Best of Back in Skinny Jeans: Originally posted April 24, 2008
Over at Comrade GoGo, I was writing a comment in reference to the notion that no one wants "problem people" aka people who are not perfect or acceptable some how because they have been damaged, flawed, or "wrecked" in some way.
For years, I didn't date because deep down I thought what guy is going to want let alone love some girl who's been raped, been dealing with bulimia for years, been on anti-depressants, has stretch marks from being overweight, and constantly has a muffin top that just won't go away.
Sounds completely absurd on the screen, but this is what lived in my head for years and kept me single. I chose to be single over being intimate with another human because the fear of rejection and judgment was debilitating.
The Upside to Pain
But somehow I got over it because I had a greater fear of dying a spinster alone in a cold apartment with no love anywhere just because I was afraid to give love a chance. If I ended up being that spinster alone on my death bed I wanted it to be because of choice or because I gave it my best shot and it just wasn't in the cards, not because I was eh-scared to even take a chance in the first place.
It never occurred to me that all that tragedy in my life also made me a more empathetic, compassionate, and an evolved human being. This blog exists today because of those experiences. Behind every enlightened wise human is also a life of tragedy, trauma, and loss. You cannot grow without pain.
The Leather Jacket Metaphor
But put simply, some guy told me this metaphor years ago about flaws. He said that people love old leather jackets because over time the jacket becomes more interesting and full of character after years of the leather being beaten up, abused, and weathered. The jacket feels more real and soft over time.
Who wants a brand new, shiny, stiff, leather jacket? The imperfections is what makes the distressed version more desirable. Same thing with jeans and that favorite t-shirt.
That metaphor stuck in my head for years, and has helped get over feeling like my flaws are "bad" things. Around the same time, I learned how scars make better tattoos. The flaws are what make me interesting, and when I really started to embrace that I got to experience my first great love. He loved ALL of me.