“I’m on your side,
So shed your shadow
And watch it rise.
Into your darkness,
I’ll shine a light.
Bring your secrets, bring your scars.
Bring your glory, all you are.”
–Phillip Phillips, Unpack Your Heart
The headlining band had just come on stage. The crowd was on their feet, cheering wildly. I was taking it all in—the lights, the sounds, the smell of the rain coming down just beyond the amphitheater covering. Flanked between my dear friend and my loving husband, all my senses were alive and content.
That’s when she turned to me—the young woman positioned in the isle in front of me. “I’m sorry,” she said as she leaned towards me, attempting to talk over the loud music.
I wasn’t sure I heard her right. What could she be apologizing for? I wondered. I leaned in closer and listened carefully.
“I’m sorry you have to look at my soggy, fat ass all night,” she said.
No. No. No. I thought as my brain scrambled for a response.
I hoped that perhaps she was joking—but the solemn look on this woman’s face confirmed this was no laughing matter. She was apologizing for her appearance … for her size … for taking up space … for being her.
Although I felt like crying, I placed my hand on this young woman’s upper arm. It was wet from a mixture of sweat and precipitation, but I was not repulsed. I rested my hand there, on the arm of someone’s beautiful daughter and said what I hoped would liberate her for at least a couple hours.