Moon River

I’m a sixty-year old male. I’m neither a pro nor an expert but I’ve dealt with body image issues for my entire life. I grew up as the fat kid and was scorned and taunted throughout most of my childhood and adolescence. When I was a young teen, the song “Moon River”, recorded by Andy Williams, was popular. At one point the kids in the neighborhood started calling me “Moon” based on the lyric snippet “Moon River…wider than a mile”. Throughout my junior high school and high school days, I had hardly any friends because nobody wanted to hang out with the fat kid. I had only one date in my high school years…a sympathy date with the sister of a guy I was in a band with. She went with me to a high school concert and that was the extent of it. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I actually had the opportunity to kiss a girl but those few experiences never went anywhere. The one girl I got close enough to to begin to think I had a girlfriend let her best friend (who despised me because I was fat) convince her that she should dump me.

It wasn’t until I was about twenty-three that I lost my virginity, sympathy sex with a girl too young and stupid to know any better (I realize now that I owe her an apology for talking her into it).

I married in my late twenties to a wonderful woman…we stayed together for twenty-five years. However, it always tormented me when we were with her parents and she and her mother would make caustic comments about a fat person they’d notice. They didn’t understand that they were also talking about me.

I finally found a real career in my middle thirties and once I achieved the skills that gave me real self-confidence, I came to the realization that my body image was an issue I no longer needed. I vowed to stop concerning myself with how people perceived me based on my weight and to make them respect me for my skills, knowledge and intelligence in the workplace. As a result, I conform very little to corporate dress codes. I wear jeans, a geeky t-shirt and a colorful open shirt over it most of the time. I’ve allowed my hair to grow down below my shoulders and sport a full beard and mustache. I do contract work in the IT sector and am often the only long-haired weirdo on the corporate campus. I’ve built a great reputation in my field…others seek me out for advice and I give it freely. The new self-confidence from being an expert at what I do has allowed me to escape my body image issues.  It’s taken a long time…I’m sixty now but I’m happier with my life than I’ve ever been.

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Copyright Ark Stories 2011

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