Dear Ones --
I don't expect everyone to approve at what's going on at my other blog. That's why I started a separate blog that is age-restricted. The question has arisen concerning whether the actions of yesterday's post are self-empowering and I think it's certainly a question that deserves thought and discussion.
All journeys begin somewhere.
I'm fifty-three years-old and never-married. I've had a few boyfriends and many heartbreaks. My heart is still leaking, in fact, from something in my recent past that did not come to fruition, and it has had a thud after my encounters over the last week: in many important ways, the thuddee actually gets me. That's a powerful turn-on.
Consider, now, that I have been fat for something like forty-six years. I was the butt of a lot of teasing up until I went to university. Then I became the Best Friend, the Fag Hag, the voyeur of what my thin, pretty/handsome friends were experiencing. I listened and sympathized. I listened and wished. I listened and grew fatter.
I passed through the chapters of my thinnitude under the stress of either gaining a new body and new horizons, or saying goodbye thereto. I spent much of the time in my romantic relationships wondering if I could really be loved, if my battle scars were at least forgivable, or if I could compensate for them in some way. I spent so much time in my head that I couldn't feel my body except when I was out and about, mostly in the gym or on my own, walking the city in black cashmere trousers or a short black skirt. Then I felt tall and in possession of a secret: you don't know what I really am...
I was Beauty and Beast when I was thin. As I gained weight I felt more and more that I was the Beast alone.
In these last seven years, it has been a surprise to me that men found me either attractive or fuckable. That perhaps one man fell in love with me for a bit and that a couple of other men fell in like is astonishing.
It shouldn't be. I'm not ugly. I'm funny, smart, giving. They even found me sexy, although that has never been something I felt.
Until the last few weeks.
What has changed? I'm really abstinent for the first time in more than six months. I've been through a great deal of grief and estrangement. I'm not working as hard as I should be in my twelve-step program but I have done some deep digging in my stepwork and in throwuppy. My old feelings of being the butt of jokes and excuses, of needing to be invisible, are shriveling a little bit as I take them out of the closet and place them in the light of the room for two pairs of eyes. I'm slow to pick up on having boundaries crossed or argued about, but at least I remember, now, when my therapist points instances out. I'm becoming more sensitive to them and more protective.
I don't know if I've lost weight or not, although a friend noticed that I was looking "healthier" and my food plan is so predictable that it would be difficult not to lose weight. Not knowing has thrown me back on my day count and my body. Because I'm also pretty disenfranchised from my size, I can't tell much from the way my clothes fit. This pretty much leaves me only how and what my body is feeling. It has a knot of anxiety in its stomach. Its neck is sore. There is a twinge in its left shoulder. And it's randy.
There is also a brain in this body -- a mind. And a heart and a pleasure center. I may not be ready for a boyfriend or a boyfriend may not be ready for me, but for a change I'm relying on those other bits to tell me when a situation, a man, a sexual liaison, is not right for me. And I'm walking out, shrugging my shoulders, taking pleasure in a cold drink and the searing acridity of a cigarette, relishing my messy Cave and my dog. She is always glad to see me and manipulate me in our seven-year dance of often opposing desires.
So yeah, it feels good to say, "You're not the right one." And it feels good to seek a Right One, despite, right now, the sexual emphasis on seeking. I missed out on so much in the years when boyz wanted girlz to be fresh and skinny, and in the years when I didn't trust myself.
It is empowering to trust my instincts. It's bloody empowering to have instincts after the cloister of grief. It's empowering to read or hear that a man I could like thinks I have a lovely body.
And it's most empowering of all to write, to write the journey. It's only a journey; the destination is a place everyone recognizes. Love. Home. Friendship. Maybe health insurance.
All journeys end somewhere, and the somewhere is always [re]new.
A non-Jewish reporter puts on a Jewish skullcap and scary and ugly times ensue...