BLOG Day 169
I took a huge step this week … I went back to my high school for an Old Girls function. I was terrified because I was convinced that I didn’t ever want to be reminded of the person I used to be. I have always wanted to erase that part of my life.
You see, when I reflected on my school days all I seemed to focus on and obsess about was how grotesquely fat I was.
- I was so fat that none of the uniforms in the uniform shop fitted me, my mother had to take me to Grace Bros to get “special uniforms” made. Unfortunately, the back pleat wasn’t quite the same and I constantly got asked why my uniform seemed different …
- I couldn’t wear the silky girdle that came with the grey ugly sports uniform, because it wouldn’t fit around my waist so I got a detention every single week for not wearing the full sports uniform.
- In what can only be described as a scientific phenomena I had my period every single sports lesson during summer when we had swimming – the note I forged from my parents must have been good!
- In year 9 they started a basketball team – it was revolutionary as Kambala young ladies had previously only played netball. Shock, horror I was actually a great shooter and was loving the first sports team I was ever part of. They signed us up for an inter-school competition which was exciting, until just before the first game they handed out our new uniforms – hideous, super short, figure-hugging grey and yellow stripes …. I was never to be seen near the basketball court again.
- Just like Martin Luther King I had a dream … to jump cleanly over a line of hurdles (even one would have sufficed) on the school oval and then for long jump to make it into the sandbox from the line instead of crashing on the grass ….. sadly, that dream has eluded me to this day. (I even tried to convince my dad to buy a hurdle for the backyard so I could practice).
And so it plays on and on in my head like a Fanta yoyo performing the around the world trick …
Turns out that by focusing all these years on my shame around being a fat teenager, it had coloured my school days with negative emotions. The truth is my school journey was a joyful one full of hilarious pranks, Boy-George concerts, Donkey Kong, Rob Lowe posters, the intoxicating smell of liquid paper, fluoro leg-warmers and grey undies inspections at school.
The wonderful women that night didn’t remember Fat Dana with the “special not quite right uniform”, but for hours we laughed and reminisced about all the great times we had together. Thirty teenage girls spitting on the teacher’s chair before they entered the room and sat down, the classic manoeuvre of organising someone to ask a long, complex question and getting the teacher to lean over and help them whilst the other girls stuck paper hole ring binder reinforcement stickers on the teacher’s bum so they would walk back through the school to their staff room oblivious that their arse was covered with little round white holey stickers ….
My old school friends recollection of me was so different to my self-reflection of those days – they even thought I was diligent and smart (they must have forgotten I occasionally climbed a wall to sneak home which was conveniently just across the road …)
That evening I left those school-gates feeling more joy, self-pride and excitement about my adolescence than ever before. I had finally begun to unravel all the negative beliefs that had been swirling around in my head for so long, and now I could leave my fat past in peace and move forward with my incredible journey of empowerment.
What an achievement, so of course we celebrated with a few glasses of Prosecco … (shhhhh!)