Yes/No

This writing-on-the-weekend business just isn’t cutting it. I fully understand the importance of working-during-the-week, but do you know how many things happened on Monday?! And again on Tuesday? And again on etc. etc.? By the time the weekend rolls around, I have so many words waiting to be written I never know where to begin.

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My therapist always opens our sessions the same way. We do the still-awkward (always going to be awkward?) credit card exchange, and then she asks: what’s important today?

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This is probably her clever way of getting me to think twice before responding: My thighs. My thighs are important today. My expanding-into-oblivion thighs. And my stomach. My stomach, so traitorously round. And my butt — oh my god, my butt. (Is that mine? That can’t be mine.)

I’d be lying if I said I never launched into a full-body critique these days, but I’m happy to report I no longer let myself get away with it without feeling really, really petty.

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What’s the state of emergency, in the world of Hannah? That my size fours are a little snug? Uh-huh. Say it with me: come on.

There are still moments in which I frown back at my reflection and think: so this is pretty much how I always imagined I’d look pregnant. Only minus the glow. And the adoring husband.

But I’d like to think the worst of the bad days are over now, all but gone. We’re coming up on six months. There is a life to be lived, yes?

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I am hardly the only woman on the planet to be small on top, large on bottom. (And fighting to feel okay about it.) I could write a story about a woman shaped like that and make her sound so beautiful. It wouldn’t even be hard, because she is. She would be all arcs and S-curves, all soft skin. She’d have hips that don’t spell sorry, and an undeniable femininity about her. I could write about a woman so sensual, so gorgeously responsive, you’d never know she struggled. If I were to tell you about a woman like that, I wouldn’t waste more than five lines telling you about what she looked like.

I realized something this morning while I was pushing the vacuum around. You might think while you shower; I think while I clean. This isn’t the story I want to be telling anymore.

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Anorexia — wherein I refused to fully engage with a life that came with no guarantees. Anorexia — wherein life was reduced to little more than what I could eat next, and how quickly I could burn it off. Anorexia — wherein I ate like a bird and felt like an elephant, no matter how heartbreakingly bird-like my features became.

You know that story. I know that story. We’re sick of that story. Yes? Yes.

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That isn’t my biggest story, my best story. There is just no way. My best story will not be about a [rather unfortunate] detour taken in my early twenties.

I feel pretty sure that my best story will not be about me. I have no idea who/what it’ll be about — but it won’t be about me.

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This is a slight tangent, but are people meeting people on Instagram? Is that a thing now? I feel like that might be a thing.

It’s hard for me to remember that everyone has something they’d really rather not disclose on a first date. That everybody has baggage. I’m lucky, in a way — I am intimately acquainted with mine. I know all of its tricks. My baggage is predictable. Tired. Boring, now. We’re done here.

But I still feel like it’s one of those things you can’t just spring on someone. Do you know what I mean? I just want someone to know the whole of it and not be frightened by it, or turned off. Or get impatient with me about it. Isn’t that what we all want?

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I know I could just keep it a secret, but somehow that doesn’t sit right. It isn’t over yet, for one — although the words “approaching remission” were thrown around at the nutritionist on Thursday. (!!!) But for other reasons, too: because the part where someone sees you for everything you are and loves you to pieces anyway — that’s the one part of the fairy tale I can’t seem to give up. And because this whole experience has completed changed what I’m looking for, in a person.

Example A: I can’t be with someone who really wants to be with a supermodel. Who actually isn’t very attracted to the way your average run-of-the-mill girl next door looks. And while I’d really love to be with someone active, I can’t be with someone on any real crusade to change the way they look.

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I want to be with someone who is not perfect. Someone who likes chocolate, and gives really great hugs. Someone who thinks it’s strange how little we talk about the things we think about the most. Someone who would help me remember that feelings are just the random radio stations our minds listen to, if we don’t give them something better to do.

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I want to be with someone who would agree that they’re always drawn to the person in the room who is having the best time. I want to be with someone who has gone through a tough time or two, and has come out better for it. I want to be with someone who is good with puppies and small children, and wouldn’t mind too terribly much if I wanted to go escape to the woods every once in a while.

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I want to be with someone who would take more than one look at me. Yes/no. I want to be with someone who, after a few weeks of batting the proverbial ball back and forth, would say: you know, you have a very pretty heart.

{Saddle Mountain via @zoomdak, Portland through-the-fence via @justin.watts, Portland with-sunset-and-mountain via @idkpdx, gloomy road via @kodiak.stag, bright road via @mrtommyblades, Portland on a good cloud day via @upperleftusa, Columbia River Gorge and boy-with-flower via @ngreener, too-cute country house via @andreadabene. All on Instagram!}

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