I decided to wear my black strapless dress. A good decision because it was about 85 degrees and sunny on Saturday, and the church, while air conditioned, is old and not very efficient. I felt sorry for all the Suits, with their ties and jackets and socks and shoes. Anyhow, the dress was a good decision until I decided to dance the night away (sans my Suit, who sat and chatted with the other Suits while their Beauties danced and asked each other what could they possibly be talking about?), starting with the song Shout. You know the one, it goes Shout, put your hands up and Shout...anyway, every time he says Shout, you jump and put you hands up, which doesn't work out too well when you're wearing a dress with no straps to hold itself up, so I was the one jumping and waving and then pulling that dang dress up. Every. Single. Time. Otherwise, I would have given my very own show, which would have been inappropriate. Turns out I should have thought my dress choice through a little more. Turns out its also difficult (but entirely possible, as I proved myself, thank you) to Charlie Brown in 5-inch heels.
Turns out its also entirely possible to have a blast without worrying about how you look every single second of the evening. My lipstick came off somewhere around the Poached Pear Salad, and my eyeliner started to run sometime between doing the Cha-Cha Slide and Shook Me All Night Long, and the heels came off during Billie Jean, and you know what? I didn't care.
When my sister texted me later asking what dress I had decided to wear, I jokingly said that I would have to lose a little more weight to fit comfortably into the brown dress again. Because isn't that what we always concentrate on? The Quest to Lose Weight. It's always there, at least it is for me, reminding me that even during life's dullest moments, you shouldn't let that guard down because then you might Gain Weight and then Misery would set in. She asked me later if I was joking about losing weight, because even though I am growing to accept m for me, someone with my past might always deal with that issue. And I was joking...at least mostly joking. There is always that small part of me that lives in the back of my head that's worried about that issue. Gaining weight. That little part of me stresses about having fun and eating everything on my plate and giving up the constant dieting (Someone like me is always in a diet, because we are NEVER comfortable just eating. There are rules to follow and calories to watch and fat and carb grams to count, and we never, ever eat much--just enough to be polite--when we are not the ones who made the dish and therefore have no knowledge of the ingredients.). So Saturday night was a little new for me. I ate without worrying about calories and fat! I chose not to worry and stress over my appearance and just worked toward being the best me I could be. I went in with the determination that Fun was on my menu, and I tried not to worry about what other people were thinking about me (although there was one point in the evening where I kept catching this, um, odor of eau de body, and it was strong and quite unpleasant, and I have to admit that I tried to discretely check under my own underarms just to be sure it wasn't me. Turns out it wasn't, it was a rather large gentleman who was apparently dancing up quite a sweat. His wife may want to carry some extra deo in her purse from now on.).
And you know what? It was freeing. No worry. No stress. No anxiety.
I am learning that my value doesn't come from perfect makeup or the acknowledgement from others that I may look pretty. My source of significance doesn't come from trying to stay skinny and fighting to regain my youth. My security doesn't come from knowing that my dress was the best. It used to. I used to need those things in order to feel good about myself. But those things will always disappoint, because they can't ever fill that God-shaped hole in my heart. They are like sand, constantly shifting and changing, but He remains solid and true, a safe place to put my trust and to search for the significance I long to have.