It was a week ago that I spouted on my melancholy existence. This is what people like me do when they’ve had a bad day and heard about the horrendous state of raises at their company. I know, I know, lucky to even have a job, let alone get a raise, but still, annoyed me. I yelled at it, I cried at it, I wrote at it – anger now gone.
Now, I’m for some reason in an insanely good mood. Not that much has happened recently. I didn’t break the new computer system at the office. I haven’t tripped and gravely injured myself lately. I have yet to set off a set of occurrences that disrupts the space-time continuum and causes me not to be born. Are these really things to celebrate?
But it’s true, my attitude has undergone somewhat of a shift. You can ask my Team Banner at work (of which I’m regularly cheerful at – I color code them to within an inch of their life and make them have Pocket Pow-Wow’s with me. I’m like the ideal supervisor, right?!) – I’ve downshifted to decidedly laissez-faire. “Whatever, no big deal, it’ll all work out.” I think I may have started to scare them frankly.
But it makes you realize – most things in life are all about perspective. If you can get your attitude to change, really change, not just an ‘ooh, look at me I’m so progressive and evolved’ change that sticks just long enough for the cute guy to leave your office, then great things will happen.
It isn’t about outward changes, no matter how much we like to think it is. Even though losing those pounds is torturous and difficult, it’s still easier to shed fat than fatalism. But a smile has the power to eradicate every flaw we see; a cheery expression and confident air won’t have anyone looking at your cellulite, or caring about it.
Why is this such a scary thought? Why are we so obsessed with striving to be things that underweight professional advertisers tell us to be? As any woman knows who’s ever opened a catalog, those clothes that look so perfect on the page never look even half as good when they’re hanging in your closet. Hammer pants, bell bottoms, oversized day-glow t-shirts, skinny low-rise jeans – styles that seem to be screaming for a long-range 10 year perspective of “What Were They Thinking?” Yet fads all the same, able to convince most everyone that this is what America looks like, come buy into the mass delusion.
Somewhere along the way we were trained to think of ourselves in a certain way. We’re allowed to be culturally different, racially different, nationally different, but our own self-image always comes back to the same thing. We label ourselves as weird or outcasts, simply meaning we’re contrary to what’s popular. If we were being true to ourselves, style would be much more inclusive. Can’t I like a yellow blouse today and black emo eyeliner tomorrow? No.
The key isn’t not caring what other people think; the key is caring despite what other people think. Thinking, thinking never got us anywhere. I think I like long walks on the beach. You know what? Beaches are hot, and full of people, and sand migrates and gets caught in places even Houdini would have a hard time entering. So why does everyone profess to like the outdoors and long walks on the beach?
I’m over thinking, and over over-thinking, me. I am who I am – someone who doesn’t like the beach even though she lives in California. Yes, I could stand to lose a few, frankly more than just a few, pounds. But let’s stop pretending that you want me to do it for my health (frankly, I have great blood pressure, absolutely no issues with cholesterol, and even though diabetes runs in my family at the moment it’s running a hell of a long way behind me). I’m deceptively strong – wanna see me bench press that ideally slim woman over there? – and surprisingly graceful – if you happen to catch me in a fall it will be the most beautiful catastrophe you’ve ever seen. No, you want me to do it because the fact that I don’t care as much as you offends. What, a happy woman with a huge waistline? But, if she’s happy and loved and successful like that, then what does that mean about the world I live in that says dropping five pounds will make me fulfilled? How can she have confidence along with her cake, and eat it too? . . . Uh-oh, did I just disrupt that space-time continuum?