. 

As the story turns out, I don’t hide well…
Emerging from my room in Goldie – I really emerged as myself.  The minute the hotel room door shut, I mentally shut the door on all the nasty voices of insecurity.  I had to or I would have run right back in, stripped off that dress, and frumped myself back down to something that I am not.  I’m part Italian – and as such, we just inherently know we are magnificent the way we are here and now – period.  So – it was time to go big or go home.  Since I was already big, it didn’t make any sense to go home!

The elevator doors opened on the bustling lobby.  One last second of trepidation and I shut that book for good.  Stepping out, I had to make a quick stop at the front desk.  As coincidence would have it, the president of my company was standing there checking in.  Of all people to see first!  I took a deep breath and walked over to say hello.  The next thing I heard was a very audible gasp, followed by several rather surprised exclamations about how I looked.  I smiled, said thank you, likely blushed a little, and then said I’d see him later and walked away.  As I turned – I remember thinking “YES”!  I know I’m intelligent, strategic, business minded and all that, but now, let’s add attractive, and dare I say - sexy to that list!  Oh – I like this “Goldie” thing!   I don’t remember once thinking “I’m fat” or “I need to lose a million pounds before I’m attractive” – quite the contrary. 
“It’s possible, for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage…”

The rest of that evening continued on the same trajectory – only better.  I had a raucous and rollicking dinner with three great longtime male friends, and I could tell that even they were impressed with the dress, or rather with me in the dress.  After dinner, “Goldie” and I went around to various bars and parties – all the while feeling very much like a lovely goddess of knowledge and confidence, and a bit of hotness.  My excess weight?  Nary a thought about it. 

So the next time you question yourself and what you deserve or how wonderful and gorgeous you are here and now – be it your weight, your look, your mind, your confidence – my suggestion is to dump that slump.  Get yourself your own version of “Goldie”, feel awesome now, and know that impossible things are truly happening every day.