Thursday, April 14, 2011

the details are much easier to sweat

Days like this I have to remind myself not to focus on the little things that frustrate me, or even the big things that pain me, literally. There are so many amazing things happening in my life right now—and really in the world around me: art, music, poetry, food—that I can't let myself get stuck on the details that are so much easier to obsess about. I broke a windowpane in my apartment today... but I also have exciting, challenging things lined up for the next few months. And I didn't cause myself any permanent damage, either. (Just a scrape on my palm—it didn't even bleed.)  My knees hurt like hell... but my brain is fully operational. And last I checked it's a pretty good brain, one that should focus on finishing a dissertation prospectus, not on knee pain. Or a broken window pane. Or unreturned email. Or wanting things that are impossible to have right now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

There will be no preamble

Well, OK, maybe just a short one. It's been a long time since I've blogged, but the microbloggery of facebook and twitter just aren't cutting it these days. Maybe I just need an outlet while I'm writing my dissertation. I'll let you know when I figure that one out.

I always struggle with the "where to start" question when it comes to narrative projects, autobiographical or otherwise. But you don't need to know my life story for any of this to matter, so I'll start with the thought that made me want to start blogging again, and hope that's enough.

The other day I tagged myself in a photo a friend had taken me at a costume party a couple months ago. It's a great photo of me, and I like it. But as friends-- especially friends who don't live here, and/or who haven't seen me in a long time-- started to post compliments, it began to make me uncomfortable. It's only recently that I've started to really feel comfortable in my own skin. And while I recognize that I'm conventionally attractive in most of the "right" ways, it really took until my late 20s before I was able to see myself that way. I always saw myself as quirky and off-kilter, unconventional and interesting. Not attractive. But now, in my early 30s, I'm in possibly the best shape of my life, and I look good. And I'm finally able to see that. I won some genetic lottery that makes me tall, thin, and well-proportioned. I don't want to be the kind of woman who can't take a compliment. But there's a huge caveat to all of this. (Isn't there always?) It's false advertising. And I do mean beyond the hair extensions and the fake eyelashes in this particular picture (which may make me sound like a drag queen, but I swear it's no different than the average cosmetics ad-- that new mascara will not make your eyelashes look like that unless you're using glue, trust me).  I'm down to the size I was when I was in college-- or maybe junior year of high school, even-- but it has very little to do with willpower, diet, exercise, or self-denial. Having defined triceps for the first time in my life? Well, I'll take some credit for the yoga that made that possible. But the rest? Chronic illness. And it's a magic bullet I cannot recommend.