Defining Happiness

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

I've only ever shared this story with a few close friends. It's something that means a lot to me and took courage to write. Come share the journey with me -- my journey to define happiness

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Perfect Body

Submitted: December 27, 2006

Reads: 814

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Submitted: December 27, 2006



I used to be skinny - really skinny in fact. Under 120 pounds and over five feet seven inches tall. It wasn't like I cared or even thought about my weight. I was happy with the way I looked, not the least bit concerned about how much I weighed. Weight was the very farthest thing from my mind.

Wherever I went it seemed people noticed I was skinnier than average. Adults, like one of music teachers, said it was simply because of my youthfulness, because I hadn't aged enough for weight to have an effect on me. Sometimes my mom would be talking with that teacher and weight would somehow come up. The teacher would always complain about how she had some extra pounds to lose and then she'd make comments like "Well of course Olivia doesn't have to deal with that because she's so young and so tiny." She was always smiling when she said it, but I have a feeling my presence made her wish she was young again, instead of being old and trying so many different diets to lose the extra pounds around the tummy, most of which came from bearing children.

It wasn't just music teachers that said things about me being skinny, it was family members too. I remember going shopping with my mom, wanting so desperately to able to wear those cool "junior" clothes at Target; I was so excited that I could almost fit into a zero! Even though they were still a little loose, I remember my mom buying them for me, the pair I didn't actually need, but simply wanted. She was so encouraging back then, back when I was her little baby.

When we got home that day, she had me try the jeans on again, modeling them for her in that huge bathroom we used to share. I remember her saying "Oh honey, you're so skinny - I don't think I was even that skinny at your age!" I could hear the pride in her voice, the joy she had in seeing me have such a cute little body. Little did she know, that one comment meant the world to me. It made me feel warm on the inside, made me realize just how lucky I was to be blessed by being skinny.

My sister on the other hand, was frequently negative about things, especially when it came to this issue, where I was superior to her - weight. I had a habit of eating two, often even three, pretty large and hearty, scoops of ice cream. Any kind: mint chocolate chip, vanilla with toppings, chocolate chip cookie dough - I liked it all, and I never once felt self-conscious about the effects it would have on my body. That is, until one day my super sweet loving sister Danielle said something to my mom about how "If you keep letting her eat like that she's gonna get big and fat." She knew I was within hearing distance, yet she said it anyway. I guess I was being nae and was oblivious to the fact that what she said would prove to be true.

So I continued. Continued eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It didn't matter if it was healthy fruits and vegetables (only on rare occasions), or really bad junk food, like chips or really big cookies. I was content with my body, believing I could always stay skinny and not grow any bigger. Yet there was a little voice in my head that began to nag me, repeating the words of my sister, She'll get fat...she'll get fat.

On Sunday afternoons, like always, I would go to orchestra. I remember a couple years ago we had a big concert, to honor September 11th victims I think. It just so happened that I was wearing a long - or at least, what was supposed to be long but ended up looking a little short on my long legs - black skirt. One of my friends and I were talking after the concert, and she noticed my skirt. "Oh my god Olivia, that skirt makes you look so skinny. It's not fair! I hate you!" she said, kidding about the hating part, but to me sounding more serious about me being "so skinny." I looked back at her wondering: Why is she saying that, like she thinks she's not skinny herself? Maybe it's because of her twin sister...who's practically beyond skinny, but still,Josie is skinny, skinny enough." And to my surpriseJosie was the one who would become skinnier as we grew older, while I became unhappily larger. Danielle was absolutely right: my perfect body would only be transient.

Guided Astray
The world lies before me
I have nothing to lose
Youth equipped with innocence
Means life with no bounds
Until I start to wonder
What I could be
Who I should become
It’s wondering that leads me
On a path
That guides me astray
Until one distant day
When I finally find my home
-Age 18

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