doused in mud, soaked in bleach.

I am in a strange place. I have been rereading old blog posts, waxing nostalgic about how unbelievably clever and quick I used to be, and it’s a truly peculiar feeling. I’m reading posts like this, and I think, “Hey, she’s funny! Hey, she’s ME!”

But then I have to remind myself that what comes through on my blog is about an 1/8 of what was going on in my life, of how I felt. And this goes both ways, good and bad. Having a relatively public face, I honestly don’t blog much about the bad – when I’m in a low, I just don’t blog. And that’s how it’s been lately. I don’t even blog about the trivial (which, in rereading, I found to be my  favorite posts). In fact, I’m sure that, soon enough, in retrospect, I won’t care much for this post. I already don’t.

Part of me wants to seriously chastise myself for being so impatient. For thinking, “Blah, blah, blah, pregnancy, hormones, child bursting forth from my vagina, subsequent raising of said child, blah, blah, blah.” I thought I was so fucking impervious to chemistry. How silly of me to think I wouldn’t change.

The other part of me just wants to get over my shit already and get back to good.

I think the latter part wins.

of course.

4

Well you didn’t wake up this morning
Because you didn’t go to bed
You were watching the whites of your eyes
Turn red
The calendar on your wall is ticking the days off
You’ve been reading some old letters
You smile and think how much you’ve changed
All the money in the world
Couldn’t buy back those days.
You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes,
You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky.
This is the day – your life will surely change.
This is the day – when things fall into place.
You could’ve done anything – if you’d wanted
And all your friends and family think that you’re lucky.
But the side of you they’ll never see
Is when you’re left alone with the memories
That hold your life together like
Glue

thank you for visiting, for kicking my ass, for getting my shit together, for supporting me and forgiving me and understanding.

i don’t need to sell my soul.

I don’t want to write this post. I don’t want to be melodramatic about this, but if I’m not (and where better else than the internet?), then I’m afraid I won’t change.

I’m tired of beating myself up over how I look. Even before I got pregnant, but especially during and now constantly after, it’s this inner turmoil that gnaws away at my self-worth, bit by bit. Every day, when I get ready in the morning, when I pass a reflective surface, when I look down, when I look left, when I look right, I just hate. I dissect my face – it’s uneven, one eye larger than the other, crooked smile, unbalanced nostrils, scars and scabs. My body, it’s worse. Fleshy and pulpy, and not in a curvaceous, Rubenesque-way. It’s the leftover skin that once helped house babies. But it was pulled tight then. I could go on – my feet, my teeth, my hair (constant battle), even my hands and fingers. As familiar as these parts are to me, they are not my friends.

Although I have always been self-conscious, I find I more and more arrange my life around my insecurities. I wear a lot of black – it hides and is very forgiving. I am extremely particular about the length of my pants. I have to balance the amount of jewelry I wear so as to not draw attention in a certain way. I can’t leave the house without scrutinizing my appearance. When being photographed, I have to set myself up – stick head out a little, turn to a certain angle, don’t show too much teeth. I just can’t turn it off. And the only things that comfort me and distract me from my hang-ups are damaging – picking at blemishes, eating entire packages of cookies, often both of these things at once. They soothe me and have become almost involuntary reactions to stress of any kind.

I’m pretty sure this is how most women feel, and yet it’s a lonely way to be. I don’t think I know a single female who has an entirely healthy self-image. Young girls are groomed to be this way and they are bombarded constantly from as early as the preschool years. My five-year-old daughter only feels pretty when she wears skirts. She’s cried a few times already over bad hair days. Five years old. How do I stop this?

I love Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. Although there’s certainly a shred of ulterior motive to sell Dove products, it does strike me as a noble effort to begin reversing the damage the media has done to the esteem of young girls. But the blame can’t entirely be placed on the media, evil as they are.

It’s what we do to eachother and to ourselves. It’s the girls who cut eachother down. It’s the thirteen-year-old inside of me who will always feel awkward and stupid and insecure, regardless of how old I get or how beautiful other people perceive me to be.

How do I stop this? How does anyone stop this? I do not know. But if I make strides toward having more self-worth, then maybe my girls will, too. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop criticizing myself entirely; to say that would be setting myself up for failure. But when I start feeling the anxiety rise in my throat when my shirt doesn’t make my tits look perky or camoflauge my inflated ass, I’ll stop. I’ll breathe. I’ll get over it and leave the house, because living in a state of panic and self-doubt isn’t really living.

I’m starting a project on Flickr: day one of my 365, day one of trying to let it all go, day one of just trying to be myself, day one of that being good enough.

yes we did.

2457009866_09c238f2f4I am actually proud of my country right now. I am so happy that my children are able to experience this moment in history. I hope things can truly start to be better.

delayed reaction.

Last night, we only had one kid (the littlest and easiest one). He’s happy as long as he’s fed, so he chilled out in his swing watching his fish mobile (his favorite past time) while I had some rum & OJ and talked with my dude. We had initially planned on having a Ben Kingsley movie fest, but we started talking and didn’t stop for six hours. That’s right, a husband and wife had an all-night-long conversation. That’s just how we are.

I’ve been cleaning my house and listening to Sonic Youth today, which seems like a great Sunday thing to do.

I also realized what Cor meant when she said she punched me about a week ago. She meant this, and I’ll go along with it:

5 things I was doing ten years ago

Playing Elizabeth Proctor in a community theatre production of The Crucible.
Being a sophomore in high school, writing way bad poetry.
Having my first real boyfriend, mostly hanging out, smoking weed and playing chess.
Listening to lots of ska.
Watching Daria and Sifl & Olly.

5 things on my to do list today

Visit with Lindsey & Kat.
Pick Kya up from her dad.
Wax my eyebrows.
Get some food, am starving.
Do something with beginning-to-rot jack o’lanterns.

5 snacks I love

Cereal.
Toast.
Chocolate-peanut butter sundaes from Bruster’s.
Candy corn.
Dark chocolate.

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire

Get rid of debt.
Buy a bunch of shit, particularly new cookware, clothes, and a piano.
Quit my job, or at least go solo freelance.
New house.
Put kids in fancy alternative school.

5 places I’ve lived

Spring Street.
Calvin Boulevard.
Sweetbriar Circle.
Bressingham Way.
Kennedy Drive.

5 jobs I’ve had

Restaurant hostess.
Meal prep in hospital kitchen.
Layabout/phone-answerer in tattoo shop.
Teller/call center rep for bank.
Graphic designer.