Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Marathon.

Beauty.  A social construction of stress that has been driving me insane as of late; mostly because my physical attributes do not fit within the size 6 ideals of life.  The self-destructive-complex about my looks, and the self-hate began when I was 18.  I was filling out, putting on a few pounds, but nothing insane...just growing into a size 10 body instead of a size 9.  My father made a comment that I looked fat, and I was mortified, embarrassed, and annoyed; all at the same time.

At 18, I also started dating my first college boyfriend.  In one of our first flirty moments, he looked at me, gasped, and said "your arms are huge."  I was athletic in high school, a tall gymnast, and also on the varsity volleyball team.  My arms were still (mostly) muscle, and although I realize he was jealous because this man couldn't put on weight to save his life" it was as if he had watered the seeds of doubt planted by my father but six months earlier.

Fast forward three years.  I was 21, and had been in a relationship with the same guy for two years (a man I thought I was going to marry).  Things had been rocky, he had been distant (and being the introvert he was, his hyper distance was troublesome).  He told me we needed to talk so we retreated to the privacy of my bedroom.  It was there he got extremely silent; I was bracing myself for him to come out of the closet and tell me he was gay, but instead he told me he wanted to break up because he was not attracted to me since I had put on some weight while we were dating.  I'll admit, drinking and partying trumped exercise tenfold...my tall, 5'9 self had ballooned to a "whopping" size 10/12 (but mostly a 12).  I was in shock.  I was hurt.  My self hate grew insurmountably.

It has been a while since my self hatred was overflowing from every cell in my body.  Having my child 9 years ago, my love for coldstone creamery prompted a weight gain that culminated in my jeans bouncing to a 16/18.  Wretched BMI charts label my 5'9 self as obese, on the verge of morbidly obese (delightful sounding, eh?).  I'm not the healthiest chick on the block, but I am active, garden a lot, mow my 1/3 of an acre on foot, take walks around the trails, and will hop onto my bike for the occasional ride.

For the better part of 2015, I've been dating.  One of the more recent guys I've been dating was mostly physical (an insane chemistry was shared between us; which was fun and exciting).  However I began to notice how one-sided our situation was.  We only met up when it was on his terms.  If I reached out asking to see him, he would always say no.  When he reached out to see me, I would make it happen.  I had been extremely honest that I was in this to find/grow a relationship (and that I was not interested in a hook-up situation).   I had to get to the bottom of the situation, so I asked him what was going on.  Nutshell?  He wasn't interested in a relationship with me because I "was not fit."
When I hear a statement like that, I immediately think it's because I'm fat.  It makes me feel less-than.  It makes me want to cry because the battle of my waistline has been just that, a fucking battle.  A battle that shoots constant daggers me way, bullets of hyper-thin media images that are an unrealistic representation of what a real woman looks like.  It's not just the word "fat" that haunts me.  When someone tells me they are not "into me" my inner self screams "BECAUSE YOU ARE UGLY."  Nice, isn't it?

I won't give up on me.  I will continue to fight the fitness battle because I'm a stubborn bad-ass.  I will win.  Maybe not today, tomorrow, or in the next year...but I will win.  After all, a marathon is not won by sprinting, rather by persistence and keeping your eye on the prize.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Graduation to Me.

Tomorrow I walk across a stage of a University to receive my undergraduate degree.  It took me damn near twelve years to achieve a four-year degree, but in that time I found myself traveling down a bumpy road, becoming a solo parent, puppy owner, home owner, and full-time professional in my own meager attempt to pay bills.  A long road, mostly solo (aside from the dog, and my baby boy).  Solo in terms of having a solid form of adult support...and dammit, I did it.  I didn't NEED a man.  I didn't NEED to be in a relationship.  I tried, yes, but even as I embark on graduation tomorrow, NEEDING a man is still not a part of my vernacular.

As a graduation gift to myself I cancelled my online dating subscription.

This year I have been riddled with dating disasters:

  • Unbeknownst to me, I dated a married man (and had an electric connection with....a connection that gave me hope of what could be even in the face of fallacy seeing as he outright lied to me about his marital situation, but in reality, I did not tolerate his dishonesty, nor could he handle my assertive request for an explanation).  
  • I have chatted with a few men from various online dating sites, but those situations were kept online (which was the best possible result because my gut instincts told me so).  
  • I've dated the man whom I shared an intense physical chemistry with, but was selfish; and I allowed him to be so in hopes that he would realize how amazing I actually was, in hopes he would also realize the importance of returning the same generosity I had been affording him (which, no surprise here, completely backfired in my face).  
  • I had a mini long-distance fling with a man who seemed perfect...until he started to not be, and told me he thought I was too pushy and go go go for him...and instead of becoming offended I view his opinions of me as a clear sign we are not compatible because I stand in my assertiveness and motivation with pride instead of shame.

Dating for the past few months I have come to realize the importance of self reflection.  Identifying my wants and separating them from my needs is a gift I will bring to the table if I ever happen to meet a man strong enough to appreciate me, and all I have to offer.  No, I have not given up hope...but I am realistic in acknowledging that, because I have so much to offer another person, finding a man that can accept this would be a miraculous feet; more so than finding a needle in a haystack.

I want a partnership, someone to share laughter with.  
I want a man in my life who will respect me, and appreciate all I have to offer.
I want to be loved, and for my love to be accepted and embraced with compassion.
I want to be supported on tough days, and celebrated with when the time is appropriate.
I want a lover; someone to share an insane passion with, who wants to explore physical pleasure with an open mind.
I want honesty.
I want reciprocation.
I want to be treated the same way I treat him.  

All of these things are wants....electives, only attributes to improve the quality of my life, but not imperative for my happiness.  However, in their elective nature, I will not settle for less because my wants are qualities I deserve.  They are qualities that are my bottom line, and I go to sleep knowing I am worth, at the very least, the things in life that I want...but take comfort within myself knowing my wants are not imperative for me to feel content.