I have a friend who takes stealth pictures of me even though I’ve asked her not to many, many times. It’s annoying as a general rule not to be listened to, but the reason this bothers me so much more than any other thing of the myriad of things my friends refuse to stop doing is because the end result is photos of me, and I’m hideous.
(One she snuck at Epcot last weekend.)
By which I mean of course, I feel hideous. I’m fat(ter than I used to be by at least 70 pounds) and unattractive and it drives me nuts when people tell me I’m not because I know I am. I know it. I don’t want people to argue with me. I’m not looking for attention or pity, I just know who I am and what I look like to me and that’s what matters. It would be ridiculous to deny that a lot of that feeling is internal. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with all of the ways in which I let myself down and that only adds to the pile of things I find disgusting about myself. So at the last minute and almost on a whim I joined the second round of Change Write Now.
I’m not a competitive person by nature, but I do find that a lot of times I’m motivated by simply feeling like I’m a part of something. I don’t want to beat my team members, but I don’t want to let them down either, and that’s huge for me. For the past two weeks I’ve had more water than I may have had all of last year, a mere four Cokes overall, and I’ve been eating better and cheaper (read: not takeout). It’s kind of amazing how much I find that I want to do these things now, after just two weeks of having to be conscious of my decisions. I’ll have soda left over from lunch and give it up in favor of my afternoon water. The boyfriend doesn’t even know who I am anymore.
All that said, there’s still major room for improvement. I need to get over my internalized fear of the gym (and a lot of things really) and just get back into going in the mornings. I’m going to try again tomorrow and see if I can’t actually drag my sorry ass out of bed at 5:30. I know I feel good when I work out in the morning, but I still can’t make myself do it half the time. That’s almost as messed up as my self-image. It’s not just working out I mistreat that way, though.
For instance, I also know I feel good when I’m working on my stories. I often feel like I can conquer this real world if I’m keeping things in order in my made up ones. I know that if I sit down and write I can finish things which can lead to publishing things which can lead to my ultimate goal of a writing career, the only type of career I’ve wanted for quite some time. I don’t want to be rich and famous, I just want to be able to pay my bills by doing things that make me happy.
And yet…sometimes I don’t finish things. Or if I do sit down at all I let myself be overtaken by a feeling of ineffectuality and give up before I start. This month has been the lowest production month for me this year, even while I’ve been keeping my mind on and working on other things that I need to get under control. Why, even though I’m almost thirty, do I still sabotage myself? Why do I maintain an undesirable view of myself and let it stick? I can’t control what other people do or how they see me, but I can control me, and I’m still the person who sees the worst in me all of the time. I need to stop. I need to stand up and take control and just become the person I want to be without giving in to the fear of failure. It sounds so easy when other people say it.
Change Write Now has done wonders for making me really think about some of the choices I make and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to carry them over. In the meantime, when I do get out of bed in the morning, whether it’s two hours early or thirty minutes late, I’ll just continue to recite the mantra written on my whiteboard. It’s a song lyric from a band that has sadly broken up, but it’s a good reminder of the person I can be. I can be relentless too.