Woe to the man whose heart has not learned while young to hope, to love, and to put it’s trust in life.
– Joseph Conrad
I AM Enough by Chelsea Hellings
You cannot change what is a part of you,
Although I’ve often tried.
My body was never thin enough,
My imperfects I’d always hide.
I smiled when they said I was beautiful,
I laughed when they said I was great.
But it took a long time to believe in their wrods,
I figured lonelines was my fate.
The boys I wanted, didn’t want me.,
I was tossed, used and torn.
So many took me as a joke,
I crawled inside myself- scared and forlorn.
My self-eteem had let me down,
My belief in myself was nil.
I did not understand where I was headed,
Could not until….
I finally decided to believe in me,
I realized that I was worth so much.
This was when I could see through the storm,
When I allowed my soul to be touched.
I sometime wish for money and love,
When times get distressing and tough.
But I know that I will always love myself,
No mater what….
I AM ENOUGH!
Somehow during our playground days, certain phrases, facts and games are psychology embedded into us for life. Even as we learn to discern and dislodge children logic from real logic, it still remains deep within us.
“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
It’s an idealist statement, and one probably fit for a utopian society but, if I’m being honest here, no matter how many times I told myself that phrase, as either a child or an adult to this day, words could never not affect me.
One ordinary late night in my apartment after work, I was sitting in the livingroom with my roommates, friends and boyfriend. Three of us were sitting on the couch and my roommates were playing video games on the floor. We were laughing and talking which was quickly becoming a daily thing in this house when, my roommate D turned around, looked at me after a point I’d made about being introverted and chimes in and says, “Sarah, you are so not introverted.” Suddenly, in just an instant, I was thrown off my guard and didn’t have any words to respond. I didn’t know how to explain how this seemingly very loud, boisterous happy-go-lucky girl they had grown to know was actually a very fragile new skin that I was still growing into. I didn’t know how to explain a flaw I thought was obvious as my pink elephant.
I may have come a long way from running from childhood bullies in tears, hating the way I looked, or mentally locking apart of myself away from people so I don’t get hurt but, a small part of that fear still remains. There are days I feel like I have to be dragged out of the house like a horse by its bit because I just can’t summon the courage to leave it. There are moments when I just feel like all I’m doing is waiting to play the martyr, just waiting for the people I care most about to hurt me. And there are times when I just want to believe the worst in people. I had this fear that there was something wrong with me for feeling this way, so I kept people away.
Being introverted for me was never about not having friends. At any given time there would always be people I considered friends. There have also been plenty of people in my life who I like well enough to call acquaintances and talk to from time to time. If I really wanted someone to talk to, I could strike up mundane small talk with a stranger while waiting for a bus. You can surround yourself with people and still be lonely. Instead, with the occasional exceptions, I chose to stay in my room and lock myself away from others. I blew people off, canceled made plans at the last second and I kept myself distant.
Not many people like admitting their inadequacies or insecurities to the world and I don’t stray too far from this particular genre. Like most people, I strive to see myself in the best of light. I fight to be strong so others don’t see me as weak. I work hard at pleasing others so I can keep peace, even at the cost of mine. By keeping myself distant, I felt like I could control what people knew about me and therein, how I could get hurt. It never worked of course. Eventually, I would find myself inconsolably upset, in tears, and back to where I originally started and every time my world grew a little smaller.
And this is how I lived for a huge chunk of my life, alone but never with more than a handful of people at any given time that I kept in contact with. And every year that group that grew smaller and smaller till I realized I had literally pushed away every person I held dear to. I am not going to lie and say that a part of me wasn’t happy to be alone. Years at a time, I found ways to find solace in my own company, to hide myself away. But it was always in small isolated moments when I would realize how lonely I actually was. Because, I didn’t want to get hurt. Because I trust people too much and too little at the same time. I want to believe in the best in people and yet it seems like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m always waiting for people to let me down.
“Sarah, just trust me!” I was told one night by a rather frustrated manager, while I impatiently waited for the green light to go home. The sentiment might not have sent the message it was implied, I had been a little anxious to leave, but it impacted me in a different way. Three little words, just trust me. Trust? For all the optimism that I’ve been stereotyped to have ever since I could remember, I realized my trust lies very cynically. I trust people to talk behind my back, screw me over, for myself to fail and for everything to eventually fall apart. I trust the worst in people and in myself.
So I figured, if I can change the negative attitude how I feel about my body, can I change how I view about others? Can I trust other’s enough that I won’t get hurt? It’s hard, this trust thing. It’s easy to believe that as long as I keep apart of myself locked away that when the enviable happens, that the words of others won’t hurt. It’s easy to play the martyr, and I don’t want to. It’s harder to let go and put my faith in hands of others. It’s hard to have blind faith. But nothing in this life comes easy if you really want it. I can never know the character of a person, no matter the tests I set for people, if I don’t believe the best in others.
The truth is, I want to believe, I want to trust. There are a lot of things I want. It’s somewhere in the depths of that dreaded stomach pit, lie all of my fears. I want to believe that the bonds I’ve created are genuine and the feelings that I feel are returned. Some of those requests are reasonable while others are a little delusional. But everyday that I spend a little less time worrying, wondering, or over analyzing are moments when I seem to be simply just happy. Life may not be perfect and I’m okay with that. Like I learned to love my body for what it is, so will I have to learn how to come to believe the best in people. At least I hope so anyway.
So here’s to sticks and stones never breaking my bones and may let words never hurt me.
Once upon a time, there was a girl. And she was fat. She didn’t like being fat either. She thought everywhere she went people were judging her on her fatness because as life experience had taught her, they were. But this girl kept her head high, ruthlessly resilient and determined to prove to others that she was more than she appeared. For years she shouted from rooftops, preaching her differences, her ideas and ideals, believing that they made her special. The people around her would shake their heads and chuckle, sometimes even giving a small patronizing pat on the head, before shuffling along. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe her, they just never once took her seriously. She was of course, the girl with a million and one dreams. And she was lonely.
Then this girl met a boy. She had met boys before. But the boys of Before either couldn’t see past her fatness or they tried to hold her back. The boys of Before were like statues, perfectly content where they were in life, and the girl wanted more. She wanted more, much more, only she wasn’t sure how to get it. And this boy, the boy of Now, was on a similar journey. The boy of Now understood how she felt about her body. He didn’t try to fix her but never the less, he was always there to help. He didn’t just listen with interest to every one of her million inane plans or her body concerns, he selflessly jumped in with both feet to help her. And befuddling to the girl, he found her beautiful. The boy shared his life with her. And so this girl and this boy became fast friends and helped support each one another.
For a few months, this boy and this girl lived in a bubble built for two. They shut the rest of the world out of their lives and for a while, that was enough. Months passed by and suddenly, the girl became restless. Through the bubble, she began watching the world move around without her. The life of two was just no longer good enough for her, and again she began to crave something more. Part of the void inside of her had been filled but it was like watching carbonation bubbles deflate after it reaches the top of a glass. Her cup had not yet runneth over. It wasn’t enough that the girl had found someone who loved her completely, she wanted the relationships she idolized that were cultivated on television. She wanted a Kramer and a Carrie and a Lorelei and a Phoebe in her life. In her own way, this girl wanted to create her own family.
“Suddenly I realized – two people isn’t enough. You need backup. If you’re only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you’re on your own. Two isn’t a large enough number. You need three at least.” – About A Boy
But like any illusionist would have you to believe, such things are often much harder to come by than they appear. The thing was, the girl was lucky. Like all human beings, she had the tools to accomplish anything she ever wanted but, she just didn’t know how to use them. And so she went through life constantly asking the imaginary audience, “is this your card” until this girl finally had an epiphany. The truth is, the answer has always been there, had always been there and always will be. It was a simple question really: How could you really comprehend another’s love for you when you cannot understand what it is to love about yourself. Most know what it is to unconditionally love another soul but cannot comprehend what the other see’s in return. Or at the very least, I didn’t.
And so, a little over a year ago I went on a journey to change myself. I may not have understood what I was getting into when I started it all, and my attempts certainly didn’t intentionally begin that way but never the less, it’s where my feet, and heart, ended up. I don’t have all the answer’s yet, and I doubt I ever will. There are days when I feel like I am little more than an annoyance to be tolerated by all those around me and then other days that are full of such joy that words could not even put justice too. I understand now what it’s like to completely surrender one’s will to thyself, not to a god or any one person, and to love what they see. It’s more than not feeling guilty over eating a whole box of cookies. I don’t have to love the parts of me I deem as flaws, but I do accept that, as a whole, it doesn’t make me an ugly person.
It’s a journey of just letting yourself be happy, even when the world around you is constantly trying to rain on your parade. And it’s time to move on to the next chapter, I guess. If the first stage, or chapter, is just loving yourself, then the next is letting people in. That in itself is a scary thought. There are too many fears to simply relay in an already long-ish entry. Fears that are common that almost every single person has ever had like, what if I get hurt? If I can forgive, how do you trust again? How can I communicate well to others? How can I make others understand how I feel?
And the truth is like before, I don’t know. I don’t know how this next chapter will play out but, I can make the same promise as I did when I started out last year, to just keep trying.
I think most women will agree with me that, being a woman is hard. Don’t get me wrong fellas, I’m not proclaiming one sex has it easy and the other has it hard. I just feel that, in the battle of the sexes, women generally get dealt the shorter end of the stick. You’re free to agree, or disagree, with that statement. But, as you’ve probably figured by now, I’m going to explain why.
Women in general, have a lot of negative stereotypes. And we’ve had these same negative labels associated with our gender for thousands of years. I could get into plenty of detail about the history of women and give you countless examples but let’s face it, not many will disagree about the struggles women and our rights have fought for. When it comes down to the basics, in any culture, in any society, women always have much harsher and higher demands placed upon our heads. And sometimes it does costs us our heads if we fall below those standards.
That’s not to say that being a woman are without their perks. I know there are people who would argue that women today have more unfair advantages then men. But I’m not here to argue which gender has it better or worse than the other. On that note though, one thing I love about being a woman is, we as a gender are amazingly resilient and are always finding a way to push through the envelope. We are always looking for way to place a toe beyond the forbidden line of standards and push our boundaries further and further back till one believes these lines are non-existent. For instance, did you know that since Chinese women weren’t allowed to know how to read or write, for thousands of years they created their own secret code of writing? They wrote poems and letters as they developed their own system, they passed down through generations.
But sadly, despite wishing for equality, the boundary line of expectations and standards women are supposed to have are always still there, and they quite never disppear, no matter how hard one tries to wish otherwise. The tricky part of these standards for women are, they can’t really be blamed on men anymore. I mean sure, the jokes men still make about women making them a sandwich are enough to roll your eyes at, but it’s not really what holds our gender back. But I’m getting ahead of myself here and excuse me while I back track a ways.
For my boyfriend Chris’s thirty-first birthday, I decided to buy him a bike. I don’t know anything about bikes. I spent some time nonchalantly acting like any girlfriend does, asking advice months in advance about bikes as if I were shopping around for one, and what kind of bike he would get. And so forth. I was successful in my plan of utterly surprising him but the hitch was, he would be slightly delayed in receiving his present until I could finish paying off what I thought was a good Trek bike from a pawn shop. I was told I could switch out the bike, or bring it back, if anything was wrong. Finally, five weeks later, I finished paying off his birthday present. Three days later, the bike’s gears wouldn’t stay and worse, the bike seat came flying off while he was riding it home from work one night.
Two days later, I took it took the bike back to the pawn shop, hoping I could switch out bikes. But no such luck. The bike seat had gotten lost after Chris almost crashed and had to run to catch the last bus home at one in the morning. The pawn shop told me that no seat, no credit, and that was final. To say I was upset, is a understatement. I tried putting my foot down and pleading for humanity, that it had taken me five weeks to pay this off of my pitiful salary. I tried explaining the sacrifices I had made but none of it made any difference. They were unmoving and unsympathetic to my plight.
I left the store feeling defeated and stupid. The moment my feet were outside, I wanted to run back in and try harder, fight harder. I didn’t feel like I had truly left all stones unturned or tried hard enough. But I didn’t. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid, it was more that, I was afraid of not looking like a lady.
Little girls are told to be good, but above all, to act like a lady. What exactly a lady is, or expected, is tricky to explain and different in many people’s eyes. It’s typical for a lady to be portrayed to be as old-fashioned, conservedly dressed, well spoken and usually found drinking tea. Stepford Wives comes to mind. But honestly, I find that concept a little dated. Because a woman and a lady aren’t the same thing. One is born a woman, and one becomes a lady. But how? And if what we define a lady is no longer so black and white anymore, what makes a woman a lady? It’s bad enough that women degrade ourselves, and each other, to make such an ideal of becoming something as simple as a lady, nearly incomprehensible.
For I knew why I didn’t press harder in the pawn shop. Because deep down, I may not feel like a lady, but as nuts as it sounds, I am always fighting myself to reach that ideal. I’m always trying to teach myself to be more graceful, poised, charming and as much as I don’t like admitting it but, complacent too. And if I had argued back and pressed the issue, till I had thrown a huge scene, like my mother would have, was just something I didn’t know how to pull off. I never reach the lady like ideal, at least not completely. It’s like that quote from Sex in the City, “I know I’ll never be the girl with the perfect hair, or be able to wear white without spilling anything on it, but that’s okay.” And it is okay, at least for the most part. Because I’m not striving to be perfect and honestly, nor does anyone really expect me to be.
The thing is, trying to act like a lady isn’t as arcane as it’s perceived to be. I think there is something to be said about how little we put into our appearances or manners today. A lady doesn’t have to know an entire twelve course place setting, knowing how to use each and every fork. But she does know how to eat gracefully, without slurping or spilling food onto herself. A lady knows how to dress for her body, so therefore there are very few wardrobe malfunctions (but nobody is perfect). A lady is articulate and chooses her words wisely. She debates rather than argue. A lady doesn’t have to raise her voice to be heard, nor does she yell, throw tantrums or often swear. A lady has direction in her life, or at least a life, but does not over dramatize every bump in the road. A lady is comfortable with her body and doesn’t sweat over a few measly pounds.
I know I have trouble with a lot of those sentiments but, for the most part, I do try to live up to what I just said. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty though, the problem isn’t about trying to be perfect or act like a lady. Because having a little tact, a little charm and a little grace in today’s society are sorely lacking. The problem is among our own gender. The boundaries we should be pushing are for less hate and more acceptance among women. Because honestly, we are the ones who label too many of ourselves negatively. She’s too fat. She’s a bitch. She’s a slut, prude, weird, nerd, drinks too much, etc. So, let’s stop being in such a rush to grow up as we’re missing steps along the way and just let, Luck Be A Lady.
I know that you like to sleep, because it feels so damn good most of the time, I know! But I would sincerely appreciate it if you would stop hitting the snooze alarm on my phone and wake the hell up! I have a lot of stuff that I would like to get done today but can’t because I can’t seem to pull your lazy butt outta this comfortable bed! I would also appreciate a little bit more energy in the mornings. I’m tired of just waking up and rushing to get ready for work instead of having time to do things.
I hate that you never have the energy to go out and do anything! I hate that you always make me yawn all day long and have bags under my eyes letting everyone see how tired I am. I know I don’t always make it easy but I feel as if I can’t win. I’m tired if I don’t sleep enough and I’m tired if I do. I feel as if I’m slowly getting more energy but common already, can’t we kick it up a notch?! I all but stopped drinking soda and I want those instant results!
I am sorry for poking fun and hating you over the years, when instead I should be loving every jiggle, every dimple and every curve. I’m sorry for thinking that you weren’t good enough. You are. And now that I see that, I think we can collaborate into becoming someone great. I just hope you see this and want to jump on board too. I know that your scared that your heart will get broken again. I know that you are afraid of letting other people see you. I know that you are afraid of people not accepting you. I know you want people to love you because your you, regardless of your weight. And I know that you use that weight as a tool to stick up your double chins and proudly dare for others to love you and your weight. People do.
But here, see my hand and take it. I will walk with you and together we will face all the critics. You won’t go alone in this. We won’t go alone in this. Because believe it or not, I’m scared too. We have Chris and we are slowly letting friends and family into our lives outside this blog who care just as deeply and love you as much as I do. You will not be alone.
I just want to let you know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not listening. I’m sorry for ignoring you for so many years. You are beautiful, even when your hair is flying a million different directions because of frizz. Even when you cannot control it when it’s put back into a half bun. I want you to know that when I curl my hair, I curl it for you. I spend two hours of my time to show you how beautiful you are despite the weight. And the compliments you receive aren’t for me, they’re for you.
Together, we’ll do this. I’ll hold your hand on one side and Chris will be on the other. And I hope someday you will have the courage to take off your fat coat and come off to play. But there’s no hurry. No one’s dying, yet. I want us to start living but we can only do so one step at a time. And we will. And I know your trying. Everytime I pass by a mirror I start to see more and more of me in you and less of the you pretending to be me shine through. Just keep trying girl and don’t ever give up.
I love you fatso and someday there won’t ever be a need for me because you’ll have already changed. But I’ll still always be around to remind you to keep your stubborn lazy butt going.
Awaiting your reply,
Your “Thin” Alter Ego Lilly
People have commented to me many times about how patient I am with others. I’ve also have, friends, family coworkers and, heck even customer’s ask a few times a week why I smile so much. They me ask what get’s me through the day to be able smile so much. I sort of touched an aspect of that a few days ago with my entry “Keep it Simple Stupid“. I explained that while I’m not a religious person (I don’t believe in God) love is a belief I can jump on board with. But love is a very broad topic. Part of love is being able to open your heart enough to forgive. Or as a great quote I read,
“Altruism, compassion, and forgiveness may be healing for both the giver and the recipient because giving to others with an open heart helps heal the isolation and loneliness that separate us from each other. When we forgive others, it doesn’t excuse their actions; it frees us from our own stress and suffering. These allow for deep levels of intimacy and community that are powerfully healing. When you meet hatred with love, and fear with hope, this transforms you, as well as those around you.”- Marianne Williamson
And love just feels good. Forgiving feels good. Remembering that other people’s flawed tendencies reminds me that they (like me) are human. Other people are stubborn, other people have bad days, other people are rude and sometimes other people are just plain selfish at times. These are behavior’s I can forgive because they are human. Yes, it bother’s me when I’m constantly interrupted or when people make me feel like my point of view isn’t right. But instead of getting mad at them, I take into account of the factors. Are they just normally overly dominate of a conversation or are they just in the heat of the moment excited? Am I making myself being heard or am I letting myself lay by the wayside. And when people insist that their point of view is the correct one I remember this, you can’t argue with a brick. The point is, people have flaws. And so do I. Sometimes I’m the one who interrupts too much and insist that my point of view is the right one. Sometimes I’m the one who doesn’t realize when I’m being rude. And I guess I just want people to forgive and love my flaws too.
But sometimes I’m just not able to practice what I preach and instead I foster a grudge. It doesn’t happen often but when grudges do happen, I can hold onto it for years. Like I said, it rarely get’s to that extreme, but it has. I don’t mean to and sometimes I can’t even remember why I’m holding onto said anger in the first place! All I can remember is just an intensely strong disdain for a particular person. Yes, I realize I’m being silly and yes I realize I’m being stubborn for not being the bigger person and moving on. I wish no ill will towards anyone but sometimes I just get sick and tired of always having to be the bigger person both physically and emotionally. So a grudge will happen.
Most of the time I am a rational person willing to try to see someone else’s perspective. But sometimes I just want to be selfish. When I’m in a rare fight with someone, sometimes it would be nice if the other person make the first attempt at reconciliation instead of me having to be the peace maker. Someone to stretch out their hand (metaphorically) and say, Sarah I’m sorry, let’s work this out.
This whole topic of forgiveness started playing on my mind when someone I have been holding a grudge towards, started simply acting nice to me again. It baffled me and yes, I was a little wary and pessimistic towards such a new-found generosity. Because that sort of behavior just doesn’t happen to me. Only people I ever care about hurt me. It used to be where I let just about anybody in, and I still do to an extent. But if I start to suspect that you aren’t as honest as you appear to be, I slam the door of my heart until I see otherwise.
But back to the topic. The point is, nobody does try to reach out. What happens, when you can see someone actually trying to in their own way reconcile? Do you trust them? Whose to say anything will be different this time around? Especially when the words you want to hear are not spoken and your needs fall short? Do you let this person in their own vain way attempt to woo you? And because you don’t hear the words you need to hear, can you forget the past?
Anytime I’ve ever gotten into a unpassable argument with someone, I always tried my best to just emotionally let go. Sometimes you just can’t win and sometimes you just can’t make someone want to be friends. Those are actions I am familiar with and are able to forgive. Like I know my ex Tony will never want to try to work things out and try to be friends. And even though that hurt more than I care to admit to, I have accepted and forgiven the consequences of that choice of his. I can’t make someone want to care, even if it breaks my heart. So if we were to go off that example, if he were to call and say he wanted to talk, could I forgive him again if I have trouble forgetting our past?
In any fight, there are two sides of a story. And after a while from most arguments, I eventually try to put myself in the shoes of the other person. I ask myself questions. Where was I being unreasonable and how were they? Why do I feel justified in making such accusations and was I right for pointing them out? Was I hitting below the belt? I’m not saying I’m perfect at this logic but I try. It get’s harder because I usually don’t the other person’s perspective so I don’t ever fully know where I hurt them and vice versa. So I try to realize when I’m being a little bit over dramatic, a bit too preachy or when I’ve crossed a line. I try to realize where I’m at fault but where they fall short as well. I feel like a crime scene investigator trying to piece back together a murder with only half of the clues.
And I will over analyze these thoughts, and perceived wrongs for ages until I can let go that they will never be resolved and I will never know what if. So in that aspect, I can let go and forgive the “what if”. I can forgive because like the number of licks to the center of a tootsiepop, we’ll never know. But what happens when someone does come back to try to make things right; in their own actions instead of words? I’m not sure. This is unfamiliar territory for me. Apart of me is wary, wondering what this person’s motives are, if it’s to truly be kind or because they are two faced.
It’s too soon for me to start to make up my mind. It’s in my nature to forgive and in honest truth, I want to reach out my hand in friendship but I’m afraid of being bit again. I’m afraid of my feelings being stomped on again and if I’m being honest here, I resent the fact they never once said that they were sorry. I want to forgive, but I’m having trouble forgetting.
When I was eleven years old, I had my first crush. He had dirty blonde hair, brown eyes and looked like a monkey. I was absolutely head over heels in love. Whose to say what or why we’re attracted to the people we like. All I know is that I was eleven years old and had just experienced my first heartbreak from an unrequited love. Deep down inside, I knew he would never feel the same way. But, like most girls, I kept telling myself if I could only make him like me, then everything would be okay.
I was only just a Princess, searching or her Prince. But unlike most girls, I wasn’t in a rush to find him. I knew I would have to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my Prince because, my grandma told me so. And my grandma was the Queen of Westwood. And even though the boy had broken my heart, and the pain hurt more than anybody could ever prepare me for, I knew because of my grandma’s words that I’d be okay.
When I was twelve there was Alex, who was like a persian Hugh Grant. I stalked his number from the Parents night sign in book (where I wasn’t supposed to be). I called the number twice and threw it away. All I can say is that I am so glad I grew up in the last generation before caller ID! In seventh grade there was George, who was a year ahead of me and the only time we spent together was in student council. He looked like Joseph Gordon Levitt. I squealed with delight as George signed my yearbook at the end of the year but I was sad to know that was the last time I’d ever see him.
Then Tony came along. Since I have to be honest here, I wasn’t physically attracted to Tony when we first dated. But I loved his personality. He had this way of charming whoever he talked to within five minutes. And I knew anyone who let him get away was a fool. Tony was smart and cool in the way I can never be. He was hard-working, kind and a family man. I just wasn’t physically attracted to him for the majority of our relationship. I wasn’t repulsed but my heart wasn’t doing backflips. I did love him though, more than he will ever understand. I just didn’t understand what was wrong with me.
The first experience I had out of my eight year relationship with Tony was with a man I call Mr. Cocky. The name should pretty much speak for itself. But he was exciting for me, or maybe he just a flavor I had never tried before. I guess I should have known better, that he was more in it for the conquest than actual dating. While he semi-broke my heart, he also showed me how to be tough. He told me how to hide my heart and all the flaws that scream as bright red flags to make men run away screaming. I guess you could say he took pity on me because, as he liked to brag, he was my “rebound”.
I didn’t take Mr. Cocky’s words fully to heart until after I dated a man I call Mr. Monkey… and what can I say about this man? He made my heart feel whole. He was intelligent, extremely kind, hard-working and handsome to boot (in a nerdy sort of way). In truth, it was me who probably ruined any prospects of a relationship working out. I was still too emotionally needy. I wanted someone with mostly all the answers. I wanted someone who could fix me.
But instead of facing the truth, I just vowed to myself to never let myself get close enough to be hurt again. I had already rightfully lost Tony, the closest thing I had to a best friend. We were still talking, but it wasn’t the same. I was lost and I was lonely. So I kept putting myself out there, praying that something would click. Hoping that somewhere things would change. I’d like to think that I was putting myself out there looking for love, but I think I was really looking for a friend.
And while one morning I woke up and clicked that I was the one who needed to get my life together instead of waiting for someone to fix it for me, it didn’t seem to stop me from guarding my heart from men. I was barely phased when I ended things with a man I call Eggy in August. I wanted to let myself fall but, I could recognize the patterns and resisted. But it’s easy to resist against a man who you barely see and rarely makes any effort to talk to you.
There is one more guy, but at risk of losing my job, I’m not going to go into it. Except I will say that it was my fault how things turned out. Not all my fault, but most of it… probably. I tried too hard to fight against my feelings to not knowing how to turn off the emotional faucet.
The thing all these guys have in common though, is me. Each one of these men made me question what was wrong with me? They have made me question my self-worth, of why I wasn’t good enough or what they were looking for. They have each in their own way, made me have resentments against them. I have wondered countless times of what if’s. What if I had done this, what if I had done that? What if I had held back a little bit more? Remained a little bit more mysterious? What if I were thinner, prettier, funnier, cooler, etc? The questions about my self worth never seemed to end!
The ironic thing, for as coo-coo as I make myself about a boy I like, around the boys I could give a damn about, I act exactly as the girl I wish I was. Around the boys I’m not interested in, I come off as a girl who is playful, flirty and silly. To them I am independant and confident. I don’t come off as a girl who gets clingy or over emotional. These guys tell me that I am a catch! It’s just usually these are the guys I don’t want to get caught for. And I resent myself for not being able to act like this around the boys I do like.
I resent the stereotype that a guy has to make the first move. I resent the fact that women are supposed to give men something to chase in order for men to like us. I’ve grown enough to know that just because I’m interested in a guy, doesn’t mean I’ve been “caught”. I resent games and I resent that I can’t just walk up to a boy and say,“I like you. Would you like to go out?” I resent that in order for a guy to be interested in me, I’m supposed to show a persona that’s only half me. The charm of smiling, flirting, and the restraint of not talking too much only lasts for so long.
I am grown up now and have been long done with playing Princess. I never did like the fact that the Princess was supposed to wait around for Prince Charming to get off his lazy butt and ‘save her’. Growing up, waiting wasn’t a strong virtue of mine. Neither was being saved. If I saw something I wanted, I went after it. And if I didn’t get it, I got over it because I realized maybe it wasn’t something worth having. I knew that as long as I gave what I cared for a 110% that trying and caring was always better than trying and being afraid. I get scared but eventually I’ll tell myself, “Hey, what do I have to lose?’ and go for it.
So this is me, saying goodbye too all those affairs that ended one sided. I could say something corny like it’s their lost, but that’s something I already know. Because I know I’m a catch. Because I am the girl who may talk too much, but I listen just as intently and openly. I am the girl who no matter what kind of relationship, platonic or romantic, will try to bring smiles, laughter, and sillyness into. So goodbye to all the boys who made me feel like I did something wrong, or made me feel like something was wrong with me. When all I did was… be myself.
Groggily, I stretch my arms above my head and curl my toes. I stumble out of bed and make my way to the bathroom. My pony tail has mostly fallen out from the night before and the other half of my hair is sticking straight up. I pick up my toothbrush and start brushing my teeth. About halfway through my twentieth brush stroke, a clear thought pushes its way forward. Fat American! I furrow my brow, spit and stare at myself in the mirror. Fat American!
“What’s that Sarah?” Chris asks me from the next room.
“Nothing!” I reassure him. I hadn’t realized I had spoken aloud. I rush out to the diningroom table, grab the notebook out of my purse that’s sitting on the table and thousand pens sitting next to it. I take the notebook back to the bathroom and write the ugly phrase down. I jot down my thoughts as I continue to get ready for another day at work.
This is just a typical experience for me. I have a whole page of topics I hope to someday blog about. Most of them started with similar experiences. While it may not be that uncommon for me to be inspired, when they actually make it to paper or onto this blog are. Can you imagine if every thought, every word, and every idea were to make it down to paper? I’m not saying that they would all be Pulitzer prize winners. Some would be sad, some would be happy and other’s down right silly. Like, “The bear stared at Claire at the County Fair while she was eating an eclair and demanded his share.”
But if you chronicled every thought, you (hypothetically of course, I when I say “you” I’m referring to myself) and others could begin to track patterns in your life. You could track what is making you sad or who makes you happy. You could start living your life. I’m not saying I would, or could, ever write something as memorable as “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” But hypothetically, I could. One can only speculate that if every idea or silly phrase I ever created were to be put down, that it would eventually turn me into a better writer.
There is something to be said about discretion though. Not all thoughts are my best or ones that anyone would really want to read, as I’ve already learned the hard way. I have blog articles that are half way started but not finished because I know I need to publish them in a certain order and after a certain amount of time has passed. Not because I have to, but because I know in order not to lose the small audience I have, I should gradually introduce people into my life.
Because I realize that if circumstances were reversed, if I were to read a blog about someone I knew and read details about their life that made me uncomfortable or words I didn’t agree with, the odds that I would keep reading what they wrote would not be great. I fight that battle of crossing a line and staying true to myself. So far, besides one mishap, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. There are things I want to write about, things like boys, dating and sex. All things that are tied in with being fat. Then there are the more serious issues, like writing about the sexual abuse and heart-felt apologies of wrongs I’ve done to others.
Those are issues that can wait, it doesn’t all have to be all so dark and depressing! I like to take things day-to-day. I like to write blog entries the same way my mother enjoys putting puzzle together. My mother will turn the box over and scatter all the pieces onto the table. Slowly, she methodically separates the pieces into categories. First, she sets up the outline by finding all the edge pieces. Second she sorts the pieces by color. Then she just sits and stares at the pieces. She waits with the patience of a cat, almost waiting for one to squeal on the others about where it belongs. She looks at the picture on the box and then back to the puzzle. My mom keeps doing this over and over again, till eventually she picks up a piece and places to where she hopes it belongs. Sometimes she’s wrong, places it back and tries again.
I like to think that I have that same patience when it comes to my writing. I setup the outline of where I want to go, usually tied in with the blog title. Then I sit here and think. I mull words over in my head. I type them out and then I erase them. Over and over again. It’s harder without a title for what I’m working on as the title helps me focus and stay on track to my point. It’s the closest to cognitive therapy as I get. And that’s okay. I will never get every idea I ever have from now on written down and sometimes I might toss away the ideas I do remember to keep. Because life is about quality, not quantity.
“I didn’t say you weren’t Alice. I said you were hardly Alice.”- Absolem aka the Blue Caterpillar.
The first time I saw Alice In Wonderland (Through the Looking Glass version 2010), I have to confess, I was disappointed. I thought it altogether way too cheesy. While watching it a second time around, this time in my room with no cheesy 3D glasses, I saw the movie in a different light. Yes, Tim Burton is just as weird and in my opinion still a one trick pony who rotates the same actors around. But during the second viewing of Alice in Wonderland, my perception shifted.
I did read Alice in Wonderland as a kid but, I confess I never got around to reading Lewis Carroll’s “Through The Looking Glass.” Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have missed the overall movie message. The message asking a question, who are you? Or more specifically, who is Alice? Through the Looking Glass takes place after Alice grows up, one where a woman’s voice held little weight and choices often made for her.
As far as the movie’s interpretation of the book goes, it leads into Alice’s life “all grown up” and trying to be bred into a young society woman. We see as her personal freedom and voice diminish from existence, that her sanity snaps and throws her back into Wonderland.At one point the Cheshire Cat was like, “TheAlice?” And Alice responded, “There’s been some debate about that.” “I’ve never been one for politics,” he replies. It’s actually Absolem, who towards the end of the movie, finally provokes Alice into shouting in defining terms, her identity.
Like Editor in Chief of US’s Cosmopolitan Magazine, Kate White wrote in April’s issue (I think) of, “I am always looking for inspiration to borrow from others”. I am always borrowing ideas from my family, Chris, friends, coworkers and just things I observe in the media. Because if you look, inspiration is all around you. For instance, I like Kate White’s example of trying to incorporate Natalie Portman’s attitude for never asking for extensions on deadlines. But it’s not just what I see or read inspires me.
My own family inspires me. My mom inspires me to be kind and generous. Chris inspires me to not give a damn about people’s opinions and to explore outside my comfort zone. I don’t think my own coworkers realize how much they’ve inspired me to be better at just my own job in the year that I’ve been there! Mama T inspired me to keep my work area cleaner. Speedy Gonzales inspires me to work faster but to be thorough. Mr. Cinnamon inspired me to memorize my codes faster when I first started. Miss Bookworm inspires me to never call myself dumb or stupid and motivates me to want to learn now. Mr. Beanie inspires me about how far a sincere a simple compliment can go.
But those are only a few examples. In honest to god corny truth, I’m always trying to borrow or learn something from everyone I know everyday. You guys make me into a better person. And I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. Sometimes there are many people who teach me the same message, but each in a slightly different style. It might be a slight variation or spin on something I already know, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. I have gone the long way to make my point but I promise I have one.
Alice is yelling at Absolem. “I am the daughter of a blah blah blah. I am this, I am that. I am Alice!” (I can’t remember verbatim as I’m going off the cuff here). Before she had started off on her self identity realization, Alice was in the space in between. She felt who she was, and I’m sure deep down knew who she was. It wasn’t until she had to verbally remind, not Absolem, but herself, who she was, did Alice get her “muchness” back. And that inspired me to take a page out of Alice’s book.
I know who I am, at least, I feel her. I feel my “muchness”. I know that by simply listing my identity, it won’t change me over night. It won’t make my muchness sprout faster than the cake Alice ate to grow taller. But it will me grow. My identity will change. I don’t mean for any of the following to come off as overly critical or unjustly harsh. So without further ado, my muchness.
I am Sarah. I am somewhere between not tall enough and too tall. I lean on the side of being too fat, fat enough to be given sighs of sympathy “She would be prettier if only…” but not fat enough to be considered for the show Biggest Loser (I tried out in 2010). I am pretty enough to know that I am not the ugliest girl in the room, but I’m not the one that gets gossiped about for being a knock out. (And not just because of my weight.) I know I have a face that is passably pretty… a little plain and a sometimes a little ordinary (especially one that’s sans makeup) but a face pretty enough by media standards to be called cute. It’s enough of a face that most days, I like my reflection. But I am not the girl who boys stumble over their feet to get to and I’m not the girl who people laugh about those boys falling over. I am just me, I am just Sarah. And I’m fine with that.
I am the girl who will never have it all put together, but who acts like she does. I will act like I have my life figured out, when I don’t. I have a vauge idea of a direction I want to go in and hope it pans out. I will always be the girl who tries to always have a genuine smile on her face. Not just because I want to be happy, I do, but because I feel like it’s a mask I can control. I get scared letting people see that I am emotional. I over analyzes situations, even if I don’t have all the facts. I am the girl who is laid back and emotionally accepting of just about anyone and I am a girl who doesn’t get truly offended easily. After venting, I try not to hold onto anger or resentment. But I like to vent and sometimes I need a few ears to tell it to. I am a girl who loves with her whole heart and will silently cry for months over mistakes and people she hurt. I am a girl who will always be bleeding love.
I am smart enough to know that I can accomplish anything I want… when I focus. I am a girl who never stops trying, stubbornly so. I am a girl who loves to learn and dreams big. I almost always need lots of visual help, lots of practice, and patience. I am competitive enough to be driven, but not competitive enough to finish first. I am an average girl who doesn’t want to be average. I have a million plans, ideas and projects but never finish them. I have an insane amount of patience but I get distracted easily. I am a girl who loves to tell stories but gets too lost within details. I am a girl who has trouble letting go. I am a girl who is constantly trying to reinvent herself.I am a girl trying to refind her muchness. I am Sarah.