Monday, December 11, 2006

What I Want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

Now that I can fit into my skinny jeans again, I'm ready to take my flat tummy out on a date with a hot dude. Know any? I've heard that you can perform miracles, I've seen all those Christmas movies where you do, so surely you can send me a kind, handsome man for Christmas.

I don't want one who stalks me with creepy text messages. Or one who's already engaged. Or who tells me way too much information about his previous sexual experiences. Ooo and also please not one who sleeps outside in the rain because he's a drunken idiot. So...pretty much he can't be anyone in DC. Ha.

He should be tall, I like that. And not bald. I don't do bald. I used to date an accountant. I told that to some co-workers who were shocked because they could never picture me with a square. That's actually what friends said when we dated. So what should he do? I like pediatricians. They're nice and smart. Or maybe some fancy environmental lawyer. Definitely someone who's job requires a high level of intelligence and somehow makes the world a better place. And something sexy. Like rock star. FBI agent. Investigative reporter! (I am such a nerd.)

Good taste in music. Great laugh. Loves animals and dancing. Is close to his parents. Reads the New York Times, likes to travel and see theater. Loves New York. Is a good eater, but not much of a cook. Ooo and he brings me daisies. I love daisies.

I could go on and on, Santa, but this should give you enough information to fulfill my request. He doesn't have to be wrapped up with a big bow for me to know he's a present from you to me. And he shouldn't come from the North Pole because I don't need a man who likes cold weather. Yick yick! Definitely shouldn't be an elf because their ears are kinda weird and all that singing and cheeriness would get old fast. Just send me a regular dude. After all, I'm just a regular girl. Who looks great in her size two jeans. Uhhh huh.

God speed, Santa. God speed.

- me

P.S. If you do this for me, I'll leave extra milk and cookies this year and every year after. And you know I make the best chocolate chip.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Die Hard

We learn about the world as children. We watch and observe, listen and process everything that we see around us, the interactions we have, the feelings we feel, the way other people act. We do all this to construct and define our own individual understanding of the world, of human interactions. And we spend the rest of our life fighting against most of these early constructions of meaning, attempting to change them.

It's hard, though. It's a struggle against everything you know and what your insides tell you. How do you redefine what you know as truth?

You build upon these basic foundations, but you measure all new experiences with the rulers of the past, and it's impossible to separate the two. Every experience and every feeling is so interconnected with everything from your past, present and future. The present experience is a result of the past and in turn alters and affects the future. It's a cycle. And when there were misconceptions or unhealthy perceptions that took place in your childhood, well, those bad habits may never be fully broken.

For example, I know that because of my childhood, I don't trust people like I should. It can hurt someone's feelings because they say, "Why would you think I would do that?" And the answer has nothing to do with what I think of them or my interpretation of past experiences with that person. It's just because it's hard for me to trust anyone so because of that, I doubt everyone. I know that I do this. But think I can stop it.

I know that when I get hurt, I shut down and I shut out. I crawl down into myself. Just like I used to do as a child to feel safe. It's not good to do that, I can recognize that it's not a healthy way to deal with conflict or with situations. But I can't stop it.

I'm aware that I do it. I'm aware of why I do it. I'm aware that it's not right and not good. But it still feels good, feels safe. Old habits die hard. So can I stop it?

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Blackest Day

Every year has one. At least one. I was trying to figure out what day it would be for last year, and I came up with two. I finally narrowed it down, but there was a definite second place. So what is the blackest day? The day of the year that is the rock bottom. The valley for which the height of the rest are measured off of. And Monday was that day for me.

I've been so stressed and anxious and upset lately. But Monday something happened, and I was finally able to cry. It's hard for me to cry. It takes a lot sometimes. Once those floodgates open, it's tough to close them. I've been crying every day since. Which is good and bad. It's good because it's a relief, a release of all that blackness that's been bottled up inside. But it's bad because it's hard to stop so for those crying days, the pain is overwhelming. That's why we cry, right? Because the pain is too much, and it starts to gush out of our pores.

The good thing, I think, is that once you can identify when you've hit rock bottom, the only way out is up. So at the moment when you feel you have no hope left for whatever it is that's causing you all this pain, you can at least have hope that things will eventually start to feel better. The toughest struggle, though, is ahead - in between the blackest day and the brightest day (the day when you can finally feel the warmth of hope and light). And that space in between, that frozen beat of time, is when you really learn about yourself - your needs, your strengths, your weaknesses.

My mom always told me not to depend on anyone, that the only person you can ever really depend upon is yourself. I always thought that was a really pessimistic view and rolled my eyes that my mom was so jaded and cynical. But she's right. People are not reliable. You have to be strong enough on your own to survive when you're all alone. (Ok, that kinda rhymed, but that wasn't what I was going for.) That is a really big challenge for me. I depend on my friends so much that when things happen in their life that take them away from me in a some way, I feel hopeless. I start writing my heart out for perfect strangers! But is there really anyone who reads this little thing?

Anyway...the blackest day means that things have gotten as dark as they are going to get. Whenever I get really upset, I can't eat. It's not about control or image. It's about the fact that my stomach hurts so much that the thought of eating makes me want to vomit. So during the dark days, I lose weight. But then things feel better because I can fit into my skinny jeans again. And maybe that's the silly thing that gets me up the hill. I eventually gain the weight back, of course, but whatever gets you up the hill gets you up the hill. And now that I know I've had my blackest day, I know that the light and the hill aren't that far away.

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