Volume XXIV

Sometimes I feel so young; sometimes I feel so old.

I’m still young enough to want to be young when it suits me, if that makes any sense. (Am I going to try to use my college ID to get 15% off of my purchase at J.Crew? Well, maybe. I know. I know. Go ahead: I’m a horrible human being.)

But I’m also old enough to feel like really rocking plans for Saturday night might include: a single serving of cheap chicken curry, a decent free movie on TV, a pair of plaid pajama pants, and a costly half of a chocolate bar (priorities). Carefully omitted from that list: no reason to venture outside again, and therefore: no need to wear a bra.

I wish there were also no need to keep moving. What I’d really like is a tiny little house to call my own and slowly start to make feel like home — but I’d be willing to settle for a less idyllic spot, even smack-dab in a city, as long as I knew I could stay there for a few years.

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I don’t know why I have this overwhelming desire to just stay put. In an apartment, in a job. Well maybe I have a small idea: Craigslist makes for a poor companion. Perhaps you know this already.

But — I am a mess of contradictions here — I feel equally horrified by the thought of staying put. Standing still. What, do I wish for a stagnant life? With inevitable boredom in my work, and no small amount of predictability in my personal life?

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What I want is to feel grounded. Internally — since I can’t yet count on a career or a relationship for stability. I can’t count on a plot of land to magically fill that void, and I can’t expect my family or friends to stay put in their own lives, just so things feel less topsy-turvy in mine.

There is a lot none of us can count on: good health, peace of mind, financial security. Future love — particularly if the current landscape looks awfully bleak. Said landscape might include a spectacular U-turn. Dead ahead, in a quarter of a mile.

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I know, I know. You just never know.

It must be a matter of perspective. It must be a matter of viewing the endless obscurity — all of the twists and turns — as EXCITING. (!!!)

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I don’t find that nearly as hard to wrap my brain around as I used to. But I wonder if I will always have to fight my first reaction. I wonder if I will always feel such resistance. Abject terror, and impending doom.

Bouncing back from anorexia has shown me we can change the ways in which we think. We do have a say in what we internalize and in how we react. But it’s so much work. It might be the hardest work there is. I remember my therapist telling me that in the beginning: this is the hardest thing you will ever do.

She’s been right — about that and a few hundred other things.

Sometimes all it takes is one tiny thing — like a text from someone I used to know — and I slip right back into feeling insecure, inadequate, ugly. I stop feeling curvaceous and curious and so alive, and I start to feel like someone unrecognizable. Someone who has gained a lot of weight and has to keep buying new clothes. Someone who is CLEARLY not sick anymore — heh heh heh.

All of a sudden, I am someone who is insecure and sad. Small, inside. Full of self-hatred, and so hot with shame. I am someone who is peering down at her stomach, not so flat now. I am someone who is unable to stop staring at her thighs, so much thicker now. I am someone who wishes she could stop time right in in tracks, go back to ten minutes ago.

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“My theory is — we don’t really go that far into other people, even when we think we do. We hardly ever go in and bring them out. We just stand at the jaws of the cave, and strike a match, and ask quickly as if anybody’s there.” -Martin Louis Amis

“We are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives. By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own transformation. We overlook the greater gifts inherent in our wounds — the strength to overcome them and the lessons that we are meant to receive through them. Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of other people. They are meant to teach us to become compassionate and wise.” -Caroline Myss

“We were like matching bookends, almost touching but with volumes between us and stories, so many stories.” -Ilsa J. Bick

“The wrong kind of guy to fall in love with is the guy who will let go of the steering wheel as a joke. A guy who finds it amusing to make you uncomfortable — which is more common than you’d think — is someone you want to avoid.” -Unknown

“When we think of the past, it’s the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.” -Margaret Atwood

“That’s the hardest hurdle you’ll ever get over, writer or no writer at all: deciding that you’re going to love the mud that once transformed you. Deciding you are going to finally pass a buck of grace to yourself for not holding the world together all the time.” -Hannah Brencher

{The Blue One, via @inayali on Instagram. Rowena Crest capture courtesy of @hannes_becker.}

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2 thoughts on “Volume XXIV

  1. Hang in there lady. xo

    “It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” — Marianne Williamson

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