We think intelligence shields us from emotion. Then Life proves us wrong. As one prone to depression and mood swings I can tell you that when your mind sets upon an idea, no matter how harmful it may be to you, your intellect tends to contribute to your [emotional/internal] downfall. All mantras and affirmations are thrown out the window as phrases like “You are beautiful and you should love yourself” lose precedence to the more cynical “They lied. You know better than to trust in the words of people.”
I’m no stranger to body image issues. We can all relate to feelings of inadequacy and most of us have had and continue to have the 2 AM “I will change my Life in the morning” moments when everything seems attainable with a little effort and possibilities seem to lie in wait, to grow under the guidance of the soon to be rising Sun. I however, have not paid attention to these issues for years. The logical part of me took over and I decided, if I can walk, run when I need to [my smoker’s lungs don’t allow for random running] and fit into my clothes, I’m fine.
During one of my not so appealing bouts of Fuck My Life someone said to me, “Why do you look such a mess? I mean I’d still fuck but, I don’t know you to be this way.” And as much as I laughed it off, it’s been on mind for probably over a month now.
Why? Maybe because he said it at a time when my mind was ready and willing to accept every unflattering thing one could say in order to justify it’s already despondent thoughts at the time. Maybe because, being an emotional masochist, a part of me enjoys having something to add to the file marked “Reasons Why You Sometimes Really Ain’t Shit” in my mind.
It’s a funny thing when you think about it. Really, when one’s going through a time when all they’d really like to do is die, why would they even bother with looking pretty for the outside world? I’m not worried about being hit on by you, I’m worried about how I’m going to be able to leave the house tomorrow, assuming I make it through tonight. A “You don’t understand, things are rough” didn’t seem to quite make him understand why I was as I was and so I left it.
While discussing it with a certain Sir he said to me “I don’t even know why you’d pay attention to that, you’re so smart. Have you..Do you even see yourself though? Goddamn.” And he looked at me in a way I haven’t seen in a while. In awe.
The whole experience made me realize, what you know doesn’t save you from making silly decisions, accepting less than you deserve and words of affirmation could be nothing more than pretty lies if you tell yourself so.
I know a Lady, she’s beautiful, young, ambitious and tied down to a man who treats her like surplus meat. Does she know she can do better? Yes. Is she lacking options? No. So why is she staying?
I said yesterday that I realize we’re becoming Women. We’re growing and even though our private school education, feminism and all round privilege made us think we’d be far from the women our mothers became, at the end of the day, somehow, we end up there.
We’ve grown to undermine our mothers’ experiences and really it seems, only age and our own parallel experiences will humble us. And I’m taking them as they come. We’re taking them as they come.