There are at least two separate and complete people living inside my head. And I'm not sure which parts of which one to try and kill off, nor am I sure of what weapon to engage. They have both been with me for at least thirty years and so we've become close and familiar, and we depend on each other a great deal. They have both grown and evolved over time and yet they can't functionally continue to co-exist as the space in my head is crowded and neither is truly willing to move out.
One of me is very nearly forty, and more than "okay" about that. I like laugh lines, I like that I'm not dating any more, I like being a mom, I like my job. I like where things are going for me in terms of life quality. I'm not preoccupied with skin care products, sagging boobs, enlarged pores, or wrinkled hands. I quite like the air of maturity that they project. I'm drawn to people who live like they don't care what others think. People full of compassion, and love for their fellow persons, but not trying to keep up with the Jones's (or the Friesens, as the case may be). I like the idea of learning all the time, at my own rate (which isn't the speediest) and finding people both like- and unlike-minded to learn from and appreciate. I like to think of myself as non-judgemental, patient, and genuinely caring.
I'm good with all that.
But, somewhere around grade six, this other embryo began to grow and develop. It was fueled by fear and insecurity, and a desire for some kind of control; a tangible "thing" that I could be responsible for, something that I could excel in and not fail at as I did with so much else, at least in my eleven year old opinion. And so I began to f* around with my body and its intake of food. Or not. I managed to play my game quite well, and stay away from any diagnoses outlined in the DSM right on through the remainder of my public school career. That's six years of flirting. Six years of feeding jekyl and hyde before they in turn began to eat me alive.
Things didn't go well from there, but that's another post or twelve. Suffice to say that I've provided enough background to explain where my alter ego came from, and how long she's been a part of me.
Fast forward to now. Thirty-nine-and-a-half. Pissed off at North American commercialism built on women hating themselves. Annoyed at consumerism that depicts happiness as thin. Disgusted by diet groups dangling carrots on sticks so that women will empty their wallets and fridges to reach out for that elusive, thin happy place. Bored by the idea of women guiltily hunching over low fat dips and berating their hungers.
But I want to be thinner.
I'm up twenty pounds from who I think of as "me". I don't like the way my clothes fit. I don't like going to my closet and being constantly reminded that I have put on weight. I know that losing twenty pounds is too much for my age, and my time and place in this life. But I could really stand to drop ten or fifteen. I've been working on setting my brain right for far too many years to go and join a weight loss scheme. I happen to know that those are poison for me. I hate aerobics and I know that I'll never sustain and activity that I don't enjoy. I'm not willing to give up wine or cheese or ice cream.
I feel like for the past eight years, I've been back at the initial flirting stage. And believe me, I had years and years after my very hard earned recovery period where I experienced total peace and maintained a body weight that I was happy with. That's when something yucky and traumatic happened in my life and I lost an awful lot of ground with my alter ego.
But I'm going to be forty soon. If I'm lucky like my parents, I could have another entire lifetime before I die. I don't want to spend forty years, forty months even, wishing I were a different size and not knowing how to get there without landing up nuttier than a hot fudge sundae. But I don't either want to be this size for another forty months or forty weeks or forty minutes.
Crazy, eh? Doesn't match up with my other person at all.
What's a girl to do?