A First Date & A Lesson.
You’re supposed to learn something in every relationship you have; learn what you like; what you don’t. Learn a little bit more about yourself, or how to compromise. You get an in-depth look into another someone’s life, and through that, get to better understand your own.
It’s no secret I haven’t been in many relationships. Matt is my first real (non-asshole) one (hush, he kinda doesn’t know this #embarrassed), so this last year has been this incredible journey of learning; about him & myself. I’ve learned so many things ranging from little to big; how I deal with situations, how independent I actually am; how to compromise and give… but just shy of reaching one year with him, I can truly say the thing I learned most happened on our first date.
Matt took me to the beach on our first date.
The beach. The place of sunshine, the ocean, and, ummm, not much clothing. I was petrified. Surely this cute Australian guy wouldn’t want to be seen with me, a one-piece-extra-weight-very-white-Canadian me? Surely.
I remember I wore a strapless dress that day. On purpose, of course. I could then lay on the beach and tan without being in my bathing suit. Phew. And then there we sat. Just him and I. The sun beaming down on us as temperatures reached nearly 45C (113F).
And eventually, just as I had lay in bed the night before and worried, he said those dreaded words, “let’s go for a swim.” I froze. Excuse, I need an excuse. Anything. Somebody. Help! But I let out a little “okay,” and removed my dress as elegantly as possible, and sucked in so hard as I exposed my one-piece and bulging belly to him. I made sure I followed him into the water to, ummm, ensure he didn’t see my cellulite; my jiggle; my self-imposed worth.
And so we waded up to our waists and hovered. I hardly breathed as I was pulling my stomach in so hard. Every now and again I would dive under the water so he couldn’t see my body. And I kept thinking how astonishingly kind this man was. How kind he was to be with me. Fat, jiggly, one-piece-wearing, me.
I couldn’t tell you a thing about our conversation that afternoon, but I remember my emotions so well. I remember skipping breaths to suck in, and I remember feeling sorry for him, sorry for this man stuck with me.
Now fast forward a few months. After our first kiss. After the ‘I love you’s. And the honeymoon phase. We were driving back to my place from his, sitting at a red light next to the Yarra River and I, for whatever reason, mentioned that first date.
And he looked at me and smiled, “you know, all I remember about that first date is how much I wanted to kiss you. When we were lying on the beach. And then in the water. My God, in the water. And you kept going under, but all I wanted to do was grab you and kiss you.”
I’ll never forget those words. They changed me.
They proved how wrong I was that day. And made me realize how many other times I’ve probably been wrong. They made me see how I torture myself, hate myself, when others don’t even notice me.
Being overweight makes you self-obsessed. It gives you this complex that everyone is looking at you. Judging you. That everyone cares about you. When, in fact, I’ve come to realize that that is complete bullshit.
It’s a lesson I’ll never forget, and something I try to work on everyday; To live in the moment, to engage and to not be so negatively self-obsessed. Umm Liz, nobody cares. It’s easier said than done, of course, but I’ll always be so thankful for Matt for showing me just how crazy and wrong my self-conscious self is.