February, the shortest month of the year. Not that it always feels short – some years Valentine’s Day seems to last forever. One of my favorite books of poetry is Against Romance (by Michael Blumenthal). There is a poem titled “For/Against”, in which he lists things he is for and those he is against. In honor of the (short) month of love, I thought I would write a two-part blog entry inspired by Blumenthal: today is all about things I am against. On Valentine’s Day, I’ll post an entry sharing some things I am for. Sorry you have to wait for the up side, but life is like that sometimes!
Things I am against (or just can’t love)…
- My alarm going off before 6:00 a.m. After 11 months of early morning workouts, it still feels unnatural to be among the conscious at that time of day.
- My upper arms. All the way back in high school Tom Pusateri told me they were, “Rather large.” There was a period of time, about six months right after I graduated from college, when I thought they weren’t too bad. That may be the last time I rocked something sleeveless.
- “Celeb-reality”. Enough said.
- That healthy food tastes that way (and not like a hot, bubbling, cheesy, crusty pepperoni pizza). No matter how much I like foods that are good for me. No matter how much I am enjoying trying new foods, recipes, and lower calorie cooking methods. I will never ever confuse cannelini beans and chard with pizza.
- Being lonely. I am against it because it sucks. Like other toxic secrets I’ve written about, I’ve had a difficult time admitting my lonliness to anyone but myself. I couldn’t stand the possibility that others would see me as “the pathetic fat lady” — and I expected they would because that is how I have often seen myself.
- My “P” face. “P” for pretend. Recently, I was bowling with friends and I got a strike. My friend Tricia commented that when I turned back to face the group, I had a look on my face like getting a strike was no big deal (if you’ve seen me bowl, you know a strike is a HUGE deal for me). That’s the “P” face — pretend you’re not surprised, happy, proud, sad, hurt…whatever. Because it brings too much attention and vulnerability otherwise. The “P” face is an extremely effective defense mechanism that keeps people at a very safe distance. I used to think it protected me. Now, I understand it has imprisoned me (ok, I know that’s dramatic but its also true!).
While there are certainly many things that could be added to this list (war, famine, H1N1 to name a few), I’ve tried to stick to personal items that have been on my mind lately and are in keeping with the nature of these blog reflections. I would like to add just one more:
- I am against silence. My silence, or anyone’s, when it is based in fear and shame. It is more than time to choose personal transformation over false emotional security. I wish I could choose it for everyone, but my hands are full just choosing it for myself each morning when the alarm goes off.