Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And Doggone It.....I Like Me

A year or so ago, after I had successfully shed 50 lbs, I wrote this piece about my struggles with my weight. I learned, on that journey, that the habit of self denigration was not so easily shed as the pounds that I blamed for my faltering self-confidence.

As women, we are taught...no...indoctrinated into the belief that we are flawed, imperfect....ugly. We spend our whole lives trying to measure up to ideals that are unrealistic and unattainable. We spend our whole lives disliking our perfectly beautifully selves. We spend our whole lives telling ourselves we are not good enough. We spend our whole lives measuring our worth against that of other, more genetically gifted or surgically enhanced women.

It saddens me. But I'm as much a slave to the capricious and heartless Master that is my self-image as the next person. I am every bit as bound by the conventions that I abhor as those who flock to surgeons and snake oil salesmen alike searching for the secret of beauty and youth everlasting. The only difference is that I am simply less able to indulge my insecurities with expensive potions and procedures.

After I lost 50 lbs, I got apathetic, I got lazy, and I got, once again...fat. Five months ago I resolved to reestablish the healthy habits I had formed and for five months, I have been able to maintain that resolve. I am down two sizes. My arms and legs are showing definition, my waist has reappeared and some of the back fat has melted. I'm not thin by any means, but I have been feeling empowered, encouraged, and strong.

Or I was, until I looked at photos of myself on our recent vacation. And then that nasty, wheedling, self-deprecating voice; the one that I managed to keep bound and gagged and shut away from the light of day, found me once again. It catalogued my faults without mercy.

But this time, this time..no. I won't believe it. I won't fall victim to apathy and shame once again. And so....

I am going to start my very own meme. Yes...that's right, me, the anti-meme. I'm calling it, The Stuart Smalley Meme. The theme of this meme is "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it...I like me." So, in that vein, I am going to name ten things about myself that I like. I'm going to focus mostly on the physical, because that's what tends to undermine my self-confidence the most. But you can name anything you want. Maybe you have earned a particularly difficult to achieve degree, or you volunteer tirelessly at your child's school, or you make a really great Peach Cobbler. Anything that makes you feel proud, or happy, or significant.

Here goes:

1. I have nice eyes. They are a pretty shade of green, and I have very long eyelashes.

2. I have good lips. They are full and nicely shaped. People pay big bucks to get lips like mine. People have, on occasion, teased me about them, but I've realized that these people are probably the sort who are behooved to draw lips on each day.

Okay, this is the point in your mental inventory when you usually start obsessing about your bulbous nose or your Melinda Doolittle neck. Resist the urge. Breathe. Focus.

3. I have thick, glossy hair, that is very, very straight. I complain about how thick and heavy it is, but I realize that it is a nice trait to have. I dye it red, but when my roots grow out, I am gratified to find that at 38, there is still no gray.

4. I have a good butt. It is, at times, larger than I would like, but it is nicely shaped, like an upside down heart. It hasn't flattened or drooped with age. Ass men really dig me.

5. I have a very small waist, comparitively speaking. This makes buying jeans a real bitch, but it saves me from looking squat, or dowdy, or shapeless, even when carrying extra pounds.

6. I'm a good writer. (Boy, that was really hard to type. Why is it so hard for us to admit that we recognize our own good qualities?)

Now I'm struggling. Six things, and I'm struggling. I am PATHETIC. AGH! I'm undermining my own meme! I am NOT pathetic, dammit.

7. I am a very determined person. I don't give up easily. That can be a blessing or a curse, but I choose think of it as mostly the former. It comforts me, because I have been through some tough stuff and come out okay. I know that if something happened to change my life significantly, I would be able to pick up the pieces and put them back together again. I would survive and thrive, and so would my children. Whatever I had to do.

8. I'm a good wife. Not a good domestic partner. I don't say that because I keep a clean house or because I cook nutritious meals or do any of the things that I do day to day. I'm talking about my relationship with my husband. I think I'm a good life partner.

Ummmmmmm.......tap, tap, tap. Shit. Two more....

9. I'm a compassionate person. Absurdly so, sometimes. Husband laughed at me while we were on vacation, because one night, I saw a turtle in the road in front of our villa. We couldn't stop immediately, but once we parked, the boys and I went back to find it and get it off the road. It was gone, and I worried all night about what happened to that turtle.

10. I'm an involved parent.

That was really hard, and it really shouldn't have been. If the task had been to list things we hate about ourselves, I could have rattled off twenty without even firing a synapse.

How can we possibly love our fellow man if we are consumed with hatred and loathing for ourselves? How can we make this life and this world better, if we are eaten up with negativity and doubt? I think a lot of the bitterness and antipahty that rocks our world every day is nothing more than an extension of deep personal dissatisfaction and disgust.

Where is the love, people?

Stand up, you. Stand up and say "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and DOGGONE it, I like me." Then give me 10 reasons why.

And this is not one of those tagged by proxy type memes either. Nope. I'm choosing five of you. Five SPECIFIC people to do this meme. And I hope you'll do it, and then choose five more. Who couldn't use a little ego boost...hmmmm?

I'm tagging Mrs. Chicky, Slouching Mom, Flutter, Nina and Natalie. Yes, I chose six. Because it's my meme and I can if I want to.

33 Comments:

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    Wow. Just, wow. I just emailed you, 10 things...you certainly do have a way of making a girl think.

    Oh and also? I like you, too.

     
  • At 4:07 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Oh, boy. This one has me terrified.

    Having just come back from the OB/GYN and getting a LECTURE from my FEMALE gynecologist about those twenty pounds I never lost after Jack's birth, and feeling like CRAP as she calculated my BMI, I understand every bit of what you've written here. And no grey hair? Amazing! It's all I have.

    Sigh. I've put off going to the GYN three times this year already because I didn't want to get that lecture.

    Don't they understand that we KNOW that we are carrying extra weight? What are we, DUMB?

    Sorry for the rant. I just feel small right now. Ehrm, make that large.

    (And congrats. on that impressive, impressive weight loss! You rock!)

    Great post.

     
  • At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Antique Mommy said…

    Well I can't attest to the physical stuff, but you are a darn good writer.

    I don't buy those silly glossy magazines. They are filled with lies. I've never read one that I felt better about myself afterwards.

     
  • At 4:47 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    You are my new hero.

    I am both mesmerized by your damn-near-perfect posts and inspired by your (damn right-on) "politics." (I put the word in quotes as a regular practice these days...)

    If we were in 7th grade, I'd eat at the lunch table right NEXT to yours... because I can only admire you from afar, hoping to someday write as well as you do.

    And just the simple fact that a I, a 50-year-old -- mentioned "hope" and "someday" makes this a great day already, don'tcha think?

    Carol

     
  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger jen said…

    i love this. and i love your small waist and nice ass. curves, girl.

     
  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    My first thought? Phew, she didn't tag me. Because honestly, I'd be obsessing on this for days and still wouldn't be able to come up with 10.

     
  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger Kevin Charnas said…

    BRAVA!! BRAVA!!

    And you ARE beautiful...not just because I say so, but because you do.

     
  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    I've kind of gotten used to the fact that the mental image of myself in my head is a lot thinner than the actual visible image people see when they look at me. And I'm pretty much okay with it - I just do my best NOT to look at those vacation photos.

     
  • At 9:05 PM, Blogger Six Green Zebras said…

    You go girl! And phew!, you didn't tag me (only counted 5 btw).

     
  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    I'm so proud of you for finding ten things! Ten wonderful things. Now, can you find ten things about me 'cause - as my husband will attest - I'm not so good at saying positive things about myself.

    But for you I'll try.

     
  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Chris said…

    I love your writing. What a great post. This is why I constantly "lurk" here.

     
  • At 11:59 PM, Blogger Christine said…

    Ironically, these would have been on my list, "Maybe you have earned a particularly difficult to achieve degree, or you volunteer tirelessly at your child's school, or you make a really great Peach Cobbler." In fact, I made my Peach Cobbler today. It's yumm.

    And I lost ALL the baby weight after both of my kids...but I've found it again. My youngest is 3.5 and I weigh close to what I came home from after having each kid. Sometimes, on a bad day, I feel my cheeks jiggle as I walk.

    I just read the above in a preview window...isn't it funny how quickly I felt the need to counteract a positive I revealed about myself with a negative? BA, I love that you created this meme.

     
  • At 2:39 AM, Blogger Lara said…

    holy crap, lady - you are AWESOME. i think this is a great idea, and even better is that you're challenging others to stretch themselves in this too. go you. :)

     
  • At 7:43 AM, Blogger Jenn said…

    I like you, too.

    As always, your writing amazes me and today brings tears to my eyes.

    Just this morning, I buttoned my shirt, and thought, "F**k, I need to lose some weight". And I started kicking myself repeatedly for that spoonful of peanut butter that I had last night instead of just drinking my crystal light and eating my salad.

    Somewhere within, the bikini-clad me still lives, but the truth of it is, I think that this person, a little uneasy with the way her shirt buttons is a much, much better person.

    I just wish I could let myself accept that.

    You're awesome. And I'm totally jealous of your ass. Totally.

     
  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger Pendullum said…

    You, you are a darn great writer....

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger Rock the Cradle said…

    Hey beautiful writer!

    Isn't it sad that questions like this make us feel almost guilty for answering them? I always thought it was a New England thing, the tendency to gloss over (or just ignore) the things about yourself you like, or are proud of. Turns out it's pretty universal. What's up with that?

    Your meme is a glorious one. I love it.

     
  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger Miguelina. said…

    I like you and your meme.

    Being nice to yourself is so hard. In fact, I think I'll have to tag myself.

     
  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Natalie said…

    This is easily the hardest meme I've ever come across. I may have to stay away from the physical stuff. Even so, 10 is rough. It should be up within the hour though.

     
  • At 12:01 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    I have done your bidding, Madame Blog Antagonist.

     
  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger Amy York said…

    What a fantastic post!! It is hard to come up with 10 things but I'm glad you did. And yes, you are a great writer! Thanks for entertaining me each day as I eat my lunch at work. :)

     
  • At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Jungle Mama said…

    You rock!! I love your blog! I'm just now getting around to view the best of what Blogger has got and what a goldmine I found in you! I hope you don't mind if I linger around a bit more. I'm just another one of those stupid bloggers who gave up on the pen and paper and started sharing all of my innermost feelings for the rest of the online world to see ;)

     
  • At 5:20 PM, Blogger nina said…

    You you did a Me me???

    bwahahahahahahaha!


    sorry....

    but do I HAVE to do this? I don't think I can.

     
  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    This one made me de-lurk.

    You? Are freakin' brilliant. And I'm totally stealing this idea for a future post. Giving you the credit you are due, of course. :)

     
  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger laundrylessons said…

    Excellent post...this is my first visit and I have to tell you...I love visiting well written blogs. Thanks for sharing your gift. I'm glad you included it in your big ten. Do you make a good cobbler?? Because gosh darn it, I'm good at that!

     
  • At 5:16 AM, Blogger jchevais said…

    Doggone it... I like you. Bravo!

     
  • At 6:51 AM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    Great meme. But oh, so hard to do. I'm going to go hide and try not to get tagged.

     
  • At 8:00 AM, Blogger mcewen said…

    Great post!

    When I get a pimple, I try and think......this is tiny, it must be less than 0.001% of my total yardage of skin. The rest of my skin is flawless!
    Cheers

     
  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger Mad Hatter said…

    Great idea and fabulous list.

     
  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger Kelly said…

    I like this, I like this a lot.

     
  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    You sound like a knock out, you definitely read like one. Alas, you've given me one more reason to lament not being in Chicago.

    I was tagged by Miz Pgoodnes, so I am off to write about myself without using: Idiot, foolish, sorry or can't.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger Tere said…

    Hey, just wanted you know I loved this meme. Slouching Mom tagged me and I just got it up.

     
  • At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    The photos--there is something about the photos.

    You know what? I'm 5'8" and 135 lbs. And I still look fat to myself in photos. I'm not, intellectually I know this, but I think there is something in the medium that automatically triggers comparisons with the photos we usually see--the models and actresses who are beyond thin.

    Thank goodness no one's tagged me for this one.

     
  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Balou said…

    Great meme! Thank you! I definitely don't think that we, as women, give ourselves enough credit or self-praise. Saw this on Tere's blog and I'm going to attempt to do it myself. (Fingers crossed!)

     

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