There are many memories that you never seem to forget and normally they are the negative things. My first memory of pain happened when I was about two years old and I was sitting on my mother’s lap as she was sewing something on the sewing machine. I decided it would be good to try to touch the needle as it was moving up and down. Yes I put my left index finger under the raised needle and when it came down on my nail, my first memory of pain was born.
As I grew older there were other memories of emotional pain that I became more familiar with than any past physical pain. The school playground/recess became the birthplace of many new memories of pain. Your first thought might have been that I must have been an accident prone child but the pain I became familiar with was the deeper longer-lasting pain of exclusion, being overlooked, and not ever being the first choice when teams were formed. When you are a “chubby” child, you are often ignored, called names and sometimes the victim of bullying. I learned that not being a choice made you the last resort and no one really wanted you on their team. It didn’t matter if you were good at that sport or game, still no one wanted you unless it was tug of war and everyone know you needed a “heavy weight” at the end of the rope. Most times you were a “reject”, “undesirable” and the butt end of many “fatty” jokes.
Those emotional feelings carried forward into my pre-teen and teenage years. Being an overweight teenager nurtured these feelings and allowed me to retreat into my own world in which I convinced myself I did not need anyone. In my own world I was loved, beautiful and someone’s first choice. My reality was much different. I felt unloved, ugly and someone who no one wanted. I further retreated in being the best student I could be in hopes of pleasing someone and making them proud of me. I always seemed to just miss the mark. An “A” could have been an “A+.” It was never good enough and I wasn’t good enough. Those tapes played over and over in my head. Looking back though those tapes did a lot of damage, they propelled me to be a great student, to read, to write and paint. Art became my escape along with writing. I would draw pictures, make and design clothes for my collection of paper dolls, and writing fictional stories and eventually I would write a diary and journal my feelings and experiences.
Those first memories of rejection and not fitting in would follow me way into adulthood and carry a lot of weight in my head until I learned to re-write those tapes and create a more positive internal space for myself. But though I have gotten past those old tapes/memories, I still find myself wanting to be a first choice. Though I haven’t been a first choice even in many of my jobs I have held, including my current position. I want to believe my supervisors have never regretted that I was chosen even with not being their first choice. I am still an overachiever but now I do it to please someone Higher than myself and the awesome by-product is that by doing a good job for Him, I am happy and others are happy too.
Sometimes not being a “first” choice is a great incentive for working harder, becoming a better person and dodging a “bullet.” The best first choice you can be is to yourself. Be your own first choice.