The true beauty and wonder of being a human being exists in the fact that we are all uniquely different.
For that very reason the term ‘One Size Fits All’ has always bothered me deeply. I can remember being very young the first time I saw that on a clothing tag in a store.
Thinking that it meant that everyone would fit into that item (I think it was a Halloween costume?) the same way and r-e-a-l-l-y wanting to dress up in the same get up as “every other little girl” I tried it on. I seem to recall that it didn’t fit my shoulders and so was enforced my love/hate relationship with clothing, my body and my confidence.
What was wrong with me that something labelled ‘One Size Fits All’ didn’t fit me? Was I flawed? Was I broken? Instead of taking pride in the strong shoulders that carried me through endless laps in the pool with competitive swimming (and my favorite Butterfly stroke) I internalized that feeling of shame and not being like everyone else.
What I didn’t realize at that moment in time was that my discomfort with that label would not only continue to affect my view of myself physically and emotionally but my family dynamics as well.
I grew up on the tail end of a generation that still embraced the ideal of life events occurring in this societal driven order:
- Make it through teen years
- Go to college
- Fall in love
- Have children
- Live happily ever after in a ‘One Size Fits All’ life
Every time my life took a different direction from the one I thought I was supposed to live instead of celebrating the joy in my individuality and differences I felt like I was doing it all wrong.
Remember what I said at the beginning of this? The true beauty and wonder of being a human being exists in the fact that we are all uniquely different. I can’t begin to spread that message far enough!
It took me a long time to see the awesomeness that was my own body, my own soul and my own journey. I now embrace the unique and perfectly imperfect human being that I am and I relish each and every day I live this crazy roller-coaster ride of life.
These shoulders have carried the burden of childhood abuse, carried my children with love, held the stress of being a single-parent, survived the trauma of physical injury, hugged friends in need and have been defined by the very exercise that helped me transform my body and my soul. They will continue to support me through whatever my future holds and I am proud of how big they are!
There is no such thing in this life as ‘One Size Fits All’ when it comes to clothing, to weight loss, to marriage, to work, to adventure, to pain, to happiness, to dreams or goals – nor should there be. Each and every day we exist we need to recognize, honor and take pride in all the things that set us apart. Only then do we truly acknowledge what makes us human.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing I wish for you the ability to see that life does not have to be a cookie-cutter experience, to celebrate the moments that bring joy and to grow from the moments that bring pain. Most of all I hope that you cherish the differences that make you the amazing (and unique!) human being you are.