Friday, December 31, 2010

I'd rather live my whole life with a sense of abandon, squeeze every drop out no matter what happens

It's been awhile.

Between 17-day stretches of work, keeping my apartment from looking like a bomb literally went off in the middle of it, and the complete madness of the holiday season, this baby slowly fell by the wayside.

But here I am, in that awkward spot between Christmas and New Year's, where you still feel like you should be celebrating but you have a week with no official anything to celebrate, and I find myself reminiscing and remembering, and it struck me that I needed to write something.

Staring down the barrel of 2011 really makes me back on the year that was...with one day left of 2010, I'm just wondering if it has any last crappy things to throw at me. You know, I like to do years in review, and normally I'd write them down in some notebook that I'd eventually shove in the corner of my desk and forget until next almost-new-year's-eve, but...tonight, I think I'll blog it out and that way I can't forget.

I wish I could look back and say that it was everything I'd hoped for, and that 2010 was so rockin' that I had nothing bad to say. I wish I could, but I can't. I know I've said it elsewhere in another post, but 2010 was overwhelmingly a shitty year for me, my friends, and my family. There were huge, messy romantic breakups; hernias; strokes; a lot of mental health issues for a lot of folks (myself included- meltdowns are not fun, people). There were car accidents, pelvis-crushing-tractor accidents, job losses, huge disappointing moves, psycho pseudo-exes, messy friend break ups, lost and stolen wallets and purses and laptops. There was a huge oil spill, there were earthquakes, natural disasters, tsunamis. There were so many awful things that it seemed like everytime we started to get ourselves up, the universe governing 2010 would kick us riiiiight back down.


But I can't lie and say it was all bad. There was a lot of bad, but then you have to take the bad with the good, and the year held a lot of that, too. I have to be grateful. I lived, I laughed, I loved. I moved. I worked towards transforming my life. I found my writing again. I graduated from my undergrad. I formed bonds with people that will never be broken. I made a difference. We all did.

And we made it to the other side. If nothing else, this year taught me to appreciate what I have. That doesn't mean just things-- stuff's nice, but it isn't the be-all. More than ever, I appreciate the time I have with the friends and family, and want to make the most out of it. You never know when this moment might be the last, so it's important to appreciate the time you have, and the people you have. I guess this realization has really been driven home this year, and it's something I'll take with me into 2011, so: thanks, 2010. Even though you really, really sucked, I guess you were worth it in the end.

I feel as though I need to write about my resolutions (yeah, I've got them...) but I'm going to hold off on that cliche until the new year officially begins: I have a sick song title for the post so I may as well wait-- what? I'm being honest!

I sincerely hope y'all--whoever may or may not be reading this-- had the very best December-holiday-that-you-celebrate ever, and I wish you lots of luck, love and happiness in the coming New Year.

Til 2011, friends,


Friday, December 3, 2010

you say you're goin' to be a star, but to me you are

As I begin my insane stretch of seventeen-days-in-a-row-working, I find myself pondering a lot of stuff: keeping my apartment in one piece while I'm working, actually buying groceries and doing laundry, how the heck I'm going to get any sleep, how much wine I am going to try and consume unwinding--all the important stuff, of course

But lately, more and more, what's been on my mind is an intertwining of issues that I just can't seem to let go. And they are: weight/body image/self image/self esteem. In that vein, they also intertwine with my previous whiney-esque post about wanting to have a partner.

Here's the thing: so many people I know lately have been mentioning weight. And I'm of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand (or mind, as it were), I find myself understanding where people are coming frmo when they say things like "I need to watch my weight" or "Don't let me eat another one of those chocolate covered confections" or mention holiday weight or say that they're trying to lose a few pounds- I've been there, I think we've all been there, and I'd be lying if I said that 100% of the time I feel 100% confident in my body image. And parts of me have wondered if maybe that's why I've had a hard time finding someone- because I'm not some thin attractive little thing (this is not altogether a frequent thought, but it has popped up annoyingly from time to time in the back of my mind--like I said, not 100% confident all the time).

But then

THEN I go blind with rage at some of the things people say, and my anger isn't targeted at them, it's targeted at...the universe? Society? Whatever unknown entity it is that makes us, particularly women but everyone, base their self-worth on how we look and how much we weigh? I rage at all of that, because I hear value-laden judgement statements about how someone is "being good" by bringing just a salad for lunch, because I know my friends think they are lesser than they used to be because they've put on a few pounds, because it actually even crosses my mind at any one point ever that the reason I'm single is because I'm a larger woman. I get so frustrated and angry at it because we live in a society where we raise our kids to believe that the perfect model on the magazine cover is real, even when she's airbrushed to shit; because we live in a culture where the media rules, and the media gives us such enlightening television as The Biggest Loser and Bulging Brides and a Rachel Ray narrative that tracks the weight loss of a teen because she is too big to go to prom. How can we possibly think this is okay? You know what? My anger is at society overall, but it's one we all participate in. When we watch a television show like TLC's Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss, a show about fat women trying to find wedding dresses, or The Biggest Loser or any other show that takes larger people and turns them into a spectacle, into some kind of freak show that we should all witness and then take as a warning so we don't turn into them- we participate. When we stay away from sweets because we're trying to be 'good' as though our behaviour with food weren't disordered, as if we were meant to judge our eating habits with some kind of value, usually negative, because our self-esteem is innately now tied to that which we require to live: we are participating.

I'm not suggesting that stopping is easy- in fact, I stopped in the middle of this post to eat the Domino's I had delivered and then felt guilty about having eaten that much (as a sidenote, to someone who knows who they are-- yes, I do still feel guilty sometimes. Guess my food-shame isn't all the way off, is it?). I think what I'm trying to get at is that I want people to think about their unhealthy relationship with food and with their weight and make changes to be healthy, not to be "good", and if you eat something that isn't the healthiest, you don't have to feel like you're bad or that you failed. This is just insanity...and I'm tired of being sucked in.

It's liberating to love yourself for who you are and what you look like, but it's a freaking bitch on occasion to get others to do the same. Isn't it time we all took a step back and said WTF?