On Being Seen

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Life is this fine balance of wanting to be seen.
And wanting to matter.
And wanting to not be seen.
And wanting to not matter too much.

The shifts are real.
You might think being on reality TV meant I really wanted to be seen.
But the reality is that pendulum was swinging in the other direction.
I wanted to matter.
But not be seen.

I didn't want you to know me.
I just wanted to make a difference.
But - the the backswing - there is so much power in being able to be seen.

To matter.
To make a difference.
While I don't always enjoy being seen.
I LOVE seeing.

Today, I encourage you to see someone you don't normally see.
I don't mean go look at them.
Or hug them.
Or say, I SEE YOU.

I mean, REALLY see them.
The way I do with my little guys.

The other day, I was reading some of their writing about Yoga.
It was beautiful
And totally more than I expected.

I began writing them little notes of how proud of them I am, while I was editing.
I began to see them in the moment for their incredible worth, rather than the things we still have to learn.

"I like yoga," she said, "Because when my brain is full, I get to empty it and be calm."
Like.
YES!

(We watch a lot of Cosmic Kids Yoga, with Jaime, and this is a quote referencing her, that just made my heart smile.)

"When we hear your voice, we know it's your voice, and we listen and our teacher plays it louder so you are the loudest person in the room."

Hahaha.

Do you see what I see?  The kid who has a lot of thinks.  Who can focus on the sound of a voice for 20 minutes.

I just saw them.
The power of being seen.
Is almost the power of being loved.
But it's different.
Being loved.
Being important.

Being valued.
When we take the time out of our day to value one another.
We create change.
We see other things with more value.
Isn't the sky bluer?
And the sun warmer.

And the moments that will surely come.
When we question our worth.
If we're doing it right.
If we even matter.

Seem grainer.
Because, in this moment, we mattered.

Matterers, see someone today.
Really see them.
And then see what happens to your day.

New Attitude :)

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I'm slowly updating this - though - I'm not in love with this backdrop - but for now - there is so much I want to say about the scale.

And how letting go of it...
has been my greatest accomplishment.

Numbers in general...
depicting my self worth.

Or my beauty.

We matter.
We are loved.
And no number on any scale has ever told me that.

Re-Air and Refresh ;)

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March is always sentimental.

It's the time of the year the entire Extreme Weight Loss casting process started in Philly.
At the same time, I had just moved to Philly from Massachusetts, leaving my biological sister in the Western MA area after meeting her for the first time and having her move in with me in MA.
Started dating Joseph.
Had just started the Rock school a few months before.

Was falling in love with my kids.
And just lost Polina in a tragic accident.

March was literal madness.
In some amazing and not so amazing ways.

When the show ended and aired - life progressed forward.
Somehow on fast forward.

Right?

Try out for musical.
Land role as Eponine.

Apply for teaching job.
Start teaching 3rd grade at the Disney World of Elementary Schools.

Reconnect with old love.
Fall HEAD over heels.

Dream of attending the Tony Awards.
Attend the Tony Awards.

Travel to see the cast of Season 4.
Run the Warrior Dash.

Agree that NYC is our space.
And put down some roots.

Fall in LOVE with my school
And let's face it - my kids.

And I LOVE my days these days.
Intermixed here is a lot hard things.

Like travel the road of a nasty eating disorder.
That honestly.
Openly.
Still wages a battle against my body and mind.

Though the Frida Kalho dress I'm rocking today says I'm more confident than I really feel.
I run.
I eat.
I actually eat.

I don't count calories and haven't stepped on a scale in YEARS.
I am not currently BDD clean.
I purge.
I make mistakes.
And I wrack my body trying to gain control of other things by controlling the intake and output of food.

Heidi has always called this perfectly imperfect.
This Authentic Heidi - is my absolute favorite :).

But.

The brokeness I just typed:
Does
Not
Define 
Me.

While on the show and immediately following - it did.

And now.
After a little....TON...of therapy...keeping it real...it only explains a piece of me.

As does any snapshot of life on TV.
In a blog.
In random photos on facebook, instagram or twitter.

Snippets from a life lived well.
That was a long way of saying - tonight TLC wherever you are will re-air Jason and Rachel's episode.

To say that I love them is an understatement.
Letting pieces of my EWL family go into oblivion was difficult, but a necessary part of moving forward.  I'll be watching tonight, just to hear Rachel's laugh and see the twins.
And remember it all.

Next Thursday TLC will re-air my episode.
And I'll refresh my memories of that time.
And those people.
The Lauren's
And the Jason's
Matt's
and Tom's

and Tina's and Kristen's.

Who defined my life at that time.
And I will be refreshed at the same time.
That my life now is different.
Better even.
More loved.
More loving.
More open.
And free.

Harder in some ways.
I travel WAY more than I ever did before.
Less money.
More bills.
Less time to be with more people.
And I wish I had more time for EVERYONE.

But all in all.
My life is beautiful.
And I'll be watching next week.
Not in vanity.

But in sanity.
That in that insane time.
A little more put together - WHOLE person emerged with a theater family.
And true love.
And a passion for singing.
And for mattering.
And being seen.

And honestly?
That's WAY more than I ever could have dreamed at 290 pounds.