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.

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