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.

Orbital Bliss

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It was on a bus somewhere along my commute from Trader Joe’s back home. It was a frigid Monday morning and I was bundled tightly. None of my regular music could settle me; everything felt painful in my ears. I chose a piano/violin station and as the bus became more and more of a crowded and chaotic environment with each stop, I drifted further away. I closed my eyes and escaped the bus, the city, the world, my thoughts, my emotions, until it was like I didn’t even exist in my own body any longer. It felt warm. The warmest I have felt in so long. I was entirely motionless and my head empty. Strangely I had managed to completely let everything go, all the things inside. Some I was aware of and even things I didn’t know were there. It was bliss in those few moments yet so brief. Eventually I felt the vibrations in my feet travel back throughout my entire body and I was aware once again.

That was my favorite place…I want to go there again. I think I’ll visit often.

Necessary Roughness

 

Tonight I walked the streets of New York, uptown where tall buildings surround your every move.  Holiday music and brightly lit displays stimulate the senses.  It seems I always fall back into that feeling, the same one I first felt overcome me back in May of 2010.  I’ll never forget it as long as I live.  I was certain from the moment I arrived; this is where I was meant to be.  I had waited so long to feel this way.  I finally belonged.  I was home.

 

I feel grateful to occasionally have that same “new” feeling radiate through me.  After all this time, the gleam remains.  My love for this city still burns rapidly.

 

 

 

The universe always seems to take care of me in its own ways as long as I continue to believe.  Things just work out.  A little bit of luck is always looming not too far behind.  Independence suits me but I still know when to ask for help.  Most importantly, I’ve become quite the problem solver.  Things that used to have me anxiety-ridden or perhaps in tears now simply presents something new to research, strategize and conquer.  I look forward to every new token of knowledge and experience.  It’s kind of like playing a video game.  But its real life 🙂

Officially I will be a New Yorker for at least another year.  I have committed to that via my new lease that just began.  I am excited beyond belief and I know this shall be the best year ever.  I can’t help but smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power We Possess

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If you really want something, make it happen. It’s as simple as that. I don’t believe the process spent in getting the things we want will be simplistic by any means, but we can have anything we desire. In my recent assessment of the last few years of my life, I know this theory to be so true.

I’ve been yearning for something that I do not have anymore. When, in all actuality, who says that I shouldn’t have it? I really owe it to myself to do everything within my power to get that things I want in my life. I am the only one that can make this happen. It is all riding on me.

I spent a week of self-realization, discovered the benefits of meditation and managed to do some new soul-searching. Then I spent a few very low days analyzing and understanding my current situation. I can, without a doubt, work very hard to make a life for myself here. But I never intended to do it alone. I’ve gained a great deal of independence and strength in my current residence but it’s time to move on.

Plans are in the works to move back to the city that stole my heart. Literally. There has not been one day that has passed that I don’t think about it. I became myself when I moved to New York and I haven’t truly been myself since I left it behind. My energy is focused on this dream that never really left me, I just found a way to push it aside for a brief moment in time. I can’t wait to go back home.

Odd Soul

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This last week was life-changing, filled with so many moments that saved me. Literally.

I had been on a hiatus from the gym. I’m not entirely sure why but I was feeling too low to push myself that hard. Honestly I know the gym would have made me feel better but for some reason I just couldn’t do it. So it is what it is. I finally returned and did okay. It will take a few days to get back into the swing of it. But I met this older gentleman running next to me. He really lifted my spirits. We discussed music and travel. He told me that he had spent time in Arizona and even New York but in the end, he really loves Ohio. It was just great to have a conversation with a complete stranger. I find that people who don’t know you tend to actually listen to what you have to say.

My friend Ellen sent me a care package with some things for around my house. That was probably the sweetest thing anyone has done for me in a very long time. It was just so nice and really made me feel special. I haven’t felt that nearly enough lately. My heart has been aching with loneliness, so much it is painful. I do everything I can to make it stop but ultimately I wish I was closer to those that calm me. I have some people who are a part of my life here, but only in very small doses. So I guess I’m still learning how to remedy my self-induced sadness at times.

Earlier in the week, I had to take a different route to work than usual. My bus passed the Newport Music Hall and I noticed an advertisement for MuteMath. I knew that was a sign. They are one of my favorites and I was dying to see them live. So last night I attended the show solo. I honestly love going to shows by myself. It’s so empowering. It was by far the greatest display of live music I have ever witnessed in my life, matched only by the time I saw Radiohead at Cochella years ago. My entire body and soul are still on a complete high from that experience. Those guys are insanely talented. There is a certain magic about a band that truly appreciates what they do and adore their fans. I have a high respect for that.

In this upcoming week I hope to get myself registered for the half marathon in May, further my process with school registration and laugh more. Life is what you make it and I know I’m in control.

The Pursuit

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In many ways, my moods reflect the phases of the moon. At times I feel bright, vibrant and full; I rule my life in the way she owns the night sky. But after this fullness I do tend to dwindle. Parts of me feel broken, missing and I just feel, plainly stated, less whole.

I am fairly convinced that it is damn near impossible to explain in words the way my mind functions. But I am going to give it my best shot. I have a constant, fast-moving collection of what I would call an endless pool of data racing throughout my thoughts. I realize that it is normal to process many things at once and we all do this, but somehow the situation in my head has its differences and I’m sure of it. Often it feels like I might explode if I don’t release, share or document this information in some way. Most music, conversations, pictures, images, memories, art, observations, etc. set off chain reactions in my thought process. I’m visualizing what pictures I could take, what stories I could tell, what I need to document, how to understand the situation I am in, how to understand myself, feeling intense emotions and even trying to recall when I last felt the same way or was in a similar situation. I guess the things that I’m drawn to most are music, words and images. Writing and photography are the main driving forces in my existence. I’m most alive when I have written my thoughts out into words or I have expressed my feelings through a picture I have taken. These two creative outlets of mine always contribute to my happiness. Both are eternal. The words I’ve written and pictures I’ve taken will always live on. Forever. No matter where I end up, I can always take myself back to any previous moment in my life. Most importantly I can re-live the same feelings, whether that is something I wish to do or not.

I used to think my heart was weak and easily broken. Now that I have grown up some and know myself better, I have a better understanding. My heart is just very full. I am someone who will never stop giving and caring for an endless number of people. I love so many in countless ways. I will never stop myself from feeling. Although at times I did believe the answer was to shut myself off and try not to get attached in any way. I can’t and will not do that. I fall for people easily. I don’t mean this in regards to relationships solely. I fall in love with people and even objects and moments in general. My friends, my family, strangers on the street, those who are fighting for the same things as me, animals, the weather, nature, sounds, smells; the way all these things make me feel. My senses are extremely sensitive which in turn explains the way my emotions feel ever-changing like the wind.

I don’t need to build walls anymore. That is no way to exist. These days I really put myself out there. I talk to strangers, I wear what I want and feel comfortable with my body including all imperfections, I make mistakes and admit it, I speak up when I don’t agree, I ask so many questions, I stand up for myself when things aren’t right, I talk to men who I believe are way out of my league, I share my feelings, I speak my mind, I make countless mistakes, I make the tough decisions and live with the consequences. I also benefit from the way these decisions impact my entire life. The past made me mostly timid, shy and afraid to be myself. But I’m not afraid anymore. Somewhere along the way, I became this woman who is proud and confident. When I look in the mirror, sometimes I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I’m beautiful, driven, passionate, expressive, strong, powerful, proud, influential and helpful in the lives of those around me. I can finally celebrate all the ways I am completely unique. There is no force that can ever stop me or take away the peace I feel and pure joy I experience for being able to be exactly who I am. No matter where this crazy life takes me I will always look back with complete appreciation that I had the chance to exist in the first place. Life is amazing in incalculable terms. Count your blessings.

My Christmas Wishes

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I wish for no more pain and only happiness. Love and companionship and never a moment of loneliness. Clarity, an open mind, peace and comfort. Infinite hope and the ability to believe in the worst of times. Abundant amounts of strength and everlasting passion. I wish to have every last dream come true. I know that things happen only when they are meant to and that I must hold on until it is my time. I can only hope that I can resist the emptiness that sometimes wants to take me over. I will continue to be a bright shining light in my own life and do everything within my power to keep myself content. My heart will stay safe. I’ll make sure of it.

Happy Holidays to you all. I hope you have family, friends, new memories to last you a lifetime and most importantly
Love.

~J

I’m Alive

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As much as my heart is gone these days, it still finds a way to hurt me. What I wouldn’t give to fast forward to a future time when I don’t remember those days. Sometimes I do want to remember, but mostly look forward to forgetting and existing as if it never happened.
I am this bright shining force, so full of all these things to give. I share small pieces of me, here and there and it keeps me alive. But deep down to my core, the place no one has ever been, so much is kept safely. I have glimpses of hope when I believe someday I will be understood. As much power as I possess, there is one part of me that will never recover. … …… .. … …. …. …. I was a foolish girl from the beginning and lived ever so blindly. These days, as I walk the streets as a grown woman, I know so much. Things I never even wanted or asked for; even still, this weight is mine. My body is alive and well but my heart is forever gone. I am numb and I don’t feel anymore, I am not even capable of feeling. I don’t WANT to feel. I could disintegrate into the night and it would be okay. I’m okay. All the million pieces of my shattered soul work very well together. I finally learned how to transform extreme hurt into power and I’m broken in all the right places.