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in this body.

February 4, 2010

On the bus yesterday on the way to see T, I did a little bit of reading of Push by Sapphire (the film Precious was intense, but a very good adaptation of the book I thought) and a little bit of people-watching.  Occasionally, my gaze would meet someone else’s, and I would look away as if I were just flickering my vision across the periphery.  And my mind began to think, what do people see when they see me?  I mean, everyone makes snap judgements about people they see based on first impressions and looks, and I wondered what kind of judgements people make when they see me.  I’m slim now, I guess I am quite pretty (according to what everyone says, and I personally don’t think I am ugly most of the time) – I noticed that nobody ever says “handsome”, I’m always “pretty” / “gorgeous” / “beautiful”, which is interesting considering I’m a guy who’s 6 feet tall and broad shouldered. But anyway – and I’m always listening to music, reading a book or looking out of the window and somewhat preoccupied.  What image does that create of me?  What do people see on first glance?

The funny thing is, I guess that I am now considered quite attractive, but I never used to be that way.  I feel like I’m the same person inside, wearing a completely different body.  I know that a lot of people from school whom I pass in the street don’t recognise me anymore, despite my not being facially any different since the age of 3.  I found my dress sense, I found the slim person inside who’s been dying to get out for 23 years, and people who see me now don’t know who I’ve been, where I’ve come from, what I’ve been through.  And maybe I don’t want to be an open book for everyone – privacy is something that’s very important to me – but it’s odd to think that nobody can tell that I used to be chubby, that I used to be unhappy, somewhat geeky, that I used to have “interesting” taste in clothes and piles of junky jewellery instead of the Armani and Gucci that I wear now.  Call it adolescence, call it growing pains, but those are memories that I still carry around with me every day, and all that makes me part of who I am today.  I don’t feel any different, just that finally all the extra layers seem to have fallen away and the “pretty” person waiting inside has finally been revealed.

There’s an element of “now what…”, too.  I appear to be achieving my aims of tattoos, of learning to drive (theory test in a week and a half!), and of having a relationship with someone.  Just by looking at me, nobody can know that these are things that I’ve struggled with, that I’ve been working towards.  Something I said to T was that in the first month I’ve known him, I’ve gotten 2 tattoos: it’s not really representative of me, because it’s not something I usually do or in fact have ever done before! He just seems to have come into my life where I am doing more exciting things than usual.  Does that mean that as a person I’m changing, I’m stronger and now able to realise the things that have always been in my head?  Or is it all just about timing?  People who see me now see me as a smoker, but I’ve only been smoking for two years.  It’s funny to get my head around the difference in ideas of me that my new friends have, with those that are held by people who’ve known me for years.  Who is closer to the real me? I think there’s a little truth in both… This body I’m wearing apparently looks so different but it feels the same to me: I enjoy the reactions I inspire now, but it’s still a little alien to me despite the fact that I have tried so hard and finally am reaping the rewards of being a little braver, a little edgier, more attractive.  And where do I go from here?  What happens next?  This new body of mine that I’m wearing, this person inside that’s a mixture of everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve become… how will I change next?  What does the future hold in store?

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5 comments

  1. It’s amazing the feelings that come along with feeling good in one’s own skin, right? I mean, I’ve never been a knock out. I’ve always been painfully thin and insecure. I’m gaining security as I grow and I now feel quite confident… and it shows. I never had people turn to look at me… and now every once in a while I do. I now have a job, and I’ve met someone interesting that I might give myself a chance to be with. It’s not that I’ve completely changed (I’m still the timid, introverted, geeky, intellectual, rational boy I used to be), but I now have a new different side of me that has always been down there… in slumber… but it’s awakining. I’m glad things are going great for you Alan, you kinda inspire me. Wish I was as insightful as you are and as focused on my goals as you are… maybe one day that will wake up inside me too. 😉


    • I think you look quite good! It’s always funny how self-critical we are, and I think it’s difficult to see ourselves the way other people do. Not only does everyone have a different way of perceiving things, but the minute I recognise myself in a mirror I immediately see the flaws and those override anything else. Good luck with dating, you definitely deserve to give it a chance, because that’s what I’ve discovered. 🙂 And as for focused, I don’t know how focused I am – I still feel a little scattershot – but I guess I am just stubborn!!! Some people call it determined, but all I think is that we should strive to be the best we can be. Good luck with everything!!! Talk to you / tweet you soon 🙂


  2. This is really strange. I came across this page researching tattoos and I found this post waiting for me to read. I’m probably younger than you, and I’m also a woman, but I feel very close to what you wrote. For the longest time, I was geeky, not very attractive and an outcast. I have been cruelly bullied all my life.
    Now I’m much slimmer and have found my sense of style, but I still feel like the insecure geek inside. I still think people are out to get me, and are waiting for me to make some mistake so that they can humiliate me.
    In the past year and a half though, I’ve gradually noticed that people not only like me, they think I’m some hot, exotic and nice girl. I still think it’s weird, or, when I’m in a paranoid mood, a big practical joke they’re playing on me. I just haven’t realised this is my life yet.
    Sometimes, when I come across my ex bullies, I still feel a sense of anger towards them, but the satisfaction of them now hanging on to every word I say is immense. I better try and not get drunk on that power.
    One thing I cannot be more happy about though, is finding someone who loves who I am on the outside, but also loves the geek I am on the inside. 🙂
    Sorry for the long post but I felt happy by finding someone who felt like me.


    • I received your comment in an email to my phone during a pointless lecture at university today, and it really cheered me up. It also touched me to know that a) I’m not a total weirdo and my feelings aren’t from the planet Mars, and b) something I had written which came from my heart had managed to connect with and touch you. I can relate to sometimes feeling like how I’m treated now is a big private joke for everyone apart from me, but I promise it’s not – we are just not totally at ease with the new “us” yet! And as for bullies, they are in the past, and the way I look at it, I had to go through them to get to who I am now, and every day I have to go through the present to get to tomorrow. And finally, it is so good to hear you have found someone who loves you for who you are inside as well as out – that is the most precious thing. Thankyou so much for taking the time to comment on my blog, I appreciate it more than you know and it’s things like that that really encourage me to keep writing. Thankyou 🙂


  3. […] spoke in a recent entry about the fact that I wasn’t always like this.  Designer names used to be something out of […]



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