Four Thoughts, Disconnected
- In my mind, I’m quiet and watchful. Shy and careful about joining a conversation. In reality, I’m a little loud, with a big personality. I laugh boisterously and use my outside voice too much. I talk out of turn and I start conversations with strangers. This last one is new, but it feels right, like the me I’ve always been. Since I’ve lost weight (ugh, more tk) and gotten the teeth looking right, I’m more willing to smile at strangers, to make a comment about the plums, to rolls my eyes in tandem with the patient bank teller, to giggle with the toddler who’s wearing a tutu that looks like my petticoat. My posture is still horrible, the combination of texting and years of self-consciousness giving my neck a colon’s curve. And my mom has gotten at least half a foot shorter, so there’s that coming at me. But, if I’m looking down these days, it’s not because I don’t want to be seen or to see you. You, I’m always happy to see.
- I have so much to say, but I’ve been saying it in other ways. Not writing anything personal, not tweeting or fbing or gramming, or whatever new -ing that makes me equally curious and overwhelmed. I’ve been breathing, though, normally, in and out, like the directions say, and finding time to love widely and well. I have so much love in my life. Really. Occasionally, I sit still and feel as if I’m in the center of a deep pool of it. Floating without effort. Suspended. And that’s just friends and family. I have another kind of love too. One that I’ve hoped for and doubted would ever come. He makes me feel safe and although he is by no means a coddler, with him, I am precious and adored. My next lesson is learning how to relax. To let it be and unfurl, as life does. Ours is not a romance novel or a sit com or a horror movie. It’s just two complicated people, finding it easy to love each other. (I hope it lasts. Don’t let me jinx it. Stay away from the black cat. Magical thinking, blah, blah etc)
- I lost seventy pounds and then I just stopped. Settled into a size 16. Still fat. Getting fitter, not entirely motivated to lose more. Mostly because my body likes this size. A bit more and things will shift in a way that makes me profoundly sad. I don’t want to talk or think about extra skin, but I have to. How it is the badge of accomplishment as well as the scarlet F of weight loss. “I was fatter once. This is the price I paid. I’ll never look ‘normal.’ ” I think it’s half the reason that people put on weight again – the constant sad trombone of past “transgressions.” I’m happier in my skin than I’ve ever been, but I hate it too. I hate that I’ll never get a fresh start. I can’t erase any of it. Maybe I’m harming myself by not losing more. Maybe it’s just denial. Maybe I just don’t have it in me to lose those “last” fifty pounds and have to struggle to love myself again. This is the one body I get. I finally figured out how to love it (not the arms, though. I’ll always respect, not love them) and maybe loving it forever means letting it be?
- I took apart my kitchen the other day to inventory and organize my baking supplies. I’d noticed a creeping collection. My mother buys Wesson Oil whenever it’s on sale. She has a stash in the basement. I have chocolate. 6 POUNDS of semi-sweet chocolate, many ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate, chips, and bits. And 5 tins of cocoa. And other stuff. Cake flour and matzoh meal in the freezer. Dried cherries with a best used before date of 2010. I cleaned it all out. Goodbye condensed milk. Adios almond meal. Ciao marzipan. If I need you, I’ll buy you and use you. I don’t need you hanging around, like the ghosts of desserts past. But the chocolate I kept. Expect to see me coming with a pan of brownies or chocolate banana bread or layer cake. I’ll be smiling.