She calls me Hilda.

There have been many “compliments” that I have shrugged off as idle chatter: I’ve been told that I am sensual, and flirtatious and gregarious, that I ooze confidence even though I am quite clumsy…  I know there were more, but like I said, shrugged off.

But recently, as I have been struggling with my ever evolving body shape, I have come to realize: I’m not sure if I have ever seen myself clearly. Emotionally or physically.

Faced with this realization I did what every sane woman would do: I went on WebMd and diagnosed myself with both Depersonalization Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I am sure I have other undiagnosed mental disorders, as well as an undiagnosed tumor on my pituitary glad, but I was strongly rebuked by Danne that I am spending just too much time on WebMd. She might be right. She usually is.

Last summer, as we were sunbathing and celebrating our weekly ritual known as “Sunday Funday”, my neighbor Lynette gets very excited.

“You are HILDA!”

“Lynette, what are you talking about?” ( I am unamused.)

She then shows me dozens of pictures of this “Hilda” and with increasing excitement points out in each picture “how this is so” Julie.

hilda5 hilda6 hilda7 hilda8 hilda9 hilda10 Hilda1 hilda2 hilda3 hilda4

I get very uncomfortable and my initial reaction was:”Lynette, I don’t even wear a bikini”… Clearly annoyed, she sighed, put her phone down reluctantly, and said “You are a spectacle, You are Hilda! I love it. I love you HILDA!”

Even though I shrugged off all of the delightful descriptions of “How I am Hilda”. I didn’t shrug off that this is how my neighbor sees me, but I didn’t fully accept it either.

Until last weekend.

A spectacle indeed – in my swimsuit, with my suntan oil and books and beach chair in tow, all while riding my pink bike to the beach. I laughed, and a grin comes over my face each time I remember it.

I almost took a picture for your enjoyment. Almost. Acceptance is “enough” for now.


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