Me

As I was hinting in the other entry, this year might have some exciting things in store for us. But since I’m not yet sure of anything, I can’t share too much. All I can say is that my spirits are sky high and so is my appetite for life. It’s like I’m suddenly drawing energy from a secret place within myself- hello, this is so unfair, I’ve been struggling on a minimum fuel level for the last 10 years now!

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Anyways. What I felt like doing however is giving a pep talk about my body, in the sense of embracing my own inadequacy. I’m getting good at that. I hope you are, too. It’s about damn time we did it. Maybe you’re better than me. I stopped talking down to myself some good years ago, but I’ve regarded my body in the same condescending way as back in my teenage years. Never quite to my liking, it could have been more like this, could have been more like that. And so I thought of disclosing it all and hope you can relate. In fact, I’m sure you can. Let me know what you think about it!

I’m taking a shower, rubbing my dry skin with a towel and going through every inch of my body. This body of mine that I wasted so much time loathing and even more time wanting to love and not knowing where to begin. I acknowledge the discolored patch of psoriasis between my thighs, then the scars from when I fell on my knees running back in 7th grade, further up the three spots on my right breast resembling a sort of fungus I never got around to take to the doctor’s, then the belly arching a bit over the knickers, the moles on my chest (oh, I’ve always loved those moles, I even asked the doctor at one check up if they needed to be removed “ ’cause I was hoping they didn’t!”). Then I part my lips, check my teeth closely, yup, still there, grateful for having them, they might be big and they used to be messy, too, but they’re white-ish and they’re my own. My grandma had dentures up until she was 80 something and in her old days she couldn’t bear wearing them, so she would chew everything with the only tooth she had left. I’ll say!

I move along, checking my face for wrinkles, I probably have some, but I’m too vain to admit it, what I can distinguish though are a few darker spots, the ones I got a cream to “bleach”- it worked wonders on my wife, the dermatologist said- in other words she’s as good as new. Although I threw a tantrum fit over them only one year ago, right now I can barely spot them. How much energy have I wasted worrying, I wonder? Has anyone else done that? Isn’t it absurd? I know no man who does this! (apart from my brother, maybe)

Then I look at my arms, they used to be so skinny, I’ve always loved skinny arms, the skinnier the better, preferably model skinny, now they look as plump as they must have been back when I was 17, struggling with some sort of eating disorder, although I was never sure what was wrong at the time. But then I’m almost 40. Thinking back at how women used to look in my mother country in their 40s, I’m pretty happy. Sure, I should hit the gym more often. Take those yoga classes I love so much when I manage to drag my butt out there. But by God, I’m as close to being happy with myself as I’ve ever been! I don’t think I ever liked myself that much until a few years ago. Realizing that the muscle pains are never going away and that I need to shield myself from the world or it will eat me alive, I discovered that little girl in me that so many therapists speak of. She’s there all right. And she’s not that bad.

xxx, Alina

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