We All Have Our Moments
By Teresa Miller
Unflattering ones. I open my mouth only to wish seconds later that I’d kept it shut to avoid feeling like an idiot, or I find myself nursing a pouty adolescent resentment of my parents. On a physical level, hardly an hour goes by that I don’t have a nagging thought like How did I let my thighs get this big? Or Ugh, my hips are soo wide. . . Moments like these are definitely not few or far between in my life, and I know I’m no anomaly.
Because the barrage of negative moments sometimes seems to overshadow the day-to-day, it’s easy to overlook the positive moments that color our lives and make them worth living. I experienced some of these uplifting moments on my recent trip to Boston.
One of my first evenings there, Elizabeth and I were dressed up and walking to get cocktails. Just like in a movie, a group of young shirtless men paused their running to hand my friend and me a black-eyed Susan each. They just said, “This is for you,” and took off again. We had huge, goofy grins on our faces the rest of the evening. If that doesn’t make you feel beautiful, I don’t know what does!
Another equally surprising boost came to me in the most unlikely of places: a dressing room. I was trying on some Lululemon running gear, minding my own business and bracing myself for the usual apparition in the mirror: chunky thighs, disproportionate hips made appallingly obvious in tights. I almost couldn’t believe it—when I raised my eyes to my reflection, my gut reaction was something like, Wow, I actually really like how I look. Even surveying my butt in the 360-degrees of mirror, my thoughts were along those same lines. When I showed Elizabeth the outfit, hearing her reaction (“That looks soo cute on you”) helped to solidify my newfound confidence in my body.
Besides the emotional high of getting to hang out with my best friend from childhood for two whole weeks (!), little moments like these have helped me awaken to the fact that positivity is always there: we just have to take notice of it and learn to pay more attention to it than to the moments we’d rather forget.
I’ve noticed some benefits of this focus in my own life—although I still have body image issues, now I have that dressing room experience in the back of my head, reminding me that my flaws aren’t half as bad as I imagine. Whenever I need a little boost, I remember that movie-worthy moment with the runners.
Our negative moments and flaws don’t tell us the whole story of our Selves, or even the half of it. I believe that “you are what you eat:” if we dwell on our strengths, our good, flattering, positive moments, we’ll be taking is a huge step toward truly believing in and becoming the Selves we want to be.
Teresa Miller is a psychology/spanish major at Gonzago University. She's a amazing runner, aunt, and friend. Thank you so much for sharing your story today!