Monday, June 5, 2006

What is this blog?/Healing update

I'm the kind of person who often needs to think out loud. This blog is a place where I am doing something like that.

Once I heard Ruby Dee describe Spike Lee as someone who was growing up out loud. For better or worse, I am doing the same thing. In one of Maragaret Cho's comedy videos she talks about the phrase "don't go there." I've often thought about that same phrase and thought the exact same thing she talks about, what do you do when you're already "there?" Don't go there? Sorry, I'm in it past my eyeballs, a bit too late for that little piece of advice.

I am a messed up person. I don't find it necessary to keep this a secret. Pretty much every person I've ever met also appears messed up in one way or another. Every once in a while I'll meet someone who seems to really know how to care for her/himself, but that is a rare occurrence. Not messed up looks like this: a person at peace with her/himself. Name any people you know who fall into this category. If you actually know any, I bet they are more attractive than Jessica Simpson.

What I'm saying makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I make a lot of people uncomfortable. I put people on the spot. Not everyone is "there" or interested in "going there." I get that. Sometimes I am irritated by it, sometimes I'm not so bothered. But, for myself, there is no going back. Whether I like it or not, I am the queen of noticers. I'm always noticing how uncomfortable I am (see, I make myself uncomfortable too). I'm always trying to figure out what the discomfort is about. And, while I often find other people's messed up shit a good place to lay the blame, in the end my discomfort is always teaching me about my own messed-upness.

So this blog is a place where I plod along and write about plodding along in this process of discovery--a seemingly endless and continual process. I should add a crucial point: each time that I gain awareness of new depths of my mess, I shed some of it. There is a purpose to what I'm sure many people would term my navel gazing:
-I believe we have been granted a great gift in being alive
-For many years I hated being alive
-I now love my life
-I believe we can live lives of joy
-I want one

What I am doing in my life, in my art, in my relationships, is the only way for me to create a life of joy. In the last few months, particularly since the first Human Body Project event, I have gone through many changes, more than I've been able to write about in this blog. But one profound one has been a stronger feeling of physical health. I have had a much stronger experience in my own body of how old worn-out beliefs affect my health (and this has led me to be able to shed some of them).

This process of the relationship of physical health to deeply held beliefs is a difficult one to write about for several reasons, one being that it is not something I can explain in a linear, intellectual way. Another issue being that our harmful beliefs often originate in our families and I doubt mine is interested in me writing about how I deal with them in therapy. Another is the idea of blaming the victim. I will only speak for myself and say that lately I better understand how my energy has been very adversely affected by ingrained beliefs about how I thought I was supposed to be. I will try to expand more on this later.

Another reason I'm writing this blog is for the same reason I'm doing the Human Body Project. There are other people out there who also want to get beyond their messed up shit and feel a joyous connection to their physical existence. This is my way of reaching out. It may ramble and I probably repeat myself, some days are going to be better than others... it is what it is.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, but messy is so cozy! If your project has done nothing for this girl, it has forced my hand in stripping down to my most basic, organic me; to look long and hard and selflessly at the only me I’ve ever known…and to wonder what I’d see if I cleaned up the veritable disaster area I’ve put between the girl reflected in the mirror, and the girl who wants nothing more than to love her. Then I get in the shower, clean myself up, put on a pile of make up and some clothes, and sigh relief that I don’t have to do it all again for at least another 24 hours.

    I hope a wee blog en-blog is alright with you?

    In the five or so years leading up to this day, Physical Me has taken many a shape. And each phase of my shape-shifting seems to directly affect my happy-quotient on any given day…. Further, said happiness is often, if not always contingent upon what the scale reads, after my morning poop. Still not entirely sure why. I was a chubby baby; a chubby little girl; a big boned, older little girl; a very overweight early-20-something; a comparatively svelte and overconfident new wife and late-20-something; a struggling-with-that-last-stubborn-30-lbs postpartum wife and new mom, with everything to be blissful about…but never satisfied. It’s funny (though not ha-ha funny), but anytime I’ve been asked to describe myself as a youngster or adolescent, the ridiculous descriptions above seem always to precede ‘easy-going’ or ‘cheerful’ or ‘kind-hearted’ – which I generally tended to be and am. At what point did I decide that my size was even worthy of mention? Herein lies my own all-consuming messed-upness.

    The blame-game is something I’ve fought hard to avoid, as at 31, I recognize its absolute futility, and hope that I’ve gonads enough to accept my own part in shaping Adult Me – emotional and physical. The laundry list of blame candidates would make anyone’s head spin, though I suspect within this forum, perhaps I am not alone. Rather than being thankful for my health, I secretly hope my doc will tell me I’m hypo-thyroid, and hand me over some fixy pills. At the end of the day, though, I can only ask myself over and over again….despite the unconditional love and respect of partner, child, parents, siblings and friends, what is it that makes this body so reprehensible to its own eyes? And yes, I do mean ‘body’. Never mind the more pressing but improvable foibles that need work. I’m passive-aggressive, critical, and even without compassion, as members of the above lovers of me might opine. And still, it is my lousy body image that always seems to achieve top billing over all that other “tripe”. Which begs the question – is it the shit I clutter and hoard up in my “physical closet o’ crap” the same shit that eventually spews so thoughtlessly and hurtfully in every direction when I least intend it to? Some might say that I am making my battles everyone else’s without even realizing it….and I probably agree. Is it my stripe to be this miserable? I sure as hell hope not…

    Anyway, Tasha…I do not assume that my life story is anything you need or want to hear. Perhaps I am just trying to relate a personal, same-but-different observation of the body image quandary. It is hardly a wonder to me why women view you and your project and your plight with much reverence and adulation; and see that even a most fragile and unconfident person can rise to the daunting task of utter naked self-awareness. By your work and your blog, you are articulating the collective inner-thoughts and dilemmas of a generation of women (AND men!). And by doing so, you have opened this girl’s eyes to something far greater than that which is skin deep. And overcoming my own familiar and destructive paradigms is absolutely vital to the happy and confident little girl I hope to raise to be a happy and confident woman – no matter what.

    For the eye-opening, I thank you.

    Wishing you every success along your journey,