I try hard to not care about your thoughts, really I do.
But there’s an underlying understanding that I need your approval. I need to be thin enough for you. Or pretty enough. Or smart enough. And you are everyone and you are everywhere. Even when I’m alone, you are still there looking through my eyes.
I want you to think I’m a really good mother. While today I might doubt I’m very good. My humanity, vulnerability, self-doubt, and need to get it right makes me easy prey for your thoughts that I am sure I can read.
How doubly heinous the world expects anything from you when you are pregnant. Like how many pounds are acceptable for you to gain during your pregnancy. The rule book ceased to apply because my body decided that in case of the plague, flood, or famine, I needed a belly fat pad the size of Norway.
When people were rude enough to point out my enormous gift of girth for my child, I proclaimed I was building a lounge for my baby. And tried to ignore their insensitivity. Now Fiona’s left the building and the lounge is still standing.
The entire time I was pregnant, I did not know how much I weighed. I just put my back to the scale and thankfully the nurses kept my secret.
I’m an approval seeker in varying degrees. I need you to like my writing enough to keep reading it. And I need friends to want to have lunch with me and to have me listen to their lives. I’d also tell them that my opinion of them didn’t matter. What they think of themselves is the most important thought out there.
If we are dependent on the opinions of others for our happiness, we are prisoners of perceptions. Their perception and your perception and her perception of us. And we have forgotten or never knew we hold the key to freedom from this bondage. By the mere admission that we can not read or control the minds of others.
My opinion of me is the only one that matters. Your reassurances are however kind. I will be out strolling when the weather breaks. Say hey to me. And try not to look at my barf stained clothing. I’m not.