When I was younger, my babysitter’s name was also Kristen. When you are about four-years-old and you share the same name as your babysitter, it pretty much rocks your world. Well…at least it rocked mine.
When she was around, my family referred to her “Big Kristen” and I was “Little Kristen.” (You know...because it was so difficult to tell the difference between us.) To me, "Big Kristen" was perfect. She was smart, pretty, and fun to play with. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.
The other day, when I was talking to my friend, Mike, we started chatting about our upcoming 10 year high school reunion and how much I've changed since then. My surgery is a common topic for us, and I always feel really comfortable talking to him about my weight loss. Suddenly, he said something that really caught me off guard.
“Ya know,” he said, “I don’t even remember big Kristen…”
I had no idea how to feel about that. I was finally referred to as “Big Kristen”….but not in the way I expected almost 25 years ago. Several things darted through my mind. Have I really changed that much? Is this a good thing? Am I so different that my former self has disappeared? I mean…was there anything wrong with being “Big Kristen?”
Throughout the process of shrinking my body, I have done a lot of growing as a person. And I have crossed a few things off my bucket list. But am I really a completely different person?
When I got home, I really thought about it. After awhile, I finally decided that I am basically still the same person that I was before my surgery. The difference is that I am finally sharing some of the parts of my personality that I have kept hidden for so long. Sure, I have a lot more confidence now. And my confidence is real. Not just a smoke show to hide my insecurities. I want to try different things, go on adventures, and jump out of planes. And I think “Big Kristen" wanted to do those things too, but she just couldn’t.
I’m not changing who I am as much as I am evolving as a person. I get to keep the best parts of myself and improve on things that will only make me a better person. Not a different one.
So, I realized that there was nothing wrong with being “Big Kristen.” In fact, she was pretty darn awesome. But, being “Little Kristen” again is really awesome, too. And there's nothing wrong with that!