Watch Out for My Left Jab

As a child I was painfully shy and socially awkward, but I learned early on that if someone doesn't give you what you want, socking them in the eye is a fairly good negotiation technique.  I was a chaotic mix of low self-esteem with a temper.  I was always in the shadow of my older sister who was cooler, taller, prettier and way more popular, and felt as though I always had to fight to be noticed.  As I got older, and a little braver, I got an adreneline rush from being bold, and would measure my self worth in shock value.  Phases of pink mascara or clown-red lipstick, or swearing, underage drinking and staying out all night became my norm.  During college, in the throes of a major depression, I heard the band Green Day, and immediately adopted them into my apathetic life.  The lyrics and music made me feel strong, when it seemed the rest of the world was conspiring to make me feel anything but.  It was then that I got my fight.

That's me in 1976, at the ripe old age of 5.  The boy is my cousin, and we were standing up for his mom's wedding.  Now, I know the quality's aweful, but if you look closely, you can see a nice shiner around his eye.  Yep.  He had a matching one on the other side.  That's what he got for refusing to kiss me!
 I met my best friend in the seventh grade, when we were both awkward and (sorry, Friend) a bit geeky.  Talking and laughing with her was absolutely effortless, our wits were perfectly matched.  She has been there through crushes and crushed dreams, through mishaps and failures and major triumphs.  She flew 2,000 miles to see me get married, even though I was going to be coming to her hometown the very next day.  And 25 years later she is still here for me, supporting me as I raise two autistic children, and try to balance work, college and family life all while trying to win my chronic battle with obesity.
Yesterday she posted something on my Facebook page that reminded me who I am; who I have always been, a FIGHTER.  That word had a profound affect on me this morning as I did my cardio.  I watched my head bobbing up and down as I killed myself on the treadmill, and said the word over and over.  It was an extraordinary workout, driven by my spirit.  Those are the best kind.
So this blog is dedicated to those people in our life who wake us out of our funk, and remind us what we're made of.  I can't believe I didn't think of the word for myself, but since it came from someone who knows me better than anyone else, it had even more power to it.  I am a fighter.  Thank you for reminding me, friend!


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