Why wish that 2010 is better?

•December 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been getting many well-wishes for the New Year. The people around me wish that next near be better for me, because apparently I’ve had a rough time in 2009.

Why?

I moved across the country and landed on my feet.

I found a job I love.

I bought a car.

I attempted a marathon.

I sorted out a lot of personal issues.

I got into a regular gym routine.

I reconnected with old friends.

I traveled.

I made many leaps of faith that seemed silly at the time, but ultimately worked out for the better.

So why are people wishing me  “better” year in 2010?

2009 was pretty awesome.

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Another fucking dreidel?

•December 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s another year of being the The Token Jew at Christmas parties.

You know what that means, right? My gift being the only one wrapped in blue and white paper, constantly asking if certain foods are kosher, boxes of microwavable latkes for breakfast. My favorite is constantly being asked to give the “bread breaking prayer,” a traditional Hebrew prayer given before eating. I don’t speak Hebrew, I don’t know the prayer, and have no interest in learning. I don’t bother to learn it because I am so completely nonobservant that I might as well be Catholic. The only reason I’m aware that it is Hanukkah is because people constantly ask me which night of Hanukkah we are on. It’s like I’m some sort of magic Jew calendar.

A week or so ago I was given an menorah. The first time it was nice to receive one, but now that I have six or seven of them it is getting a little rediculous. This last one didn’t even make it out of the box. I gave it to Chaste Hug Guy within an hour or so of receiving it.

So tonight after being asked for the umpteenth time to recite a prayer I don’t know and after perhaps one too many glasses of wine (“It’s kosher!”) I gave the following blessing over the food;

“Dear God. Be a mensch. Bless this food and grant me the ability to be constantly aware of all the high Jewish holidays, and lose my tolerance for uncircumcized men. ”

Merry Christmas!

Old pictures….

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I was really cute in high school.

But nobody could have convinced me of that.

Looking back at old pictures, I realize that the butt that seemed to go for miles, the flabby abs, the double chin and the frizzy hair never actually existed.

I was actually kind of hot, but I didn’t believe it.

That was 10 years ago.

I’m a half-inch taller, I have less acne, I’ve developed some semblance of a personal style, have a more favorable body composition and weigh roughly five pounds less. Yet on the inside I’m still the girl who makes awkward jokes, talks badly about herself and seems hell-bent on convincing the world that yes, I am the fattest person alive.

So 10 years from now, will I be looking back on pictures of myself at 27 and wondering why I didn’t think I was cute as hell?  Will I shrink as I relive the mortifications of saying the wrong thing? Will my memories of my late 20s and early 30s be primarily of hating what I see in the mirror?

I hope not. 

When I was in high school I spent hours hating the dimples in my thighs, slamming my fists into pounds that weren’t there and bursting into tears when my size-11 jeans became snug. I starved myself for weeks at a time, destroying those jeans with scissors when they became loose enough to need the next size down.

I wore shorts to the pool out of self-consciousness. I was definately the bigger girl out of my friends, but I was by no means overweight. I declared a personal moratorium on pizza and ice cream, instead resorting to smelling my boyfriend’s pizza-scented fingers after we had “dinner” that I couldn’t eat.

My mother would alternate between telling me to stop eating and lecturing me on the dangers of eating disorders. I realize in hindsight that she thought I was too fat when she was losing weight, and that I was too thin when she was gaining.

I really need to let this shit go. I’ve created enough bad memories.

I lost about 7 pounds this week. Something in my brain tipped and suddenly I live every day in fear that I will wake up five pounds heavier. Intellectually, I know I won’t. I’m in the best shape of my life.

It’s also my birthday this week. Three different people are taking me out for meals between now and Wednesday. Two days later is Christmas. I have a function to attend on Christmas Eve. I’ve been invited to several New Year’s parties, and I haven’t decided which to go to.

I look at my crowded dayplanner and instantly the waistband of my jeans begin cutting into my skin, shouting “j’accuse!”

I realize there is more to life than hating my body. I realize that there is more to how I see myself than the little number on the tag inside my pants. I realize that my current bodily obsessions have absolutely nothing to do with my body.

I have many choices as to how I am going to function this next week or so. Surely, many pictures will be taken of me posing with family, friends, and coworkers. What kind of memories do I want to have these last few weeks of 2009? When I turn to face the camera, will I be able to resist the urge to hold someone’s baby or some object in front of myself? Will I be able to ignore the imaginary flesh that exists only when I close my eyes?

Or will I simply smile?

It is hard to say. My self esteem is on the floor this week. 

But, I really hope I can look back on those pictures and see myself for who I am; a vibrant, intelligent person who loves passionately and pursues life with wreckless abandon.

I just hope it doesn’t take another 10 years.

Gratitude….

•December 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

A couple of weeks ago, Chaste Hug Guy gave me a guitar.

Its really nothing fancy, just a blue 3/4 practice guitar with a rounded fiberglass box. He was cleaning out a storage unit and asked me if I would like to have it.

I’ve been playing with it every day ever since.

Due to my ex draining my bank account on a regular basis when I was in DC, I had no money to my name and was forced to sell several things in order to be able to afford my one-way plane ticket out of there. My beloved pine Epiphone guitar was one of those things. It had brought me many years of happy sounds and while I’ve never really taken lessons, I had taught myself a few chords and found playing it a happy escape from the violence  and isolation that submerged me.  

These days, the circumstances are much happier, and I do not run to it to escape. Rather, I’ve been running to it to find my center. I’ve taught myself eight new chords in the past week. I look forward to learning new things, and I have even dared to look forward to taking lessons.

Not having anything to ever look forward to was why I left DC. Every day was the same. I could never have anything, because he would take it. I could not make any plans, because they would be canceled. I could never earn any money, because he would spend it. The only thing I ever felt during that time was a constant dread of what would be taken from me next. I couldn’t celebrate holidays because they were “stupid.” I could never express joy or sadness or love because that would have been “too dramatic.”

So, as I heal, I am making plans. I have a future now. I look forward to coming home and tinkering with a little blue guitar and maybe even making plans for what I would like to do next. Being able to look forward to things is something I haven’t experienced in a long time.  Fingering new chords is a way to exercise a voice that has been silenced for too long.

Sometimes, “thank you” is never quite enough.

Having a food crisis….

•December 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Today I went to the mall with my ex-father-in-law and my ex-sister-in-law. We weren’t shopping for anything in general, and we decided to stop for lunch at the food court. I went to Hot Dog on a Stick and I got a single veggie corn dog with extra mustard.

I ate the corn dog with them, and needing to use the restroom, excused myself. After using the facilities, I promptly burst into tears, berating myself over and over for being a stupid idiot and asking myself why in the world did I have to eat a corn dog? I was an epic meltdown, one I hadn’t experienced since my freshman year of college when I weighed 72 pounds (having lost weight from 199.8 pounds) and was threatened with expulsion if I refused to seek help. This was a crisis on par with that first plate and that first weigh-in at the beginning of recovery.  I am a 26-year-old woman, having a full-blown tantrum over a corn dog in a public bathroom.

Rewind to last night.
Sitting at home alone, I made myself a slightly-too-strong whiskey sour, drank it on an empty stomach and after exhausting my iPhone battery by listening to Pandora and dancing around the house and decided that it would be the perfect time to text Chaste Hug Guy and tell him not only that I had intense feelings for him of undying love and affection, but that these feelings are unrequited. I basically told him everything that I didn’t want to say, and probably made him feel like a real asshole.

The first thing I thought about this morning was the guilt. I really put him on the spot, and to his credit he responded in the most honorable way possible. He didn’t lie, attempt to placate or ignore me. He verbally picked me up, held me at arm’s distance, and set me aside to sort myself out.

I’m quite ashamed and embarrased for myself. I’ve apologized profusely, but having laid all my cards on the table, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to pick them up.

I am fat, stupid, ugly, incapable and worthless. The only thing I have eaten today has been that single corn dog. I logged it in my iPhone calorie-counting software, but since the specific corn dog I had eaten was not in the database, I entered a “generic” 500 calories. The published nutritional guidelines for Hot Dog on a Stick put that particular menu item at 180 calories, but I don’t trust it.

And of course, I know it is not “about” the food.  I know that my embarassment over last night’s transgressions have manifested themselves into an obsession over lunch, but I’m not sure what I should do with those realizations. All I know is that I can’t un-say what I said, but at least I can sit here alone and obsess over a corn dog.

Taking the Hint….

•December 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I need to stop this irritating habit of puting my heart out there to get stomped on. Well,  not “stomped on” per se but definately broken by indifference.

I’ve been telling this guy that I like him on quite a consistent basis, but the most its ever been reciprocated is a “thank you” and a “that’s a very nice thing to say.”

I should really learn to take a hint.

It must really be annoying to be on the receiving end of my affections.

As much as I want to send an “I don’t care if you like me back” message, I can’t. It’s not in my nature. All I can really do is try to taper the flush of emotion going his way. I guess it won’t hurt to not receive an answer if I stop needlessly questioning.

I’ve often found myself crushing on men who never return my affections, but this is the first time I’ve dated someone who was so purposefully assertive about not being explicit about my place in his universe.

So what do I do?

Tears to words….

•November 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been so externally limited these past few years.

I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, what’s mine is his and what’s his is his. I don’t deserve/need/qualify, I can’t desire/achieve/care. I’ve taken blows to the face and the body to remind me that I’ll never be ________ enough.

And you know what? I think I’ve dwelled on it long enough. The bruises have healed.

I’m not sad, I’m not angry. I don’t harbor any harsh feelings. I don’t offer forgiveness because I don’t believe there is anything to forgive.

Now there is only me, ready to live life on my own terms.

I am Jamie Snyder, and I am now whole.