I’ve thought for a long time about just writing here, without worrying about what, exactly, I’ll say. Just opening up a new post and typing something, anything, without thinking it has to be an essay or a poem or a story or even be particularly interesting. Because writing is about stretching the writing muscles, isn’t it? What if it’s not “about” anything?
I could just write—essentially keep a public, electronic journal—because how could that possibly go wrong?!—but I like feeling like I have Something To Say.
Besides, if I write a post where I have Something To Say, I get to choose a title. And I’m good at titles.
Or maybe I just enjoy titles.
Joy has been elusive lately, and, as usual, I’m blaming my body, because that’s what I know how to do.
I know how to decide that life is miserable because, since a year ago today, I’ve gained half as much as my 5-year-old daughter weighs.
Yes, some roundabout, number-of-pounds-avoidance writing, because I can’t decide how I feel about numbers. I used to think all numbers relating to weight and body size and food and nutrition were triggering, but the trouble with “triggers” is that they’re everywhere. Am I doing myself or anyone else any good when I talk about weight in a roundabout way?
(Should I be talking about weight at all?)
Whatever. I’ve gained some weight. What feels to me like a lot of weight, and it’s fucking with my head. I haven’t been binge-eating, I’ve just been eating, but I still feel this colossal sense of shame at having “lost” the body size and shape I had a year ago. It feels like a failure, and like fitting into exactly none of my favorite clothes is the precise reason I feel sad and detached and overwhelmed and strangled.
“How did you feel a year ago?” a friend asked me today via text. “What changed?”
And as I wrote through the events of last year, beginning in April, when I remember things feeling wonderful, I smacked up against just how much has happened in a year. How many unexpected truths I unearthed when I dove headlong into the frenzied dance with creativity: the history in my body; the challenges in my children; the significance of my friendships; the true shape of my heart.
That last one. That last one. I don’t know what the true shape of my heart is.