I love to read. Oh yeah, everyone everywhere should know that by now. If you don't, well, I LOVE to read.
The older I've gotten the shorter the books, I'm down to a dozen articles or so a day. So as I was drinking my tea this Monday Morning about a 5:30am workout (I'm already out the door by 5:15 so that's not happening), about Managers with hearts WANTING TO KNOW what makes their "teams" tick (again, fairy tale land where I'm at right now) I come across a few other articles from a wide range of websites I visit and I come across the one about everyone needing a DREAM BOARD.
I have this pet peeve about blogs that come blinged out. (See http://carmenmcolon.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-race-to-being-one-dimensional-01.html) So here is an article telling me that to actualize my deepest desires, I could do so by going through other people's images, posting them on my electronic board of photos and I suppose if you wish hard enough and use them as motivators, maybe then you can actualize those dreams into reality.
Mmmmmm, nope. I'm sensing that what will happen is that my longing for images, created by other people, validating concepts thrown at me all day, created by other people, will probably invoke a sense of longing more than a desire to motivate me to do something.... but I'm just throwing that out there.
See, what I've been getting a lot of lately are the "change your ways, change your life" speeches. Or maybe because I've found myself in a place where I'm restless, it's me zooming in on them but then, that's where it stops. I like who I am, for the most part. I can be short tempered, mostly with my loved ones, and I self absorbed when I'm fretting over the issues of the universe as they pertain to me. I think too much, I'm sure I've burnt out my brain cells on things that will just never come to fruition but it's how I'm wired. Overall, I'm at a place where I recognize that my life, while being my own and having pushed myself to move beyond all that fear keeps most from doing, I still have set up some serious road blocks to being more content in my life.
A recurring theme when I meet up with some friends in a particular circle is about body image. 47 and 250 pounds is an accomplishment I think. I'm not embarrassed by either, after all, that's all me. Yet I do know that I've been in an unhealthy rhythm for close to seven years now. Yes, seven and I can even remember the day. September 4, 2006. The day my life changed. I used to believe it was the day my life ended but in fact, as I've gotten older I see it for the day I was forced to grow up and take my life into my own hands: literally. I won't bore you with specifics, because I wrote a book after that, a cathartic exercise that led me down an interesting and adventure packed journey that I still enjoy even today. Defining Moments is the title.
For over seven years I've had this mega-tug-of-war within myself. I love myself but I hate myself. In fact while I hated that I did very little to take care of myself while I was alone I made sure that in front of the world I gave a great show to just how amazing I thought I was. And I was amazing; in public. In private I was just a mess. Those life changing events, like a death in the family, a break up, a divorce, the loss of your job, whatever rocks you to your core so much that you find yourself lying in bed in a fetal position for days, they test everything you know about yourself. I used to wish that my life was less eventful and that if I could only have one of those quiet lives we read about - Farmer John and his wife Bessie Celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary with their six kids and eight grandkids. Farmer John has been running his farm since he was but a young boy, Bessie was his HS sweetheart and life was a bland as it sounds. Except that's the thing. As we interpret it. Farmer John could have been a gambler and Bessie could have been a host of other things, their lives were their own and when you try to describe FIFTY YEARS in a few words you'll never get a full picture of what two people may have gone through.
The same goes for people. I love words but there simply aren't enough of them to fully showcase the amazing facets of a human being. We are so many things and yet this world will do all it can to shove you into a box of ten characteristics or less. Oh and it usually starts with the lowest of the important one like race, creed, color, religion, body shape, age. Yep, those are at the top of the pyramid, the ones that loom so large that we're still struggling to deal with them. After all, the people who are getting everyone's attention is trying to sway everyone to believe that their choice of skin color, or religion, or body shape, is what YOU need to be if you're going to be HAPPY!
So what does this pissed off Taurean do? I say to the world, "You're going to love me like this dammit, screw you and your perception of ANYTHING!" Except that in my mind I'm thinking, well, I could be a bit smaller but for health reasons and I should see a doctor more regularly because I'm feeling crappy. But I'm stubborn and I don't like being told what to do or what to think.
I have this friend who says she's not going to conform to public opinion either. There's a lot of 'beating about the chest' for emphasis. She's not going to change a thing, but on her profiles, on more days than not she's sharing quotes and poems about needing strength to get through the bad times. It got me to thinking that maybe she's not happy and that she's also not doing anything to change that. Well, a bit like me really. It wouldn't kill me to lose weight and yet I've been so hell bent on not "conforming" that I finally can't pretend I don't know what's wrong! I'm scared out of my gourd! To lose the weight would attract attention and goodness knows I don't want that do I??? That would mean getting compliments that might lead to dating that might lead to relationships that might lead me right back to September 4, only in the future!
I sold a bill of goods, and while I'm all good, my age, size, the number of teeth in my head, whatever people are talking about nowadays to detract and distract others from living aside, I've had to come face to face finally with the fact that I've not done anything specific to better myself outwardly because my insides had been stung so mercilessly that I'd been hiding in plain sight all this time. Except this was MY "in your face" way of coping with the pain of that life changing event. I am going to be me, like this, not the norm (and would you know it, so many people are going through the same stuff that actually my size is starting to become THE NORM!) and the world is going to like it dammit!
But I don't like it, not anymore. I don't like feeling lethargic and unfocused in the morning. I don't want my sons most vivid memories of me was vegging out on the couch for days devouring psychological thrillers and documentaries (because everything else stung in ways I couldn't explain - and I really hate horror movies, I really do.) When they were younger they used to call me a super hero mom. They'd describe me in Lara Croft gear (and if I had a Lara Croft body I might even then still found fault with myself, although I'd really like to give that a try) doing Lara Croft world changing things. They made me feel so amazing and they're older now, all but one left at home, just about ready to leap off his limb into his new adult life and I see how they worry about me, the woman on the couch on the weekends, hiding in plain sight.
Maybe today I'll not drink so many cups of coffee and I'll take that break and sit out in the sun, but it won't be because of the thousands of articles telling me to. I want to do it, for me. Now where's Dr. Steve's number? It's been far too long between check-ups.
Carmen M. Colon is a mother, an engineer, an education and childrens advocate, an author and a workshop facilitator on the topics of leadership, womens empowerment, career advancement and now on parenting. She is writing a series of "Dear Kids" letters to her three sons on a series of topics and issues.
Her website is http://carmenmcolon.info
Her books can be found online: http://amazon.com/author/carmencolon