Blog · October 7, 2015

Accepting Yourself

011912-project-runway-all-stars-gordana-gehlhausen-designjpg-984c32b361604504There is a TV show that I am obsessed about… Project Runway. I sit there with my glass of wine and watch in awe.
I like it not because I am in any way, shape or form a “Fashionista” (although I do like nice clothes), but because the designers amaze me of what they can do with a piece of fabric. You see… I can’t do that. I tried… and I just… can’t. This bugged me for a long time because I come from a family of seamstresses. My mom used to make our clothes when we were little, my aunt in Italy was a seamstress by trade and used to give us plushes and fancy pillows she made herself and my other aunt even made Barbie clothes for Mattel.

Driven to just wanting to learn, I even took a sewing class in High School and I got an F. Seriously. I just can’t do it. How can I write HTML code with my eyes closed yet hemming a border is so darn hard? Well, at least I can fix buttons, and that’s where it ends. Once I got that fatidic F in sewing I had to realize one thing. I just had to accept the fact that sewing just wasn’t my thing. I may like and enjoy cross-stitching and crochet, but it was now OK if, HORROR!!!, I had to “buy” clothes. LOL. I suppose I should be thankful that clothes are cheap nowadays and I wasn’t born at a time where making your own clothes was the only way to have clothes. Oh well.

In many ways, accepting your limitations goes deeper than that because in life, there are a lot of things that we have to accept about ourselves. We are unique human beings and we all have things we are naturally better at doing than others. Otherwise, how do you explain children being able to do amazing things, such as cooking or playing the piano? Yes, nobody is good at doing anything without an insane amount of dedication and trial and error, but there has to be a passion and natural savoir-faire to go with it.

Being completely unable to make clothes didn’t mean I wasn’t artistic or couldn’t do anything else, it just meant that I couldn’t make clothes. Period. There many other things I was good at. I could draw. I was good with languages. I loved to write. I could play the organ.  I loved to bake. So what if I couldn’t make clothes? There was a long list of things I could do well.

There are many other things I had to accept over the years, one is that my stomach, after 3 full term pregnancies and 2 c-sections, is just an eyesore disaster. It’s OK because I was never comfortable in a bikini anyway and I had no problem wearing “Spanx”. I choose to focus on my good attributes instead. Genetics, truly, have been kind to me. I got my mom’s nice nose, my dad’s beautiful blue eyes… a nice rack 😉 Things that I could fix, I fixed. I didn’t like the brown hair, so, voila’, blonde thanks to L’Oreal. Braces fixed my teeth. So what if my stomach is ugly? I have much to be thankful for.

There are, of course, some things that are easier to accept than others. Accepting events in your life, for example, it’s been my biggest roadblock. Accepting Alex’s death took forever. I used to cry and scream “Why, why, why” in the car on my way to work every day. Little by little I came to accept it. It was a slow process and it’s different for everyone. That does not mean I am not upset sometimes, it means I worked it in the fabric of my life. It’s part of who I am.

Of course, having a child with EB was yet another challenge in itself to accept. I find myself wondering if I ever really accepted it on some particularly rough days, but I know I have for the most part. I even find myself missing our nightly bandage changes when he stays at his dad because it’s become such a routine part of our day. I honestly feel lost. It’s so bizarre because it’s not like I particularly enjoy it, we just go through the motions. We do what must be done. Do I wish Nicky was cured or felt better and did not need pain meds every few hours? Of course. Acceptance does not mean I don’t want him better, it just means I don’t beat myself up every day. Anti-depressants do wonders though.

And I can’t finish this blog without mentioning that not only we have to accept ourselves, events in your life and things that are basically out of our control, but we must also accept others the way they are. We can’t change people. We will live in such a better world for ourselves if we stop looking at the negatives on ourselves and others and focus on the positives instead.

I strive for that daily.

Love & Light,