“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
I know i am not a perfectionist,never been. I can tolerate messes. I am not overtly critical of myself or others though i dint like the way i looked in school,i had eating disorders back then and there were times i seriously thought of plastic surgery. I’ve always blamed the whole world for this. Biology, culture, misogyny, TV, advertising, ancient history, patriarchy, agricultural development,school, work, horizontal social groups in childhood that emphasize peers over mentors, the human tendency to instinctively dichotomize, our cocky refusal to admit how many problems remain even after women were finally admitted to Harvard, and so much more. Looking beautiful was most important and the messages would come absolutely from everywhere,like from every damn corner. Guys were not spared,they had to look tall….they must look tall to be successful,that was practically a law. That stuff about CEO’s,tall and fit. Sitting here i think of my uncle under such circumstances back then, who was admittedly not the CEO of a fortune 500 company, but who has been successfully running a business for close to forty years. He is short and fat and didn’t go to college. He should probably be a failure. According to some study.
I am baking a cake as i write this post and i’m having a nagging feeling that it just might turn out looking muddy,ghastly. Nevermind. We will see. So,coming back to me again,well i am kynda alright u know…i procrastinate but not excessively, i notice details but not obsessively. So, while i am not swimming in the deep and very difficult waters of perfectionism, i am aware of some discomfort at the shallow end. I have a sense of not being so comfortable with myself, even when things, for a change, are going well. A tugging at the self, a message whispered, There is more to do. In order to silence the message, that i am barely aware exist, i might have that extra drink or too much TV or just be aware of not being as happy as a pleasant day or evening would warrant. Could it be that i am suffering from SUP? (Don’t look it up cause I made it up) SUP stands for slightly under performing. Unlike the perfectionist, this has little to do with what others think of me. It’s an ongoing self-examination, an anxious drip, drip drip: you’re letting-yourself-down, you are not living up to your full potential, whatever that might be. And, really, could anyone ever know their full potential? Isn’t there always more? Feelings like that just get in. Stick in. They stay. And they trap us on our surfaces, agonizing over details, fretting, pinching, shaming ourselves. Not that i let others see this side of me. This world know me as a positive,glass half- full kynda person….the ”eternally happy ones”. And usually i am.
Recently, I was at a large dinner event with one of the associations that I am involved with and received a most unusual compliment. This acquaintance of mine asked me, “Have you gained some weight? … because you look fantastic!” Really? You point out to me
that I have gained some weight (which I have), and then tell me I look fantastic? I guess it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I wasn’t currently kind of sensitive to this whole weight gain thing, but I am kind of sensitive to it at the moment, and so the comment really took me for a loop.
So,we come back to our initial topic, ‘beauty matters’, weight gain surely is an issue. But how much and how serious an issue it should be? Sometimes it matters so much that people stop eating in order to force their bodies to change. Sometimes it matters just enough to feel occasionally disgusted by your own flesh. I look at myself in the mirror and see the old face i once thought was imperfect which now people acknowledge as beautiful, i see my body rearranging itself after marriage and kids. And i feel there is enough reason for a celebration. As my cake is getting the last minute toss in the oven,my brain enters a frame of acceptance and happiness. Probably i do look just fine (maybe not fantastic), and that I need to relax, and enjoy life. The weight will come off, that I know …but if I stress about it, it will be just that much harder to lose.
Which brings me back to my original thought … life is much too short to be unhappy, and definitely too short to worry about something as insignificant as a few extra pounds, and I really need to be happy with ME, before I can make any progress towards losing weight. Goals are good. Some of life’s best days are those spent in working towards goals. But goals have their place. There should also be goal-free time. Time when the message is not try harder but rather, stop trying… leave space for other meanings and purposes in life to occur.
The baby is out of the oven and all i gotta do now is ”EAT THE DAMN CAKE” !!