The Weight.

She caught a bout of depression, and her body wasted away with it.

“You’ve become SO skinny,” a friend, who hadn’t seen her in a month said. “I didn’t know you had weight to lose to begin with, what the fuck. Are you OKAY??”

“Yes, jesus, yes.”

“Are you SURE?”

She looked at herself in the mirror that evening, and she saw what her friend saw. Her face, that had finally begun to blossom when she met him, over wine and high-carb snacks, had wilted again.

She stuffed her face with mac n’ cheese, and beer, rice and potatoes that week. Anything to make those cheeks come back, to bring that glow back. Where was the face she’d grown to dislike less?

She checked her weight that weekend, and she’d LOST an extra kilogram.

“I have been through what you’ve been through, except with gaining weight,” her therapist told her.

“I’ve been through what you’ve been through, except with gaining weight, and I grew to accept it and cherish it as another part of myself,” another friend texted her.

She added protein shakes to her breakfast routine, she checked her weight again that weekend. Her weight stayed the same. She took off her jacket. Her weight dropped by .8 kg.

“I want to lose three kgs before my wedding,” a glowing bride-to-be said, and she looked at the girl’s glowing, fucking radiant face in astonishment.

“GIVE me those three kgs,” she cried.

When people ignored her, or it seemed like they were making fun of her, she felt like the skinny seventh grader she’d been all over again – just there, that sweet, skinny, harmless girl, hardly a force to be reckoned with or bothered about.

“TAKE my four kgs,” another woman, on keto for the past month, said in a fit of despair over the phone to her. “For godssake it’s not that hard to gain weight, just eat a lot of cake.”

She stocked up her fridge with almond pudding and a birthday cake. Her weight stayed the same, except her dislike for shoveling food into her mouth was increasing by the day. Which amazed her, she used to love food.

“I feel like if I were a little thinner, I’d be okay, you know?” another girl, a girl she idolized, said to her. “I just feel like I’d be happier as it’s been a goal for so long.”

She left her phone behind at work one weekend. The buzz of plans, faces, texts, camera on portrait mode paused – for two days that felt like eternity.

Her brain breathed. Her body rested. She did not hyperfocus on hitting 2000 calories, on making it to every meal. She cooked turmeric and chick peas pasta with avocados, cheese, alfredo sauce, walnuts and honey. She did not think about a text from him that she’d never get, or view her life through his lens, or any one else’s lens. She wrote. She read. She deep-conditioned her hair.

She breathed. Her mind and body felt massaged.

She skipped dessert. She forgot to swear. She slept like a baby.

She just was. And everything felt okay.

 

 

getting our shit together.

2018 was a hard year. There’s no other way of saying it, or thinking about it.

I lost SO much, yet gained so much, only to lose it all again.

I learned:

  • to own my mistakes. not taking/ acknowledging an action taken in no way made it invisible, or in no way made me some bystanding victim (besides, being a bystander is still responsibility). there’s also so much more control in accepting that you messed up and will now proceed through steps 0-5 to getting your shit together.
  • to accept/ see reality. again, I could choose not to see/ laugh past my obvious discomfort in certain areas of my life and it might be photoshopped out of my narrative that way in the years to come but that doesn’t obscure it from my everyday life – and only ensures that the same patterns repeat.
  • trust my instincts. I know what I want to do, most of the time and need to go with my gut – even if it involves leaving a gathering early or saying something mildly uncomfortable.
  • time is precious. for the most part, every second wasted on something i’m “committed” to (by means of salary/ label/ ongoing means of validation/ whatever else) but not necessarily invested in, at the expense of things I really want to do leaves me exhausted and disgruntled in the long run.
  • be grateful. look at all the people and things cushioning my fall every fucking second of the day.
  • be kind. to myself, and everyone around me. what they’re saying isn’t always about me. they’re going through a shit ton too.

happy 2019. let’s get our shit together and keep fighting, please.

the to-do list

I made this amazing, color-coded to-do list for what was left of my final semester submissions during spring break, a few days before you went off the grid.

I look at it now, and it feels prehistoric. I’ve struck through a bunch of paper submissions, but so what? It did not change anything.

You came back, and then you left. And it changed the way I look at everything. I lost, and now nothing else will hit me as precisely, and sharply — right at the heart of it all. Everything I thought life was all about struck out, in one fell swoop.

an elegy

I never had to make time for you. Your presence was simultaneous to everything I was, and everything I was doing.

The day we started talking, it was the start of a 1.5478 year 565-day long conversation: an unparalleled streak of willful mockery, giggles, idle rants, pseudo-existential awakenings, morbid, lazy theorizing, pictures of food, gossip, book recommendations substituting for life advice, hope amidst a harsh, tearful reawakening, unconditional love and support. You sent me emoticon flowers the Monday after the Sunday a person whose last name I barely remember broke my heart (or was it my ego?), because everyone needs Monday morning flowers, you said, and they cost nothing. You showed up repeatedly, when I needed to know I was needed, and when I needed to know I was loved (and deserved more than I thought I did) and I would not fall through the cracks. You made me want to show up and be just as discerning yet giving with my time and energy. Your words, your presence and your actions were timeless. I will spend a lifetime catching up to it.

New years goals/ resolutions.

Goals

  1. Saving up for BEA
  2. Getting a summer internship I’m excited about
  3. Aspiring towards integrity. None of this “go with the flow” nonsense. I can’t anymore.
  4. Valuing time.
  5. Learning how to drive
  6. Reading a book a month.
  7. Getting the book blog active again.
  8. Developing a good work ethic.
  9. Integrating work and leisure, rather than separating the two so much that both feel like a chore.
  10. Wading past the white noise, and figuring out what I want for real.
  11. Doing what I want to do but if I find myself stuck somewhere I don’t want to be, getting the most out of it because you can get what you want out of things you don’t want, it is all in the mind, it is just less of 3.

Happy almost-new year 🙂

Skin deep

She ran her fingers over the tiny prickle on her forehead – a frickin’ pimple in the beginning of December. Winter was her favorite time of the year. All of those snuggly jackets and unapproachable boots – she could pull them off. The bulk makes her look healthier, unlike the summer skirts that betrayed her carrot stick legs. But clearly, winter was not without its warts.

She finger-combed her hair as she hunched forward, trudging past the zillions and zillions of people making their way from one metro-stop to the next. She hated the way her bangs fell flat, and then curled so frightfully near the ends. She stared at the Asian girl in blue sweatpants who walked past her, the girl’s pin straight hair parting so effortlessly. “How did it feel to have wonderfully approachable hair like that?” she wondered.

She tried pulling her hair behind, but of course that exposed the scar near the beginning of her hairline. She let it fall back down her shoulders. Her hair was greasy from hairspray, and terribly layered. She felt like Professor Snape.

Her lips tugged downwards as someone bumped against her, muttering “Sorry.”

She nodded vaguely, her bangs still covering her face. How did the blonde woman in front of her have such bouncy, salon-style hair? How did people manage to style their own hair? Did they wake up every morning just to make their bangs fluffy and wonderfully soft? She had tried styling her hair. It made it greasier and wavier in all the wrong places. She pulled her hair back again, her fingers clasping it into a ponytail. She pulled it to one side, letting it hang down one shoulder, as she reached Platform 6A.

She tried to picture how she looked right at that moment, with her hair like that. Oh lord, it would be like that Instagram picture of hers from a year back. She was with her best friend Eric, whose face reflecting his sunny disposition. She, on the other hand, had one side full of hair and the other side of well… air. it looked awkward and unnatural. She untagged herself from the picture, but when she did stumble into it on Eric’s page – she always winced.

She continued finger-combing the front section of her hair, as a text from her ex-boyfriend popped up on her phone. It was an even more obnoxious reply to her obnoxious text. She caught her reflection on her phone screen, as her screen faded to black. The corners of the tiny hairs that blended with her bangs were curling up again. She pressed it flat. They curled up again. She pressed it flat, tucking the piece of hair under her bangs.

Her train finally arrived and she thought, I can’t wait to get back home, shower, grab a bite to eat and then study. I can’t study with my hair like this – no.

*

He was making his way to his stop when he bumped into something solid.

“Sorry,” he said reflexively- and caught sight of the woman as she blended with the crowd.

Only she didn’t quite – blend with the crowd.

She was slightly hunched, but walking at a remarkable pace. Her hair – there was so much of it! It was neither straight nor curly – it tumbled down her back in mesmerizing waves. He hadn’t seen hair like that before!

As he reached his station, he saw her again. She was peering into her phone – but her profile betrayed elegant, sharp features. She turned around and he met her eyes – but she was looking past him. She hadn’t really met his gaze, she was lost in thought.

He wished she would’ve met his gaze – those were eyes that had the potential to sparkle and light up the lives around it. She looked wistful. There was a genuineness about her that was absent in the vacant glee of the lipsticked woman on his other side, who was squealing “How ARE you, Carol! You look FABULOUS, simply FABULOUS, dear”.

As the train droned in, and she disappeared with the crowd – he caught the last glimpse of those untamed, beautiful, beautiful locks that her fingers wouldn’t let go of.

He wished she’d smiled at him when their eyes had met. He would’ve made some inane comment about the subway service. And over the course of that conversation, he’d have told her, quite tactlessly, how distractingly beautiful she was.

*