Maps: Past, Present, Future

We won’t be writing anything particularly articulate today. I hope that’s okay. What we’re going to do is try to two-finger type as speedily as possible, in order to keep a week’s worth of thoughts from flying out the window.

I probably need to do something about the typing. The thing is, I learned the wrong way. (By employing my thumbs, my pointer fingers, and my middle fingers almost exclusively.) And then I got reasonably good at being largely inept, over time. But now that I work in a “real” office, I’m finding that my fingers don’t go tap-tap-tap quite the way they should. One of them seems to do nothing but snake out to hit the backspace key.

So basically: I can’t type. I’m a writer and I can’t type. But honestly, the desktop keyboard is a completely different animal. Yes? Yes.

Let’s not dwell, though. There were so many better revelations this week. We will talk about those. We will celebrate all the little things that made this week a BIG WEEK.

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1. I love working. You can ask me again in a month, two months, six months, but I love getting all dressed up. I love having a place to go.

2. Feeling capable — more than capable — is the biggest boost. I love knowing I’ve been deemed competent, smart, quick. (Typing notwithstanding.) My self-esteem was in the gutter for so long; feeling confident continues to be something of a mountaintop experience.

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3. That said, I can see I’m going to have to be careful to pace myself. I don’t need to set records. It wouldn’t hurt to work a little faster than the others, but I’d be better off resisting the urge to work harder. Earlier, later, longer. Even operating at 70%, I’m still a good hire. And good hires make sure to take lunch and get up and walk around occasionally. Chitchat with people. Answer a personal email every now and then. Duck out for coffee.

4. I’ve noticed something else, too: I’m more likely to compare myself to other people when I’m feeling insecure. Like at the gym, whenever I look over at the size-negative girl in color-coordinating Lululemon. She has a boyfriend that looks like he walked off a billboard and I’m jealous. Jealousy is a miserable emotion. I look at the two of them and I wish I were the tall one, the thin one.

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5. The less emphasis I place on my body now versus my body six months ago, the less tormented I feel. It’s a huge help to focus on everything I can do now, in comparison to all I couldn’t do then.

6. I have to remember to feel proud of how far I’ve come. Too much of the time, I still feel ashamed of how I look. I feel acutely aware of the “extra” weight, which I should really be thinking of as necessary weight. Weight I had to fight so hard to gain. I forget to remember that there will be a guy who won’t be disgusted by the fact that I need a belly and thighs in order to be healthy. I forget to remember that my value system is shifting. I forget to remember that what I’ve done is so brave.

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7. I also forget to remember that I’m still on the small side of the spectrum. That I haven’t changed so horribly much that I can’t ever take a picture ever again, or see anyone who knew me from before. Also: that this is just the first time I’ve really spent any time with my adult, not-on-a-diet, body. It’s bound to be a little startling sometimes; we’re still getting acquainted. I just have to remember how off the charts amazing it is, to not be on a diet. It’s like I’m free!

8. Speaking of which — I’m in another phase where I’m not so married to my meal plan! Insert another 70 exclamation points. I say “phase” because I’m assuming when I feel triggered again I’ll latch right back on to it. But there’s comfort there. A newly established type of trust.

9. I hope you’re still ready with the exclamation points, because we’re going to need some more: my nutritionist thinks I’m about done. We’re just waiting for one more 3-week time frame to go by to make sure. I no longer need to measure everything, so I’ve been enjoying eyeballing portions like a “normal” person. And I have the green light to stop eating whenever I feel full. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to eat only however much feels appealing, and to be able to try relying on my hunger cues again.

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10. I don’t feel like a sick person anymore. The bulk of this is behind me now. It already feels like something that happened — something that sucked, definitely, but is so much better now.

11. I shouldn’t ever feel pathetic for craving closeness. I could not have stopped myself from slipping away if I had not let people know me. We all need people we can be honest with, vulnerable around. We are allowed to need them desperately.

12. It’s natural to long for love. (Romantic love.) But as much as I wish for someone I’ll never tire of getting to know, and vice versa, I’m not ready for a relationship. The Love Myself project is still what’s present. What’s here and now.

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13. I am almost certain that one day I’ll have someone else to write about, and it will be just as magical as I’d hoped. Facial hairs in the sink and all.

14. “We are so brave to keep making promises. We are so brave to mean them. People can tell how tired our hearts are from across the street but we still hold hands while we ride the train. You bring me water when I cry and make sure I drink the whole glass. I buy your favorite records for 3 dollars and we listen to them together. We drink wine in the nighttime and say things like ‘this is where it hurts’. We draw maps of each other’s pasts. Heartbreaks colored in black. Grief outlined in purple. The happiest times shaded yellow. This is how we learn each other. We are so scared and brave. We are so terrified and willing. We rewrite the definition of brave and it is this: love again. Love again. Love again.” -Fortesa Latifi

{Mount Hood via @nickersonross, Skinny House via @inayali, Wizard’s Hat via @earthpix on Instagram.}

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