I am no stranger to cruelty. As a teacher, I have experienced cruelty first hand from upset students and seen it second hand more times than I’d like to admit.
I understand that cruel people exist and I have heard the horror stories about people being unkind to strangers for no real reason. However, I have never experienced this myself.
Until this weekend.
This weekend, I decided to walk the 1.2 miles to meet my brother and sister-in-law at their hotel to meet my older brother for his birthday dinner.
While walking, someone rolled down their window and yelled out at me: You’re fat!
I am not writing this to elicit sympathy or for people to tell me that this isn’t true. I know I could stand to lose a few pounds. I am well over not only my ideal weight but also a healthy weight.
I write this because now I know how people feel. I know how it makes doubt creep in and makes you wonder if you are indeed “fat” and if you’ll be able to fix it – if fix is even the right word here. I know how it feels to question whether what you believe is true – be it the ability to walk safely around your home or how you feel about yourself.
I write this to beg you not to do this to anyone, ever. It is a disgusting display of cowardice (as one of my wonderful friends that I told this to said and helped me realize).
I write this for all of the girls (and boys) that are too scared to ask for support from friends when this happens to you. You are not alone. And, regardless of what size you are, you are worth far more than any stranger that would roll down their window and yell something like that at you.
I told exactly two people about this, via text message. And that’s it. Until now. When I put it out here for anyone to read.
These times are hard, guys. There are a lot of people that are fighting demons you will never know about (including the person that yelled at me).
So, I’m not writing this to persecute that person that yelled at me (or for anyone else to persecute that person).
I’m writing this to beg you all to choose kindness and chase joy. Especially during this season when doubts creep in and stick more quickly than other times.
Always choose kindness and chase joy.