An honest body.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Longest Con

I think, or I thought, that I had to approach myself from a real and hard frame of mind. I've always been super tough to myself, in my own head. I'm the first to feel stupid. I'm the sweatiest. I'm the stutteringest. I realize now that even as I'm saying something aloud that is so true to me, making a point I find very distinct, I still go up at the end, making that statement sound a question.
This is all fine, except, I'm not 24 anymore. You realize, in some dark moment when you're drunk again and things are flat and blank, that no one will validate you they way you need them to. No one will. It's not even sad. It's a relief. Thank god. But you're just you. You're your own entity. And by god, you better find some way to feel right about that.
It's this journey people take. Not like, a yoga-esque journey, but it could also be that. Journey is a really trite way to say it, but it's true, because you just keep going there and going there and sometimes you freak out and get lost and sometimes you forget to remember and it's what's going on as you go.
It was a mistake for me to think, I can force myself to be something different everyday. I don't like these things about myself so I'm going to drag those parts out onto the carpet and crush them. I have to find a new way to spend my time and live my life. My boyfriend, who is very smart, thinks everyone would behave pretty much the same way, given the same set of circumstances. Maybe he finds this comforting. I find it infuriorating. Even though he has rationalized this point of everyone being a similar creature, he still feels really troubled when I talk about race and white privilege. It's not his fault, everyone does it and everyone would do it, especially according to him, but it's about personal responsibility then.
It's just that it's important to be aware that nothing is going to make being me ok but me. I have to do things to make it ok. I have to work. And one way I have to work is not to be mean to myself and to invest in things that make me like myself more. It's a trick that gets more tenuous as I get older. It isn't about being pretty. It isn't about making everything around me beautiful.
This can feel like a con I'm playing on myself. When I'm at my most destructive, I feel like I'm deluding myself and everything is shitty and I'm pretending like I'm good when I'm not and I get so, so angry that I don't have the stick-to-it-iveness to be, just different, in an all around sort of way. And before I got a different perspective on this thinking, I would invest in that angry internal dialogue, talking back to black moods, trying to figure it out for once. It changed when I saw that I couldn't ever talk myself out of it. Instead, I try to simply curtsey at the gnarled, ancient process and turn away and try, try, try to buy into the new propaganda I'm selling of being fine and happy and peaceful.
This hardly applies but I make it:
In the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling.
-Gertrude Stein

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Accepting Ourselves As We Are

I read this quote this morning:
I think when you're young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.
- Diana Vreeland
I loved this very much because it resonates with how I think about growing up and what it was like for me. As I near the end of my 20s, I spend so much time deciding what is truly adult. What looks adult? What feels adult? What looks adult from the outside? I don't want to spend time listening to music that breaks me open or reading books that hammer at my heart right now. I want to write a grocery list and do something nice for my sister who hurt her leg. I want to appreciate the sunny fall afternoon in an appropriate way.
Not that you have to be grown up to appreciate the sun and snow. There were plenty of Sundays in my earlier years where I sat in a park all afternoon and drank up the sun, but, maybe, I felt alone or sad. That was probably because I was hung over and also because I can't seem to get over myself. It should be just as Diana describes it, then one day. Just, one day, it's all different.
Hopefully it's still to come. No more sitting in the stink of woe-is-me, but not at home in the way of the world all the time either. Somewhere in the middle.