Always That Husky Kid

I can remember going school shopping as a kid, and getting new clothes. I have always had an affinity to dressing well and looking nice, as well as keeping up with the trends. In the early nineties, there were two fashion trends that I desperately wanted to wear to school: one was Girbaud Jeans and the other was Cross Colours. In my neighborhood Girbaud jeans were the dungarees that said you were cool, because unlike Lee’s or Levis, the label was across the zipper panel. Of course being designer jeans, they were pricy, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be cool. 

Cross Colours made you cool because a lot of people were wearing them on TV. Martin Lawrence rocked them on his show, and Kris Kross rocked them in their videos. Much the same way as Girbaud, Cross Colours were expensive. But I didn’t care; I wanted to be cool.

My mom, of course, took me to buy these clothes, and at that time, there was only one store in town where we could find such urban wear. So we headed downtown, because she wanted me to be happy. I locate the stonewashed Girbaud Jeans and the green Cross Colours overalls … and they have my size! (To be sure … this is no shade towards my mom) My mom all of a sudden begins to talk loud saying, “but these aren’t ‘husky’. Boy you know you need husky sized jeans.”

Yes, I was a chunky kid (and that should come as no surprise, being that I’m a chunky adult). I knew I was a bit heftier than other boys, but this was embarrassing! They were in my size and that’s all that mattered! So I go to try them on, and they fit! However, neither one was particularly comfortable. Just as always, I went out to model them, and my mom said, “SEE?! These don’t fit right! You need ‘husky’!”

There are many moments throughout my childhood, where I was reminded that I was bigger than other boys. That fact made me self conscious and even awkward around people (especially girls), because what I had taken away from those exchanges with my mom was that I couldn’t be cool, or ultimately accepted by my peers because I was a “husky kid”. This was my truth, even into my adulthood. I thought that my weight was truly a problem. That people would judge me, without even knowing me, and I will always be that “husky kid”.

But I’ve come to learn that most reasonable people don’t think like that. My “flaw” was not one at all. My mom was trying to tell me that having “cool clothes” that were not comfortable, isn’t cool at all. If they don’t fit, they won’t look right. Size numbers aren’t concrete, and you should focus on what feels good more than what’s in style. But I didn’t hear any of those lessons … All I thought was I will always be that “husky kid”.

All of us have shallow insecurities. These thoughts are so deeply rooted, that they aren’t always easy to shake. Even the thoughts that stem back to our childhood, can still carry a weight and a burden, that often derail our self-worth. But the Apostle Paul encourages us with these words: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11, New International Version)”

In other words, if you have grown up and learned better, you don’t have to be trapped by those immature thoughts. Most of our insecurities are rooted in immaturity, so we have to let them go. Don’t become, like me, so preoccupied with the anxiety of insecurities, that you never get to enjoy being anything more than “that thing.” I’ve come to learn that even if I am still “that husky kid”, I am yet amazing … and so are you!

Be encouraged.

© 2016 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoyed this essay, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!


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