By Guest Editor Jordan Foland
As I write this I’m sitting on my bed at the Austin Motel, formerly an aging strip of rooms on South Congress to be avoided at all costs, now made cool with a kitsch-chic facelift. The truth is, though, I should have been here three days ago.
During the height of the Texas summer if your central air goes out, sweating it out is only an option for the very brave or potentially deranged. Three days ago, my central air conditioning sputtered to a slow and painful death, and it took me three long, hot, miserable days to admit I needed to book a hotel and get the hell out of my house.
For a long time, I had what I thought was a very good excuse for delaying things in my life and denying myself things I wanted and needed. I hated my body. Since puberty, I have been everything from a size 10 to 20, but I always thought I was too fat no matter what the label inside my jeans said. Now, at 27, I am somewhere around a size 16 or 18, and no matter how I feel about my size on a given day, I refuse to let that dictate how I live my life.
I used to comfort myself by relying on the old refrain countless women before me have used to deny themselves, “I’ll do x when I weigh x or wear a size x.” The truth is, though, that “when”never came. I couldn’t diet, shame, or cajole myself into loving myself and giving myself permission to live my life.
Here is a very small selection of the list of things I put off because I was so sure my real life would start once I got down to a size eight:
- Dating. Then, when avoiding men got too frustrating, dating men I respected and was actually attracted to, not just tolerating. I stayed in a relationship I was mentally checked out of for too long just because I had internalized the lie (and believe me, it is a f****** lie) that no one would love me if I wasn’t thin. I also had to let go of the shame of identifying myself as a size 16 on dating apps. For a while, my worst nightmare was going on a first date and hearing someone say “you’re fatter than I thought you would be,” so I put it right in my bio. Up until I recently when I quit Tinder in a fit of frustration my bio read “the fat Haim sister.”
- Buying clothes I actually liked. For too many years I was the girl only shopping the clearance section of stores with ill-fitted, low-quality clothes because I wouldn’t let myself wear clothes I really loved. I was the high-rise dark-rinse skinny jeans and black v-neck girl for far too many years when I wanted to be anything but. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a uniform I still wear to this day, but I wouldn’t let myself wear anything else for years, and therein lies the issue.
I told myself beautifully designed and crafted clothes were for a different girl, a different body, or maybe me, if I dieted down to a size I found acceptable. Even when I gave up the uniform, letting myself invest in clothes I really loved was another hurdle I had to get over.
Here’s the thing they never tell you growing up as a chubby girl - like attracts like. I had let go of all of the lies I was fed by a society that thinks it gets to dictate how women look, talk, think, and act. I had to choose to love myself even when I didn’t necessarily like myself. When I did that, the people and things meant for me found me. But the trick is, I had to let myself buy the expensive dress I’d been lusting after, wear the crop top I thought I couldn’t pull off, go to the dance class I was scared I couldn’t keep up with, and even ask out the cute (if a little mopey) musician guy - and let the rest of it go.
Four years ago when I moved to Austin I lived in a rat-infested 350 square foot studio, working a job I loathed, and I had one friend in the whole state of Texas. Things aren’t perfect today - I am currently being ghosted by my air conditioning repairman, for example, and the cute musician guy and I are technically broken up but still sending each other very questionable texts. But, my best friend and my favorite coworker are headed over to swim in the pool and then walk to dinner. I am going to put on my swimsuit, my high-waisted mom-jean shorts and enjoy the hell out of my perfectly imperfect day. Oh, and the musician might swing by later
About the author: Jordan is a See Rose Go customer turned contributor. We met Jordan through a coffee date and had an immediate connection. It wasn't long until we asked if she would like to be a guest editor. Jordan pitched the content, directed the photoshoot and modeled the look in My Favorite Tee (which we hear really is Her Favorite Tee!) Thank you Jordan for sharing your reflection and personal story. A lesson we all take to heart! Say Hi and let us know your story @seerosego and @jordan_not_jordy
Jordan is originally a Bay Area girl who now calls Austin, Texas home. She does brand strategy at a creative agency during the day and shops online at night.
Photography by Stephanie White