Every three years, my extended family gets together for a big family reunion. In my lifetime I’ve been to 12 reunions, which means that since I’m 40 years old, I have only ever missed one reunion in my entire life! Our family reunions are like sleep away camp for grown-ups, but our kids are there too- we all just run wild together. It is really fun. You should have seen my daughter’s face when I told her that she didn’t have a bedtime, she could have seconds thirds and fourths on licorice, she was encouraged to sing a dirty (but traditional) song and I wasn’t too concerned about how dirty she got! Needless to say we had a blast.
In my lifetime, I’ve always felt like one of the biggest girls around at any event. I have pretty consistently looked around any room in any event and always thought, “Welp, I’m the biggest girl here. AGAIN!” And when you’re consistently the biggest girl at any event, in any room, you just kind of accept it as the way things are. But secretly, in the secret little dark parts of my mind, as the big girl, I always wished for the opportunity to be different than the biggest girl. It’s like that chance to really show what I am instead of just the shell that held me all together. Sometimes as the fattest girl in the room, I felt marginalized or unimportant. Most likely that was just me putting those perceptions on myself, but it didn’t make me feel any better that I was thinking so loudly about what I was worried other people were thinking. Anyhow, it has always been a goal of mine to go to a family reunion not being big for once. And, of course, I need to say here that being big is not the worst thing in the world, I just wanted people to notice me- not my weight. I didn’t want my weight to define who I was to my extended family for always. Also? For some inexplicable reason, I have always wanted to have long hair at a reunion. The funny thing is, anytime I’ve ever lost weight, I’ve always gained it back in time for the next reunion. Whenever I’ve been growing my hair out to any decent length, I’ve always cut it off before I’ve gone to the reunion. So, at every single reunion that I’ve ever been to since passing through puberty, I’ve had hair that shorter than my ears and a weight that exceeded 250pounds!

So… This picture…
I was looking and looking at my family (these are most of my own grandpa’s descendants) trying to figure out where I am, and there I am, that tall, slightly chubby woman with long hair, off to the right there. I was absolutely shocked when I figured out that was ME! I didn’t even recognize myself because I was seriously looking for the fattest girl in the picture and I couldn’t find her! That was a good feeling.
Long hair- CHECK!
Thinner – CHECK!
LOL! Sometimes it’s the little things…
Or the littler and longer things that make you feel good.

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