Tonight Genoa and I made tortilla pizzas with tomato butter sauce, fresh mozarella and honey-smoked deli ham. And as I was buttering her tortillas to make them crisp before adding the sauce, Patrick snuck into the house and surprised me with a hug. We laughed, we caught one another up on our respective days while Genoa refused to eat the very same pizza she had made for herself and then, while Patrick and I talked happily did her math homework on the kitchen stool Cynthia has had since college. He went home with (a dozen) kiss(es). I'm on my way to bed.
Life is calm. Strangely, absurdly calm. I'm healthy. I have health INSURANCE. (THANKS, OBAMA!) I get to see a dentist on Monday for the first time in over FIVE years. Dave and I always need to make adjustments to the annual schedule in January so we've separated the kids this week, which means I get Genoa alone until Saturday morning, then Alex alone till Monday, which shouldn't be, but is my favorite way to be with my children. Individually. I have NOTHING to complain about. Even when my poor Lola's water pump broke and cost me a fortune in car repairs, I was too happy with the mechanic for saving my favorite car ever that I wasn't phased. And my turn signals work! So everyone on the road can finally stop flipping me off!
Not that I don't have issues, because oh hell yeah, I do. Only this time, they're all mine. I blame no one but myself. I have ONE New Year's Resolution and it's to finally, once and for all, figure out my body/weight/size/dismorphia shit, because it's no fun. No fun at all. I'm a healthy, attractive, average-sized woman who once, for the briefest of magnificent, fleeting, sparkly years, experienced the holy grail of thinness.
Even worse - I understood what it was like to feel beautiful. NOT "you have such a pretty face." (SAY THOSE WORDS TO A FAT GIRL AND PREPARE TO DIE, AMIGO.) But beauty by conventional standards. Stupid, unrelenting, completely media and male-libido-driven standards. THIN standards. Standards that are unfair to my ego. Unfair to my athleticism (which still means I will SO FUCKING KICK YOUR ASS) (and I will be hungry, no let's make that STARVING LIKE A FOX, to maintain your ridiculous standards of beauty). To my daughter (who will no doubt inherit my inherent weakness).
Unfair to myself.
I don't like that the experience of thin privilege (thanks, Sis! I now know EXACTLY the hell of which you once spoke!) has given birth to new standards within myself. Standards I had never understood in other women, but now understand all too well. That last 20 pounds means something different to a fat girl than it does to a woman who has always been thin. I'm frustrated that the misery and anxiety I had due to my life circumstances sucked my hunger for life from me in such a way that I shriveled to an impossible-to-maintain size.
I hate that I LIKED it. Loved it, even. I shouldn't have. It SHOULDN'T MATTER. I'm smart. Beautiful. Capable. Privileged.
And that's my work to do.
I am happy. Truly content. Nothing to complain about! I have so much love. I AM loved. SO fucking loved. I feel ADORED even. And yet... this. All I can feel right now is that my belly (which is still 90% skin from losing so much god damn weight) is hanging over the waistband of my old fleece, kitty-themed pajama pants. No one can see me - I'm alone - and I'm sucking in my gut as I write this. Which makes breathing rather uncomfortable.
Let me say that more clearly - my body issues sometimes make it difficult for me to breathe.
So my only resolution for 2014 is to stop sucking in my motherfucking gut. To tell myself that I am both beautiful AND strong. My imperfections are what make me the woman I have always wanted to be. That I can run hard and fast and long. That I am more than any number ANYWHERE. Not on a scale. Not on a pedometer. Not on a calorie counter. Not on a treadmill. And definitely NOT in the back of my pants.
Happy 2014! Watch out. You are so going to be my bitch.