I’m quite tired after a wonderful night out seeing one of my favorite bands in concert, but I wanted to take a quick moment to document today’s victory — namely, wearing short sleeves out in public.
Until tonight, I hadn’t done so since 2012. But as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been doing a lot of clothes shopping lately, and been wearing what I want around my house and neighborhood. (A seemingly small step, but you need to consider that until last month I’d been covering up for about as long.) Given that tonight was the City and Colour concert, and given that I didn’t spend all that money on cute clothes only to never wear them — as well as backed by the logic that people would be more interested in the performance than the scars on my arms — I figured now was as good a time as any to test extending that behavior to other areas of my life.
As far as experiments go, I suppose you could consider this a successful one. I was right in assuming that people wouldn’t pay me much attention once the show started, but I did earn myself a discomforting look from the lady who checked my ID and gave me my wristband. I regret to say that her reaction stuck with me for a good portion of the night. You want people to be open-minded. You want them to see you as a person, instead of reducing you to split-second value judgments made over something they don’t understand. But I can’t stop them if they do, and I can’t say I care to waste energy convincing them of otherwise.
I’ve spent so many years hiding at the expense of my own comfort. I’ve spent so many years feeling ashamed, feeling disgusted with myself, feeling bitter, feeling worthless, feeling like I have no right to exist or to take up space because of what I’ve done to my body. But the truth is that I’m allowed to do those things. I’m allowed to wear cute clothes. I’m allowed to feel good about myself. I’m allowed to see live music and feel the sun on my skin and live my life just like every other human being, regardless of my past and regardless of what my body looks like.
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won
[ x ]
Anyway, it was still a good night filled with good music and good people. (The ones I came with at least.) One day, visibility will hopefully become easier. But for now I can accept tonight as a positive step forward and get a good night’s sleep before my weekend of work begins tomorrow.