To the Woman Who Judged Me for Being in Pajamas

Jae Cobb
Jae on the couch in comfy clothes.

Today I took my trash out. A normal activity, right? Except today was a bit different. See it was 5:30 in the afternoon, I was in my pajamas, my hair was tied and I was limping. As I started to the dumpster, a car was coming, so I stopped. It was an older woman of color and she gave me this look that stopped me in my tracks. It was the look of disgust. If I could have stopped her in her car and told her something, I’d tell her this:

Yes, I have pajamas on at 5:30 p.m. I’ve actually been in some form of them all day. I am chronically ill and right now I am having a flare up of my illnesses. I am in what is most comfortable. You can probably never imagine how much energy it takes for me to do simple tasks such as walking, going to the bathroom, even showering. Taking a bag of trash out is like an Olympic sport or a quarterback pulling a Hail Mary in the fourth quarter.

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Just because I look fine on the outside doesn’t mean I’m fine on the inside. I am tired, I am hurting and my heart is working double time. But once again, you will probably never see that. You will just assume I’m not trying because of how I look. But know I am trying all day, every day. And today, I am just barely making it. And that is 100 percent OK because I have to rest and restore, which takes me longer.

So the next time you see someone in their pajamas at 5:30 p.m., think twice before making assumptions. You never know how much someone is fighting on the inside.

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