March 5th, 2012

pantless sunday post

Yes, I know: it is Monday, not Sunday, but I thought of these words last night and although I never shared them over the void, they belong to Sunday.

Because Sunday is pantless. You hear me. Pantless. A friend of mine in New Orleans instated the tradition this past year, spending sundays in cute panties & oversized sweaters, even convincing guests at times to participate. I found the idea ludicrously brilliant, but looking at a seven-hour work shift every sunday depleted the idea’s splendor in my mind. 

But my work shifts were just an excuse behind which I could hide my insecurities. For the past few months I have struggled with overcoming disordered eating, self-harm, self-hate, perfectionism, & self-blame, slowly progressing to a place where I can state, firmly, “It is well with my soul.” I am not there yet—and at times it feels like I never will reach that content with my self. But somewhere between the breakdowns, the journaling, the vacillating between hopeful & hopeless, the counseling, the tumbling, the good times, and the best of people, I realized that this journey to being & accepting me, faults & all, is, above all else, a journey. In my life I do not believe I have ever imagined happiness to be this perfect state where I feel happy every second of every day; and yet, as I struggled to accept myself, I strove to attain a mythical place of self where I would never doubt myself, or feel insecure, or despair. 

How unattainable! Perfectionism at work, again. No one, no matter how happy or secure, lives without at some point encountering these emotions and thoughts; and I do not long to live on one side of a coin, tracing its face until familiarity wears away the wonder. I want to be happy with myself, to love myself, and by that I do not mean that I want to feel like 100% every day and every second of my life. Rather, to love myself, to me, means that whatever emotions and obstacles and thoughts and regressions I meet, I will have the fortitude & the faith in myself to know and to believe I can handle them, can get through them, without losing myself. I will have low points, but I will weather them, and learn from them. I will take baby steps. 

Last night, I took a baby step. After an emotionally tumultuous few days—I backslid into some old habits—I grappled with the sinking plod towards familiar friends, the weary surrender to graceless demons. But, I did not tread down that path. Recognizing that I felt anxious, and scared, and angry, and upset—realizing that I craved food to fill a hunger in my heart that food could never nourish—I resisted, in my own little way. I returned home from work to an empty house, an old sanctuary for binge-eating and purging in solitude, and decided to take action: pantless Sunday.

Surprising, sometimes, how so little & simple a thing can free your soul. I peeled off my formal suit jacket & pants, and as I stood in my burrow of a room in a lace thong & a cami, I remembered how that idea once shone attractively in my mind. I felt the lace against my skin, and smiled. Smiling, I pulled on an old, comfy sweater & slipped on some hot pink boy shorts I adore. This is me, this is my body, & this is me accepting me & loving me for who I am, right now. Sure, I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that yet with my roommates. Yes, I still will refuse to look in the mirror. But here I am, taking a step forward. Here I will dance around the kitchen to loud music in Victoria’s Secret boy short & a simple braid, delighting in throwing together a simple, leek soup, a wooden spoon as a microphone. 

I will drink tea, and be proud of my self. I will be pantless, on a Sunday.

January 5th, 2012
October 21st, 2011
You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging you head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself. -….- If you wait until you have Toni Oliver’s eyes and Amy Breyer’s hair, if you wait to respect yourself until you are at the weight you imagine you need to be to respect yourself, you will never respect yourself, because the message you will be giving yourself as you reach your goal is that you are damaged and cannot trust your impulses, your longings, your dreams, your essence at any weight.
Geneen Roth