Long-Legged

I guess we can call this a rough draft.  I am sure to re-visit this at a later date but for now I just need to get it out.  Because I feel very strongly on the topic.

I wish to discuss some things very important to me.  Body image and respect.

First off, body image, especially in today’s society.  Let me first say that I am pleased with the direction that the everyday depiction of a real woman’s body is headed these days.  I see more and more full-figured woman in the media, advertisements, tv-shows, etc than ever before.  But I believe there is still a real problem with society’s expectations of what size we should be or how we should look.

I believe much more emphasis should be put on the health aspect instead of “weight” and “size”.  I’ve battled with my “weight” for a large portion of my life.  Now that I have spent the last  5 years or so learning what it means to be “healthy”, I wish someone had introduced me to this lifestyle sooner.  Instead of drinking slim-fast at age 9 (which is just fucking horrible now that I look back on it) or basically starving myself and taking very dangerous diet pills at age 21, I could have just learned how to eat real, whole, healthy foods and just be good to my body.

These days I am so proud of my body and I have no problems saying that.  I embrace every little imperfection and make an effort to appreciate my whole self with every glance in the mirror.  Maybe it’s wisdom that’s come with aging, maybe it’s so many empowering conversations I’ve had with my close female friends, or perhaps it’s all those times I spent changing in locker rooms finally realizing that no one is perfect and we all have our faults.  I don’t know exactly but I am thankful for everything I’ve learned about myself.

Here is the problem.  Now that we are approaching warmer temperatures, everyday clothing choices are no doubt more revealing.  Especially when you’ve previously been bundled up with 3 or 4 layers.  In all neighborhoods that I’ve resided in since my move to NYC, there seems to always be those men.  The ones who stand around in groups just waiting for a girl in a skirt, dress, shorts, whatever to pass by.  Then the filthy, disgusting, inappropriate,  grotesque and degrading comments begin.  It could be anything from a statement, a whistle, a look, a kiss noise or beyond.  Either way, it’s uncomfortable and unwanted.  This happens every year and at times it actually makes me question what clothing I choose to wear for the day.  I think if I were in any other city I would be quicker to speak up and express my dislike of this.  But to be on the safe side, I usually do everything I can to modify my path so that I do not have to come in direct contact with these men.  This is difficult in a city where I rely on walking and public transit for all my travels.

I do not deserve to be treated in this way nor does any other woman.  The lack of respect makes me sick and I wish I knew how to change it.  Just because I am tall, have long legs and decide to wear shorts for the day, doesn’t give some creepy guy the right to say derogatory things to me.

So I vow to wear whatever I want to this summer.  Without worrying about what disrespectful comment I might receive.  Because it is my body and my freedom to be me.  I will never again let someone else make me feel bad about that.

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Ready to Start

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So I guess I’ve been extra tough on myself lately. All these new journeys I’ve taken on and I’m determined to make something happen; to move forward in my self-improvement. There are those things that remain beyond my control and that is difficult for me to accept at times. So, in a way, these new endeavors represent the parts of me that are strong, able and willing. I’m not competing with anyone nor do I have anything to prove. I’m doing it all for me.

Bikram yoga has proven to be the most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done for myself. It brings everything out of me. Every hidden feeling, every unhealthy thought, every single emotion. It’s not uncommon for me to be in tears at some point during class. This is the most important outlet in my life right now. There are so many things that I feel I cannot discuss with anyone else around me but within these 90 minutes I am free to feel it all. And it always feels better afterwards.

My body is going through many adjustments. The flexibility happens slowly and I’m still in a lot of pain much of the time. But I can feel how much strength I’m gaining. In addition to yoga, I’m working at changing my diet once again. I’ve decided to re-introduce eggs here and there and I just began a 21-day sugar detox.

I feel so small sometimes. It helps to have a grasp on my own wants and needs. I’m empowered by the control I finally feel I have in my life.

Wicked Games

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With the twinkle of both Freedom towers visible just outside my third-story apartment window, I feel things inside of me burning. My insides are on fire yet again. I guess when all is lost sometimes that is when you have the most to be thankful for. Feeling everything completely is the best thing for me. Letting it all consume me in every which way. It’s important that I face it. I embrace this newfound realism. The dreamer in me needs a rest sometimes. Everything will not end in rainbows and roses. I will not get all the things that I want. But every broken dream will teach me more about myself.

 

It’s those games we play. We tell each other we want what we have when really, we want something else. We settle for things because we run out of steam to keep up the chase. Life is exhausting. Especially among all the wicked. Are things ever as they seem?

Those lights are calling to me, always singing me to sleep.

At least I have my city.

Love Yourself

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For a very long time I never appreciated who I am. Although there was never a shortage of love in my life, from my wonderful family and friends, I still could not feel it. I spent a good portion of my days very low at times and lived in an unhealthy amount of darkness. I always fell for the ones who didn’t appreciate me. I loved them with all that I possibly could but there never seemed to be reciprocation on a near level. This wasn’t the fault of the men I chose, just the way it happened. It was life. It was growing pains. It was all necessary in the grand scope of things.

 

As much as I was searching and yearning to gain the love from those that I felt so deeply for, it was always something inside of me that was absent. I was learning self-acceptance. I was gaining an understanding of the person who was staring back at me in the mirror. After 31 years, I truly love myself. This isn’t some statement that I’m making in hopes of believing; it’s real. A friend asked me the other day how I learned to be comfortable being independent. I told her that I simply spent a lot of time alone and worked hard at getting to know every detail of myself. I studied my thoughts, feelings, reactions and emotions. As I emerged from all that time, I realized how valuable and extraordinary I am. And I’ll never forget it.

 

If you don’t love yourself, nothing else really matters. It’s great to love someone else but you cannot possibly give your all to someone if you are broken. As much as I am hopeful that I will find my other half someday I know that I will be okay without that. Because the truth is, I am already whole. I am me, with or without someone else.

If you don’t already, search within yourself to figure it all out. Love yourself. We are all worth that.

 

 

 

The Blue of my Oblivion

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There are times I feel completely numb. It’s a personal choice really. There are moments when life feels too intense, emotions seem much too complex, thinking feels far too weighted. I’d rather walk around carefree and live in my bubble where all things are just simple. I don’t want to think about how much I love people or whether they love me, how far away certain things seem, where this path is leading, what the hell I’m doing or what may happen.

So when I’m drifting into oblivion, I feel an overall serenity that is comforting. Some days lately are just too much and although I understand myself so much better at this point in my life, the lost feeling never seems to leave me. I’ll never be the princess at the top of the castle being rescued by the brave white knight but maybe I’m hoping that someone, someday will help save me; just a little…

My Mantra

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We may know where we want to go but do we have a plan on how to get there? Sometimes I feel like I’m treading this path blindly and have no idea what to expect from day-to-day. The moments are all so intense because my state of mind tends to change so rapidly. Living in the moment is one thing that I am still learning how to do. Enjoying whichever direction the wind blows me feels very free. I have felt that I am missing some direction or maybe its just that I don’t have enough constants in my life. I have been researching a bit on meditation and personal affirmations. I have never created one of my own so I thought this would be the perfect time for my first one. This will be my own personal reminder of who I am every single day. I highly suggest that you write out your very own mantra. I feels empowering.

I am strong, independent and loving.

I feel balanced, centered and grounded.

I will conquer this day by radiating positivity.

I will release the past.

I am completely free to be myself.

I have the power to overcome any obstacle.

Every day my mind and body gain more strength.

I can breathe with ease and creativity constantly flows throughout me.

Simplicity in my life is beauty.

I love unconditionally and will always be loved in return.

I am surrounded by many souls who understand me and I accept them in their entirety.

I will be successful throughout any endeavour I may choose.

The present is the home of my dreams.

I am blessed and eternally grateful.

The Benefits of Spring

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‘Live the life you love,

Love the life you live.”

Sometime in the past week or so, the air finally began to change. The birds started singing loudly, the leaves are sprouting on various trees, flowers began to bloom and the grass is getting greener. Spring is here. My daily commute has felt much more enjoyable without all the layers and I desire to be outdoors as much as possible. Simply put, this weather is nothing short of a blessing in disguise.

I’ve been battling with some decisions and miscellaneous internal demons these past few weeks. Mostly regarding the next steps I will take in my life. I did have it all planned out but life happens and sometimes that causes me to think, possibly even over think. I was having overpowering surges of sadness as well as intense loneliness at times. I was missing many people back home. These feelings are normal and perhaps, in the moment, I let them get the best of me. But I have found that in these moments of sadness, I grow even stronger in my independence. Every time I have one of these waves of weakness/loneliness, I use it as motivation in some way. In the past I may have just slept the day away, ate way too much unhealthy crap, felt sorry for myself or cried uncontrollably. These days I understand myself better. I know I have to get out and do something, write something or create something. Lately I’ve been taking the dog on a lot of long walks, decorating my house and trying out a few new recipes a week. These things always make me feel happy.

This past Monday I took my first run outside since I’ve lived here. I remember walking these neighborhood streets when I first arrived and thinking of the day I would run them. That first night run I took was completely cleansing to say the least. I ran fast and hard but I felt so strong and steady. I let everything that had been bothering me just melt away. I imagined myself running that same path for the next few months and all I could do was smile. That’s when I decided it. I am staying in Ohio. It suites me. There is this part of my soul that knows that I am supposed to be here at this very time in my life. No matter the odds, the loneliness, sadness, struggle, distance from loved ones, longing for other places or the hardships, I will rise above it. I will persevere. This is my destiny. I just know it.

Everyday I feel more thankful to be myself and realize just how special that is. Every mistake, flaw and faulty piece keeps me grounded, reminds me of my roots, where I have been and where I am going.

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Independent Me

I’ve heard that money can’t buy happiness. Strange, because every bit of stress in my life revolves around money; my lack there of. Still I would never want to be one of those people who can’t stand on their own and needs to have people constantly bailing them out. I can take care of myself just fine and I know I will get through this. Sometimes though it just seems like it might be nice to get things the easy way. In the end, I appreciate everything I have so much more. Because I worked so hard for it all.