Years ago I owned a red convertible. A little red sports car that I loved to drive with the top off {THE top, not MY top} and feel the wind in my hair. My then blonde hair that is. It was impossible not to stare for some. With a loud exhaust and even louder Garbage tape {YES, a tape. Don’t ask} I would do laps, race at lights and generally loiter in shopping centre car parks. You know. The usual.

But at some point I got weird about the stares. I just couldn’t handle being looked at any more. I had hit the largest I had ever been and with the stress of a business and an impending wedding it was too much pressure. Pressure to be cool. To live up to the expectations of the strangers that gawked. I could almost feel them asking themselves why they bothered to crane their necks to stare. Them judging me. Sneering.

As you can imagine this was actually about me. Not once did I ever have anyone say, hey fat lady, you should get a normal person sedan and start fitting in more. Nope. That didn’t happen. I did it to myself. So I shelved my love of driving. Hid my inner show off and set about trying to fit in. To be normal. To be invisible actually. And so began the worst depression of my adult life.

Bit by bit I clawed my way back from the darkness. And bit by bit I learnt to be proud of who I am. Confident in what I offer. I wanted to be noticed. Acknowledged and praised. It didn’t really occur to me how full circle I had come in those eight years until today. On my way to the gym I wound down the windows, cranked some music and drove with my hair flying in the breeze. In my uniquely blue sports Hybrid super car, red lining her whenever I got the chance. I grinned ear to ear and sang out loud.

And people looked. They watched the car go by. And I smiled, thinking, damn straight stare, this baby is gorgeous. And I was only sort of talking about the car. I know that will rub some people the wrong way. I can imagine them cringing now. I think it will particularly get up their nose that I am so comfortable being centre stage. But whatever and just like that, it turns out, my inner show off has returned. Just in time. I’ll be 30 in 12 months. There’s no room left for the wall flower now.

And seriously, who would’ve thought that my life story would be a car movie? Weird, right?

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