This past weekend I acted like I was in undergrad again by venturing to one of my favorite haunts, Grog House. Grog is the quintessential college bar with coeds staggering all over each other, singing extremely off key to 90s, 2000s and current hits where the floor is covered in a thick layer of dirt meets beer sludge. It’s disgusting but 2 to 3 nights per week I would be there for Beat the Clock Friday, Free Beer Saturday and Wednesday night Ladies’ night. The walls of Grog, and those of the neighboring XS and Gator City, are filled with so many memories for me and my friends. This is where we let off steam, celebrated birthdays and graduations, and where we met boys to buy us drinks and dance with. Well, my friends met boys. Last Saturday at Grog, I walked in and immediately spotted him: the boy from my undergrad years that I made it a mission to find every night we went out. He was on the baseball team and in a lot of my classes as we were the same major. Night after night, I would dress in my cutest outfit in hopes of seeing him out. Some call it stalking, I call it crossing paths. I know he knew I existed because we seriously had the exact same schedule but I was never the girl he was talking to at the bar. He was completely and utterly out of my league. Here he was mere steps from me after all these years. Needless to say, he didn’t recognize me, which is actually a blessing because I am about 75 lbs. lighter. His group of friends left Grog within about 5 seconds of us arriving but I was brought back to being that girl who stared at him across the bar and took the long route on campus to pass by him leaving class (yep, that happened. A lot). I think back to the night before and how I still assume cute guys are out of my league.
At dinner with my friend, Heidi, on Friday night we were talking about anything and everything. A new boy’s name was brought up and my exact words were, “He’s out of my league.” Heidi all but reached across the table to slap me. She demanded I give a valid reason for why this guy is out of my league. “Um, he’s smart,” I said. “You’re smart,” she countered. “He’s really cute,” I offered. “You’re really cute,” she protested. “He just is, Heidi,” I settled. She then went on to tell me how wonderful I am and no one is out of my league. She’s the best. Truth be told, I still feel like the fat girl. It’s hard to shake off 27 years of feeling not good enough. I know I joke around a lot about how I’m so cute and awesome but you should know that I’m the most confident self-conscious person you'll ever meet. I still struggle with feeling uncomfortable in large crowd settings. When guys stare at me, I still assume it's because they are disgusted by my weight. My mind is slowly catching up with my body and I'm working to see what everyone else sees in me. Andie Mitchell’s memoir, It Was Me All Along, helped me realize that everyone goes through this period of transition after weight loss. It’s hard not to feel insulted by the boy who finally notices you after you drop weight because it’s still me. I changed my outward but this amazing girl has always lived on my inside. I have to keep reminding myself that it was unfair to assume people would accept me when I didn’t accept me. I will settle with the assumption that no one could see my awesomeness because it was shrouded by a body I hated and low self esteem. It may have been me all along but I'm finally stepping up to bat in this new league where I am enough.