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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mon, Tues, Wednesday - Days 24, 25, & 26

Wednesday I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, the nervous not excited kind.  Wednesday was going to be the day I started rocking the handle bars for a week.  I was overcome with major anxiety, "what will people think of me?" "how can I go out in public?" "I am going to look so stupid!" "I could just skip this one and know one would notice." 

Lots and lots of voices, doing their best to talk me out of what was to come from my date with the razor.  I kept reminding myself that these challenges that I am scared of are some of the most important ones; these are the ones that take me out of my comfort zone, and trust me I am out of my comfort zone.

As I sit here and type this I am sitting on my porch, in the sun, spoiled, I know.  The way the sun hits, it makes a reflection on my lap top screen so I can see my handle bars glaring right back at me.  My hair is un-kept, and I have a huge pimple right in the middle of my chin that is like a big blinking light screaming out for everyone to stop and stare at my facial hair.

I believe I am a good looking guy, and as such I have enjoyed the perks that have come with it.  I have built a huge piece of my self esteem on my physical appearence: 6feet 3inches tall, I weigh 223lbs, I have a muscular build, a great tan, I am in excellent shape and, I think, an overall physcially attractive guy.  I have had many women go so far as to tell me, "I am hot."  I am not sharing this with you to brag, but rather it is important background because for me this challenge is about, what happens if I take that away?  What happens if I am not good looking, if I can't look at myself in the mirror because what I see staring back at me freaks me out?  Then what?  Me growing handle bars may not seem like a big deal to many, some people wear the look very well, but for me, for someone who has always been praised on his looks to take that away, IT IS SCARY!!!

My 8am appointment and I always walk for her pre session warm up.  As we were walking I was hanging my head lower and lower, trying to avoid eye contact with any person who came across us.  Anyone who looked at me, I just knew, that they were thinking, "what a freak," or, "what the hell was he thinking."  I saw people smile and laugh and knew I HAD to be the subject of their laughter.

We were about four blocks into our warm up, I was on round 12 of berating myself in my head, "Stupid, idiot, you look like a joke, etc...", when suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks - I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  Not more than 15 feet in front of me, ( I would have seen her sooner had I not been hanging my head in shame of myself), was a lady who I will never forget.  This lady was out walking her dog.  She was wearing a blue t-shirt, white pants and a beret style hat.  She walked with a severe limp, her right arm was missing from the elbow up, and her face was horribly disfigured, like she had been severely burned or mauled or something worse. 

I stood there for a second staring at this lady and have never felt more ashamed of myself.  Here I am beating myself up over a stupid facial hair style that I am wearing by choice!  I can shave it whenever I want, I only have to wear it for a week, this lady, she looks this way for life!  I hung my head again, not because of my new look, but because I had just been taught an amazing life lesson and it knocked the wind out of me.

My Dad used to always tell me, "You never have to look very far to see someone who is much worse off than you are."  We all think, from time to time, that whatever we are facing in life is so horrible, so challenging, that it is the end of the world as we know it.  If we were to just open our eyes a little wider during those tough times, we would not have to look very hard to see someone who has it much tougher than we do.

What if, I was that physically disfigured and handicapped?  Would I smile as much as I do?  Would I laugh?  Would I be able to offer up positive insights and words of encouragement to an international audience that I have never even met?  Would I even have the courage to go on living?  Wow, now those are some questions?  And a lot tougher ones to answer than the, "I wonder what everyone is going to think" questions I was stressing myself out over earlier that morning.

Remember, you never have to look very far to see someone whose plight, whose struggles, are greater than yours.  I hope I run into that women again.  I would like to buy her lunch, and tell her thank you for changing my life.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse





11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hello my online friend,
    Maybe one day get to meet you and shake your hand to say "Thank you". Just like what you wrote about this woman...you now have affected other people too...and one day would love to say how I appreciate what you are doing.

    That is the horrifying thing about our world...the way people judge others on the outside...I grew up less fortunate...so I was always the laughing stock at school or whatever...had holes on my clothes, never matched, and didnt have a permanent address longer than 6 months...as an adult we still have those challenges...I may not be the most beautiful woman in this world who is tall and skinny with a sense of style to blow people away...but I know I'm beautiful and I am confidant enough to know I love who I am and I'm not that scary to the naked eye...LOL

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story...and I have to agree...you are very nice to look at...but what makes you more attractive is how you are challenging yourself out of your comfort zone for everyone to see and even judge...but the lesson you are giving yourself is amazing...

    You are beautiful inside and out...have a good day Jesse.

    Bless,
    Rhea

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  3. I love your story as it is so true. It is easy to take for granted what we have...it is only when we see others less fortunate or suffer ourselves that we truly appreciate what we have been given. Beauty to me is only truly radiant if it shines from the inside out. Never judge others as you do not know their journey.

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  4. Great post Jesse! It's very true we do worry about silly things all the time, it's one of my biggest issues personally, and I'm trying to work on it as best I can at present. We should all realise just how lucky we are, I know times are hard for most people right now but things could always be much worse!! As long as we are happy and healthy.....your health is your wealth ! P.S . Waazzzzzzzz uuuppppppp hahaha :)

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  5. People really estimate a man on appearance.All of us are different..........We complain
    , that life on us is hard. and will look at other, that worse нас:у they are not present that we have...is it really possible to make angry a fate, that you are not beautiful, poor?A man deserves the best, but we do not appreciate that is.

    you compel us the descriptions to be thoughtful about life, about the acts, ideas.thank you for such vital lessons

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  6. Sounds like you care about how you look in public. Personally I think that's okay for
    people to try to look the best they can. If you
    feel good and in good health you look even better.
    I feel sorry for anyone who was born disfigured or became that way because of an accident, you really can't do anything about it and the person has no choice if they have to go out in public, many people like this don't go out at all.
    Everyone has days they don't feel they look their
    best and would rather stay home, but life must go on, you have things to do, so you just stop thinking about yourself.

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  8. Your quote "What if, I was that physically disfigured and handicapped? Would I smile as much as I do? Would I laugh? Would I be able to offer up positive insights and words of encouragement to an international audience that I have never even met? Would I even have the courage to go on living? Wow, now those are some questions? And a lot tougher ones to answer than the, "I wonder what everyone is going to think" questions I was stressing myself out over earlier that morning."

    Is answered below.....Peace, Lisa

    Nick Vujicic, Speaker Living a Motivational Life, Life Without Limbs
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9026810297916989221#

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  10. that is a reality.. We have to be thankful for everything we have..
    great post, Jesse!!
    thanks!
    Carpe Diem!

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  11. You know... wow. That puts it in perspective. We are so blessed and fortunate most of the time - it takes ONE person to make us realize it even more. So proud of you for getting over your fears.

    KB

    P.S. your dad sounds like a wise man

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