I call the bottom photo, “Sisterly love: Perhaps a little too close.”

My sister, Jen – found this at her house and texted it to me.

It encapsulates everything about my childhood: Beautiful older sister loves you with whole heart, but is glaring reminder that you are growing up a bit more awkward than you’d prefer.

Growing up a chubby kid is pretty brutal, but I was lucky. My family doused so much love and praise on me, I had a false sense of confidence that served me well during the tough times.

“I’m not chubby, fool – my family says I’m the cutest thing that ever lived. You gonna eat the rest of that Ho-Ho?”

But eventually as you get older, innocence begins to fade and being a chunky and awkward child is a central source of pain that can still manage to get it’s sticky fingers into the heart and mind of the adult she is to become.

And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Because here’s what is taught me:

Pain can mark the path for something great.

It’s a fast track. Our looks? A distraction.

I know beautiful women who had no idea who they were in their 50s, because beauty is loud – it tends to hijack the conversation.

That’s the real tragedy.

But this chunky kid? She had it goin’ on!

I was able to write poems and short stories and dream the biggest dreams.

Practicing my craft, like a boss.

When no one noticed me behind my round glasses, I learned to speak up with confidence. I developed my sense of humor.

I found I loved making people laugh more than making them swoon.

Our wounds look like shackles, but that’s a lie.

Silly – it’s a key.

There’s a door marked “find out what you’re really made of” – and it opens it right up.

 

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