Today my husband and I had a million and one errands to run and obviously to get to the gym as well. One of our errands was to the mall a few towns over. I told him to wait in the car as I was only running in to get a bag of goodies I had accidentally left there last weekend at one of the shops and was too busy (and scared) to go back and get alone. For most people, no big deal, run in grab the bag, and leave right?!
Not for me…
Ever since the multiple assaults I have been through in my past I have an intense fear of going to large places (such as a mall or Wal-Mart) by myself. My palms sweat and my whole body is on high alert for danger because of course there is always a bad person luring around every corner to get me. Some may find this funny but trust me, if you were in my body, you would not be laughing at all.
So I made it inside the doors, alone. I decided to focus on the task at hand which was to get to the store, get my stuff, and leave. But then I saw some cute pajamas, and then I saw shirts I thought my husband would like. Then I stopped by Victoria Secret because they were having a sale and while I definitely am not Victoria Secret Angel material, I do love some of their perfumes. So then I managed to get signed up for their credit card because they promised $25 off a purchase at their store, Pink, or Bath and Body Works (my most favorite store in the whole mall!!!!).
I browsed the store, then went to Pink figuring I would buy my sister in law a present for Christmas to stash away. It felt awkward shopping in these stores as they definitely don’t carry anything close to my size and there were a lot of skinny, beautiful women shopping because, regardless of your size, a deal is a deal right?! So I found out that they did not carry her size either (apparently an XL is considered obese in Pink land because they only carry a few items in that size and only online).
So off I trot to Bath and Body Works and for once they had nothing I wanted. Granted last weekend I stocked up during an awesome sale so I was kind of jaded after scoring so much booty for so little moolah. At this point I get a call from my husband (who is still in the car) asking what I’m doing because I have been inside for an hour. I froze. I couldn’t believe it but lo and behold when I looked at my phone an hour had passed! I promised him I would be out soon. I quickly trotted back to the store I was supposed to have been going to and grabbed my stuff. Then I headed back to Victoria Secret and scored a free tote bag along with my purchase of a very nice perfume that I would never have been able to afford without $25 off.
At this point you are probably wondering, what the heck is the point you are trying to make here? The point was I was able, for the first time ever, to go shopping alone in a very large, very overwhelming place, without having a panic attack, without feeling completely overwhelmed, and without feeling like everyone was going to notice what a freaking lunatic I was. I was just another woman, enjoying a good bargain, and wandering around the mall like anyone else.
Who is this girl? This woman who even had the confidence to go into these stores and think she had a right to be there when she is not a size zero and her ribs are in a warm snuggly bed of flesh hidden from the world? Who is this girl who thought she had the right to wear makeup and be noticed by buying a sensual fragrance she knows her husband will enjoy? I feel like a caterpillar just emerging from her cocoon about to burst forth as a beautiful butterfly.
But I am terrified of this as much as I want it. My cocoon kept me safe from the world. Nobody could come inside (except my husband because he just barrels through every barrier I put up as if he is a human wrecking ball full of love). But now I am this person that people are noticing and expecting to be in leadership roles. And I never ever would have pictured me in ANY kind of leadership place. I am the behind the scenes girl. The supporter of leaders. And yet I keep getting nudged into these positions where I must take a leadership role. Only time will tell what lies ahead…