Things have definitely been looking up for me lately and I’m thinking it’s a karma thing: you put positive vibes out, you get the same back; you do good, you get good. And, my friends, the gettin’ has been good!
After feeling static for so long, I finally feel like I’m back on the upward downward trend–I’m motivated, killing my workouts, eating great, experimenting and getting creative with food and my exercise, spending time with my friends, and finding balance in all of these things.
Earlier this week, with that idea of maintaining balance in mind, I took a rest day from working out and obsessing over calories to spend a sunny happy hour lakeside with a good friend and one of my favorite favorite singer/songwriters: Tristan Prettyman.
I’ve been a fan of Tristan’s for years, now. You know how you have maybe one or two go-to artists that no matter what’s happening in life or what you’re doing, how you’re feeling or looking to feel, their music is the perfect soundtrack? She is that for me. Sitting at work, driving, running, depressed, elated, whelmed–her perfectly simple music suits my life. All of it.
After grabbing a drink (vodka soda with lime: 70-ish calories, thank you), we headed out to the wharf to watch TP do her thang. The crowd assembled, only part of which you can see above, was daunting for someone (me) who doesn’t fair too well in new social situations that involve typically snobby suburbanites and their blonde extensions.
This time, though, it was different.
I don’t know if it was the fact that I knocked that first giant cocktail back pretty quickly, or the fact that one of my favorite people was standing a mere 20 feet away, but I felt oddly at ease. Sure, I had a few moments of “why doesn’t my hair look like that girl’s?” or “how fat do my legs look in these pants?” but for once, my brain wasn’t overrun with these Negative Nancy thoughts. They were fleeting guest stars instead of Emmy-winning leads.
I was able to enjoy myself. Which seems like no big deal, right? But it very much was. I haven’t felt that lack of self-consciousness since…never, maybe.
That feeling continued as Tristan wrapped up and we got to have a little chat with her. As my friend and I were debating going over to say hi, I remember thinking to myself, “if you don’t do it, this is going to be one of those things you regret. And we don’t do regret here anymore, Amanda.” So I may have gushed and fan girled a bit, but I did it. And she loved that my next tattoo (once I hit my goal weight) is going to be of one of her song lyrics that holds crazy special meaning to me. Tristan was so genuine, and gorgeous, and my height, and funny, and exactly what you want your favorite people to be like when you meet them.
We said goodbye to my new bestie, grabbed another drink, and settled down for dinner on the patio (house salad with balsamic and grilled salmon: under 600 calories, thank you). As I put myself into another situation where I would normally be so overly aware of everything and everyone–“is he staring at me? Why is he staring at me? Why is everyone staring at me?”–I found it was relatively painless.
I had a few more moments of feeling “less than”, especially as I squeezed into one of those stupidly ridiculous and infuriating plastic chairs with the arms (my big girls, you know which ones I’m talking about), but those moments were overshadowed by TP afterglow, the company by my side, the perfect breeze blowing off the lake, my amazing hunk of salmon, and the phenomenal kind of people watching that only Minnesota seems to consistently offer.
These little moments, that are so commonplace to most everyone else, and that I feel silly even mentioning, are what this journey is all about for me: overcoming fear and insecurity, finding confidence in my body, my voice, my presence.
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past six months, it’s that this life is, indeed, a beautiful one.