Feb. 21st, 2014

soar
I sat down and started reading my entries from early 2008. I wanted to see if I could pinpoint when I became vegan (aside: success). I kept on reading, backwards and forwards; as so often happens, when one peers over the lip of the rabbit hole, one tends to tumble in indefinitely.

Backwards and forwards. I read all of these brutally honest, heart-rending, gutting entries about my horrible, horrible marriage. Like this one. There were so many. They started so much sooner than I remember them starting. They went on for so long. So much longer than I remembered. There are so many things I never told. I was so broken for so long. So thoroughly broken. For so many years.

So many years.

I left him. I did, finally. This isn't news, as such. It was almost a year and a half ago, and over three and a half years after we separated. It took so long. I don't know why it took so long.

It took too goddamned long.

But I did it. It was hard, but not for long. It was scary, but not for long. I was sad, but not for long. None of these feelings/states lasted anywhere near as long as I thought they would. God, was I ever done. The turmoil, the heart-part, was over pretty quickly. Anger and revulsion, then, and sometimes still. Then it was impatience and frustration at required interactions, at the mechanics of extrication, at the molasses-pace. Chafing at the necessities, desperate to be done.

Now, though? Joy. Bounding joy. Soaring, uncontained, irrepressible glee.

Is it cruel to say so? Be that as it may. It was terrible and now it is over and I am ecstatic. Exultant.

My divorce is final in two months and three days.

In all my life, I have never, ever, ever been happier.

books of 2012

reader
I didn't make it to 52, much less 100, but here's what I read last year:Collapse )

there is only love

love
My ex told me, "Even in those times when I was shitty to you, I still loved you."
Where have I heard this before? My mother often told me when I was young that there were things about me that she could not love. She was always so matter-of-fact about it that I had to respect her honesty. But then at other times, she told me how much she loved me. I was so desperate to be loved that I tried my very best to believe her.
Just as I wanted to believe my ex.
As I struggled to hang on to that belief, my friend said, "Read this book, and then tell me who loves you." The book was All About Love by bell hooks. In it, she talks about how children are damaged when the people who love them also hurt them. This early training that love is the act of contrition after abuse trains us to see the drama of the abuse as a signal that love is forthcoming. But this is not love. Love is acting in a loving way.
In reading bell hooks's words, I am coming to the conclusion that I am already truly loved in the way I have always wanted to be loved. It does not match what the culture tells me love is. But the people who love me do so as a conscious act. They choose to love me, with all my faults and all my strengths. And I do not need to deserve it. I do not need to be lovable, because love is not about me. It is about them. It is about the will and act of loving. You cannot beg another to choose this path. You cannot seduce them into it. You cannot guilt them into it, because you cannot force another's will. The simple truth is that you will be loved when you let loving people into your life.
I realize that in all the arguing about whether my ex loved me or not, we were arguing about the wrong thing. This is not an argument of semantics. I was caught up in the need to discover her definition of love so that I could somehow understand what had happened. That is the trap. The truth is much more basic. I chose to love her. She did not choose to love me back.
I am choosing to love others. I am letting loving people into my life, people who choose to skip the abuse and go right to the love. It is not that I am lovable, but that I am wise. There is no lovable and unlovable, there is only love. And love is a verb, my friends.

- Cholla Soledad, make/shift, Spring/Summer 2011

Aug. 30th, 2011

bionic woman
Oh, LJ, hi. I miss you.

short hair & big wobbly chins

fat! so?
I've been secretly coveting a pixie-ish, Audrey Hepburn-esque haircut for years. Off and on for years and years. I haven't ever gotten it done because I think my face is too fat.

I've spent a great chunk of time today looking at fat ladies with short hair. A couple of hours ago, I tweeted this: "For distraction, I've been thinking about haircuts. Think I might go for something pixie-ish, with bangs. Big double-chin be damned."

Even so tweeted, I am nowhere near solidly decided. Because I think my face is too fat.

The "common" "wisdom" is that fat ladies shouldn't have hair that's "too short" (above chin-length, really) or "too long" (below shoulder-length) (how's that for range?) because it's unflattering. "Common" "wisdom" decrees short hair much worse than long hair on a fatty, because it "does expose the fullness of the face and jaw", makes the face "look fatter", and, as one stylist was quoted as saying, makes the fatty's head look like "a q-tip on a blimp" (question: why would anyone see that stylist?). Chin- to shoulder-length hair can "elongate the face and neck" and "hide the fat". Also asserted: hair creates "an illusion of body mass ... the more hair you have, the skinnier you look", so fatties are advised to get styles with height and fullness.
These are the voices in my head, because these are the voices in which I've been submerged since I got fat. I even see this stuff on fatshionista (though usually to a lesser degree, and usually only in posts from years ago). My last hair stylist - who was also my friend, and was also fat - even perpetrated a lot of these ideas.
(By the way, fat ladies shouldn't have long hair because it draws the eye down [to our chins, natch] & emphasizes the fullness of a face. "Common" "wisdom" says that the heaviness of long hair dramatically highlights the heaviness of a fat face. Yeah.)
Here's the thing: You know what? My face is fat. It's quite fat. And I do have a double chin. A big, fat, noticeable double chin. I am 285 pounds. There is no hairstyle in the world - no length, no fullness, no height - that's going to make me look like I'm not 285 pounds. There is no haircut that's going to conceal the "fullness of my face and jaw", or "hide [my] fat", or make me look "skinnier", or "create an illusion" of anything. There is no hairstyle that will make me look like I don't have a fat face or an enthusiastic, look-at-me double chin. Because I'm fat. I'm a lot fat, and so is my face, and so are my chins.

And here's the next thing: That's okay. Whether or not I can hide or disguise my fat is not the point, because I don't need to disguise my fat face or chin(s). There's nothing wrong with fat faces or chins. I don't need to hide or disguise anything. I'm 285 pounds. I'm fat. My face is full and wide and fat. I have a big ol' double chin. Why should I try to hide it with hair trickery? Why shouldn't I try any - every! - hairstyle I want?

I've had a more than a decade of bobs & chunky/piecey flips & a-line bobs, and they are very cute & very me & very flattering (a word that's started to give me an ugh reaction, because it usually means "fat-concealing"), but I'm tired of them. I want to do something different. And I'm not going to let our culture - external, or internalized - convince me that I can't wear a hairstyle just because my chin(s) and I are fat.

This entry was originally posted at http://cerebrate.dreamwidth.org/8893.html.

that'll never be me

come on and take it
I will never dance with you. I will never fall asleep next to you, or wake up next to you. I will never lie with you under a tin roof on a warm, rainy afternoon. I will never be kissed by you on my birthday. I will never beam at you, exhausted, over a greasy diner breakfast on a bright morning. I will never bury my nose in your soft, warm neck and breathe in your cologne. I will never grab your tie and pull you towards me. I will never catch a glimpse of your cufflinks at the dinner table and anticipate the hot joy of watching you take them off in private. I will never pull your glasses off while we're kissing. I will never run my fingers through your hair. I will never hold your hand in the hospital. I will never rest my head on your chest while watching Buffy. I will never know what you look like when you sleep. I will never hear you say my name in a husky voice so filled with longing and affection that it breaks. I will never feel your hands cradling my head as you bend to kiss my neck. I will never gaze at you over candlelight. I will never stand on tiptoe to kiss your freshly-shaven cheek. I will never press a cardigan to my face to inhale your lingering scent. I will never lick soy sauce from the corner of your mouth while eating sushi. I will never spend a summer evening dangling my feet in the water while perched next to you at Greenlake. I will never put on one of your shirts to do a crossword puzzle at a desk in a hotel room. I will never taste coffee on your lips. I will never know the intense pleasure of your fingers twirling, tangled, in my hair. I will never smile or purse my lips for your camera.

I will always, always miss you.