EDIT: I have no idea why this entry turned into a rant about my weight and appearance. It was intended to talk about my lack of accomplishment, but I guess the fact that I never “accomplished” being what I call beautiful is bothering me a little more than I’d originally thought. So I’ve gone back to try to clear it up a bit, and translate from Sillycakes into Normal Human. Most likely, I’ve only muddled things more in the process.
But what the hell. Onward!
Yes, I’m back, because you people are obviously very hard to bore to death.
It’s funny; these little vacations from blogging give me a strange dual view of my life. See, I feel that a lot’s been happening. I’ve been on trips, met some new friends, become obsessed interested in some new music. Seen a few movies, renewed my raging crush on Alan Cumming. Made some plans, said goodbye to a few people, and even…uh, started a book.
[Yes. I’ve also cleaned up the last one and am trying to work up the ovaries to DO something with it other than take up space on my various computer drives.]
And yet on the surface, nothing’s changed at all. I’m still chubby. I’m still living in the same place I was last time we spoke–although that’s not a bad thing, as I do love my little apartment. I still adore my husband, still sing at an annoyingly mediocre level, and still can’t dance worth a flip.
I do, however, feel a little different.
It varies from day to day, whether it’s a positive or negative difference. I sometimes feel quite hopeful about my future. I think I might someday have the courage and luck to actually get something published. That I might really learn to dance. I might see Europe. I might even try acting, if only a little community theater stuff.
And then there are other days, in which I look in the mirror and see those couple of wrinkles that have cropped up. They’re small, yes, but insistent little bastards: reminders of time’s passage, and of just how long I’ve fucked around.
Part of the problem with being me is that I want to be simultaneously invisible and the center of attention. That probably makes no sense, but the feeling’s always been there. Love me, but don’t look at me too closely. Want me, but don’t come too near. Don’t hurt me.
This kind of warped even farther over the years, translating itself into the desire to be adored, but not yet. Not while I’m still the way I am/was/always have been. I started on the path of self-improvement a distressing number of years ago, putting off anything that would draw anyone’s eyes to me until I was “done”…and then I never GOT done.
Putting things off just became a habit.
Even with all the changes I’ve made over the years, I’m not traditionally beautiful. Never have been, but I could have at least done more with myself in times past. A large part of the problem is, as always, my weight and my own views of it…and here goes the ramble.
See, I found the cycle of emotional overeating early on–say, ten years old or thereabouts. And that combined with my genetic tendency to puff out all over the place, to ensure that I spent my teens and twenties at least chunky. And then once I married Steve? OH, lord. I made the mistake of eatin’ like a man just because I was with one, and let’s just say my body didn’t really appreciate that too much.
The die was cast then, it seemed. Since I was fat, and most outfits didn’t look good on me anyway, I didn’t see the need to bother with much in the way of presentation. As long as I and my clothes were clean, and my hair was brushed, I kind of skimmed a gaze over the mirror and said “good enough”. After all, I was never going to be what the world called pretty. By some miracle I’d found a man who thought I was beautiful, but I had no illusions as to what the rest of humanity might think. And I’d seen often enough the sneers and laughter that other fat women got sometimes when they painted their nails, did their hair and put on makeup; no way was I subjecting myself to that. I wasn’t a pretty girl, and that was just the way it was. I told myself it didn’t matter, and sometimes I even believed it.
I don’t know what changed, only that it did. I read something about the whole glycemic-index thing and for whatever reason, it rang true. And it worked, too; moving from that to plain ol’ low carbing, I lost about thirty pounds without really working all that hard at it, then another sixty over the next few years, through various healthy and unhealthy means. [Fifteen of those pounds have, sadly, returned, but I’ll vanquish them yet!]
Somewhere along the way, I started trying again. At the tender age of thirty-one, I actually started to learn about makeup and how to apply it fairly well. I got a better haircut. I actually started paying at least some attention to fashion. I liked it; it made me feel good. If not precisely pretty, at least a little sexy.
But then for some inexplicable reason, I ran away from it. Oh, not completely–I still dress well enough, if with a little less concern for trends than I might have. I don’t go out without makeup, just because I don’t like to. And while yes, I’ve regained fifteen pounds, it’s only fifteen, rather than my ballooning back up to my highest, and I haven’t given up hope that I’ll wrest those back off soon.
I’m nowhere near what I was, though. Turns out, I could be pretty, at least a little. There was just the briefest window of my being attractive to other than a handful of people, and there are times I hate myself for stepping back from it.
And I wonder if I didn’t just get scared of being looked at, or scared that–now that I’d taken care of most of my self-invented physical obstacles–I’d have to do all those lovely things I’d been putting off. I’d have to justify all my changes by producing something worthy of notice.
The thing is, garnering notice has rarely been a positive thing for me. Despite my rather pathetic desire to be loved, I’d been conditioned in various ways to stay silent and not intrude. Even as a child, there was always the weight thing, plus my extreme shyness, plus a level of intelligence that made me popular only with teachers. No, I was usually more than happy to keep to the shadows, thank you.
But I’m thirty-seven now. A prime number, and perhaps the “prime of life” by some standards as well, but it scares me nonetheless. There’s the growing sense that if I’m ever going to do something with myself, ever going to make a mark that ensures I’ll be remembered by more than a small group of family and friends, I’d better damn well get moving on it.
I look at various young’uns who have already accomplished so much, and while I’m not proud of it, I resent them. What could I have been, if I’d been encouraged to fly rather than to just know my place?
And what’s stopping me now, other than decades’ worth of ingrained fear? Nothing.
But no matter how much I ache, no matter how deeply I feel that there is something more to me than what I’ve seen or shown, my dreams are vague and formless, and I don’t know if I have the strength to bring them into any other kind of existence.
So here I am. Still just me.