Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dear Body,

I have a few things I need to say to you.

I've been horrible. First, I completely rejected you. I pretended you were a prison that I could never escape. I hated you. And everything I hated about you was my fault. I gave you too much of the wrong kinds of fuel and I never took you outside or did active things with you. Then, I grew angry with you when you did what bodies do, you stored the fuel. And you got soft and bigger and bigger and bigger. And I hated you. And I pretended you weren't part of me.

Then I changed. I learned what kinds of food worked best for you. I learned how to be active and make healthy choices. And together, we changed for the better. I learned that sometimes things like that hurt. And sometimes changing isn't fun.

But now I know that you aren't just with me all the time, despite constant abuse. You ARE me. I am you. I never took the time to see that you, my body, aren't just some mask I wear. You are the filter for my whole experience with the world. With you, I see and hear and feel and experience. And lately, I like being in this body so much better than I ever did before.

So Body, I love you. Just like me, you aren't perfect. You aren't symmetrical and sometimes you do funny things like spasm violently with a cold chill or run into obvious things like door frames. But I do love you. I love the way you carry me up hills and the way you pull in enough  oxygen to fuel my muscles. I love the way you look in my favorite foods. I love the way you forgive me.

I can't promise to always be good to you. Sometimes, I'll forget to put on sunscreen. Sometimes I'll eat foods that are too high in fat, sugar, cholesterol, or sodium. I might not drink enough water or drink things that are really just poison and expect you to filter it out of me and keep me alive. But most of the time I'll eat the right things and take care of you and protect you. And hopefully, together we can experience a lot more life together.



Friday, April 23, 2010

Sometimes these things happen.

Last night I came home and went straight to my bed. I took off my jeans on the way there and decided my undershirt made the perfect nightgown. I hid my face in the pillow and pulled the covers around me and tried to convince my body that it was okay to stop hurting now that I was laying down. It took time to convince it so.

I felt so sick. Totally worth it. It was a wonderful, wonderful day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do you ever wonder if someone could read your mind?

I like happy, unexpected things. And they seem to be happening quite frequently lately. Like the lady who brought me a flower and chocolates because she thought I was nice. Or the visit from Krystal today at work with my favorite flavor Gatorade and a smile. (That kind of makes it sound like she was naked, doesn't it?)

After work I was going to go do something active but Jeremy texted me and asked what I was doing tonight which usually means he isn't doing anything. Eventually I ended up at his house for an impromptu fire on the back porch. I was in my workout tank and shorts which turned out to be far too little clothing even for a very good fire. You can only warm half your body at a time. But Jeremy lent me his jacket. Again.

I like it when he smokes his pipe. I didn't like the cigars very much. He looked cool doing it but I thought they smelled...tolerable. I like the smell of his pipe and how cool he looks doing it.

And tomorrow I'm going running with the boys. I told him I wouldn't be able to keep up. That I couldn't run a mile and a half without stopping. He doubts my claims. I would love to prove him right. Would love to run that whole loop without ever slowing down. But... I can bike for fifty miles. And I can hike for hours. But I cannot run that far without stopping. That isn't me being modest or insecure. I know my body. And my body can't do that right now. I haven't trained at all for running for months and months. He'll see.

In other news, I am terrible at keeping my mouth shut.

Also, my dad says, "Figure out what you want and then do what you can to get it. That is all you can do in life."

I think I know what I want. But that seems to change by the minute. Horrible for planning purposes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

He can't read my mind, but he can hear all the things I'm not saying. Words caught in inflections, pauses, and facial expressions. Sometimes, he hears it all.

Monday, April 12, 2010

In which Sarah Jo makes TWO lists:

I get compliments everyday. I don't know if that is normal or not. I only know what it is like to be me. And I get compliments all day long. I'm thinking it must not be normal because I give compliments and most people don't react well.

I like it when people say nice things to me. I'm happy and friendly and cheerful because I just feel that way. Because I want other people to feel that way too. I don't do it for gain. But when someone comments on it, it is so refreshing. Uplifting. Encouraging. All I can say is: Thank you.

People say these things:
I wish there were more people like you working here.
Well, aren't you cheerful!
I'll have whatever you're on!
Are your curls natural? They are SO pretty.
I LOVE your glasses.
You have the prettiest eyes.
What a great smile.
What are you so happy about?
You are the most cheerful person I've ever seen here.
Is she always like this?

And when I'm feeling grumpy about this or that thing, it makes me feel so much better to hear these things. Especially when I'm not trying particularly hard to be nice to a customer and they think my grumpy is cheerful. Thats nice.

What I mean to say is coming soon, I promise.

On days like today, it is easy to like me. I can see the good things I am and focus on that. I wish I could save the feeling and bottle it up for the days I don't feel so good about me. And I notice the day I don't feel good about me are the days I start to feel lonely for my Person. That isn't good. Because my self-worth shouldn't be all tied up in whether or not I'm dating someone. Obviously, I'm not dating anyone and that doesn't make me any better or worse. I am me, a human being worthy of love and respect regardless of my relationship status.

It's just

Those compliments, they are all really easy to say. It doesn't cost a person anything to give a compliment. So they are sort of like costume jewelry or cotton candy. They don't last. And I guess I'm hungry for the kind of compliment that doesn't have words. That someone would want to spend time with me over all the other girls. And that he would want to get to know me and give me his time and attention in a way above and beyond the other people. That is the ultimate compliment, right? The one they keep saying to you everyday just by being there. I choose you.

So it feels like picking teams and now more than half the people are picked already and I'm standing here wondering what qualities I'm missing that those first-picked people posses. And I'm looking around at the people beside me wondering which one of us is going to get picked last. But in this game, there is no guarantee that we all get picked. Maybe I'll never get to play.

I learned in school that it takes 10 nice things to outweigh every negative statement. Sometimes it feels like every day alone is a negative statement.

I try not to dwell on it. I mean, I don't dwell on it. It just seems to bother me more in moments when I'm sitting alone in my room. I am not patient. I am slow to anger. I am tolerant. I am open. I will put up with something for a ridiculously long time. But I don't like waiting. I don't wait well. Sometimes I think my entire life is a lesson in patience that I just keep failing.

Melanie, one of my co-workers, says her daughter keeps wanting to set me up with her son. She told me today that they all talked about me this weekend. I told her to give him my number. What could I lose? He sounds like someone I would like. She says he is positive and upbeat. She says we like the same kinds of movies and music. He is in school. He likes to cook. She says I would have to teach him to eat healthy and be active. I'm certainly willing to meet him. I hear he is shy.

And lately I am starting to get angry. Mostly at myself, I think. For letting people make me feel less worthy. I let people treat me with disrespect. Disregard. Like I'm not worth time, attention, or consideration. Like it is okay to ignore me or pretend my feelings don't matter. I still haven't learned this lesson. How to stand up for myself. How to draw lines about what is okay and what isn't okay behavior. This is how you may treat me. This is behavior I will not tolerate. I'm going to make a concentrated effort in this area. I don't like buying into the lies.

I really just need to talk. I've spent a lot of time around people lately without actually talking about all these things going on in my head. I listen. I follow the conversation. But the people I really talk to, I haven't talked to for at least a few days. The words all back up inside like cars at a traffic light. I swear all the things I'm not saying are going to start spilling out my ears. They will trickle onto the floor and roll around until someone falls over them.

Good things:
I'm going to Kentucky this weekend to visit Heather. She invited me this morning. I love impromptu things!
Sarah is coming with me. Hooray!
Johnna made doing laundry a lovely, lovely experience last night.
I'm going to do something outside Thursday with Jeremy.
I had a blast in Columbus and want to go again.
Katy joined me on my lunch break today. I love surprises!
Johnna gave me books!
The weather is absolutely and totally gorgeous.
I'm learning things, even if it does suck.
My bed is super-awesome place to be.
I miss people. I'm glad I have so many people to miss.
I have ALL my teeth. All of them.
Some people think I'm funny. If you don't, it is probably you're fault somehow.
I love to sing and I get to do it for free every single day!
My bike!
I have this car that turns on every time I twist the key. EVERY TIME!
I always have food to eat, a place to sleep, and a place to get clean, even if it isn't "home."
We have hot water.
I am really and truly and  honestly happy.

The concert:

I don't know this band, but most of these other people do. All kinds of different people. A lady in mom-jeans. That man in the black trench coat with long white hair, cowboy hat and wicked cane. Those boys with the spiky hair and too-tight jeans. A little boy. Average people that escape notice. Skinny people. Obese people. Clean. Dirty. Meticulously styled. Unkempt. Everything in between. I watch them. Judge some. Envy others. I don't understand and I empathize. We are so different from one another. We are all here together.

The music starts and we stand still and listen. Some people shout and scream and clap. I anticipate. Somewhere between the first song and the last one, we meld. We become one person with a single focus. The group on the stage. They conduct us. They lift our hands and make us jump and shout and sing. They unite us in anger against war and injustice. They tell us we can change the world together. They harness the energy of us and bring it out into a bouncing, swaying, singing mass.

It is hot. The air moves across my face in varying waves of cool air from the fans and body heat from the back in front of me. The bodies beside me. The arms and legs and torso pressed against my back. I feel a moment of panic. Only a moment. If I wanted to leave, I couldn't do it very quickly. But then we start jumping. And we are jumping together. All of us. Landing in different places so that we run into one another in time with the music. It is a contract we have with each other. No need to apologize. Just move together.

But eventually the set ends. The lights come up. The spell is broken. It seems that a great re-arranging is taking place with no planning. We at the front don't want to see the next band. Some from the back make their way forward. There is one set of stairs and two masses moving towards them. It is like the great battle scenes in the movies. Suddenly the two front lines are forced together into there are only people moving against people. I am being pushed. Pressed forward and backward and to the right and to the left. For one suffocating moment I am being pressed inward much, much too hard. A voice in my ear apologizing as he presses against me. "I'm sorry," he says, "I am being pushed." I tell him, "We are all being pushed. It's okay" And then the pressure breaks like water tension and I spill out into the second level. Follow the flow outside. Amazed at the room and the vastness of the ceiling of stars. I breathe in cool night air and several different kinds of smoke.

We aren't one anymore. It didn't last. And now I wonder if anyone else noticed it happen.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

That empty place in you're life, don't you think it's sort of me-shaped?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I had this amazing idea for something I was going to write about when I got home. And then I forgot it.

Monday, April 05, 2010

It is like that mosquito bite you forgot about but now you remember and you really, really want to scratch it.

So anyway, we don't have electricity at the moment. However, I do have my Netbook with 8 hours of battery left and stolen wireless internet from one of my many neighbors. At least I don't feel disconnected. One of my friends has a blog called What Sucks Wednesdays. It isn't Wednesday, but you know what sucks? Realizing that it is never going to be all okay. There are always going to be those horrible things you didn't expect. Or the things you thought were over coming back to you. Of course, there will always be the good things too.

For instance . . .

I was standing in the middle of my bedroom this afternoon letting things sink in. I was trying to decide if I would spend the night here in the dark or go sleep someplace else. I was gauging the amount of sunlight left. I was trying not to get upset. I had decided to stay here tonight but that I would leave for as long as possible to avoid boredom. The prospects were Kidd Coffee, the park, or Chipotle. I needed food. I wanted someplace with internet. So there I stood when my phone beeped. It was Jeremy inviting me over for dinner.

Jeremy couldn't possibly have known at that point what was going on with me. He told me later that he had read my twitter about my plans for tonight being canceled and that was why he messaged me. But my plans were canceled early in the afternoon. For unrelated reasons. So, I know he didn't do it on purpose, but he gave me exactly what I needed and I didn't even have to ask. Didn't have to tell. I really appreciated that. I'm not so good at asking for things and even worse at accepting things offered so I guess it was best for me that he invited me over because he wanted to see me and not because I needed a place to go.

Eventually, I came home to a house lit with candles and the windows are all open so a nice breeze is blowing through and somehow the water and water heater still work so it isn't really so bad. Obviously not ideal, but not horrible as it could be. However, there is another kink. Mom and Dad sold the stove from the old house today because we couldn't bring it with us. I'm pretty sure they used some of that money for drugs. I know the no electricity thing is not entirely caused by lack of money, and the part that is caused by lack of money could never be fixed with the stove money, but I find it very upsetting that we don't have power and my parents are HIGH. Where are the priorities again?

Lets talk about something else.

Christine corrected me today. I said, "I gave some very explicit instruction on how to make my drink and yet somehow they managed to do it wrong." She told me I used explicit wrong, that I must mean "implicit". She said explicit referred to inappropriate lyrics. I told her explicit was when something was absolutely clear, spelled out, detailed in a way that is easily understood. Implicit is implied. When actions or words or situations suggest something without actually saying so. She disagreed. Instead of arguing further I went to the office and printed out the definitions of both words and placed it on her workstation. I was right. Ahem.

I had a good time tonight. Jeremy had been drinking at Billy's. I like him when he has been drinking. Well, I like him almost all the time but I appreciate the difference. I don't think I would like him if he was intoxicated all the time. That is something I only need to see on the occasional basis.

I forgot something tonight. I said something about Jeremy snoring. He said he didn't snore. I said there was no way I should know that. How would I know that? He said we have slept in the same room before. My mind searched over the last year. I slept in the same hotel room with him in Nashville but that room had a bedroom and a sitting room and I slept on the couch and he was in the bedroom. I stayed all night at his house a few times last summer but I always stayed in the guest room. I said again, I had never slept in the same room as him, had I? He gave me that look like I was missing something obvious and he couldn't say it out loud because other people would hear. Oh. Oh. Right. I told him. You don't snore.

Dang it! But I walked right into THAT one.

I hope the power is on tomorrow.

Moving hurts. My muscles are sore all over. It makes it hard to sleep. But I'm very tired. I'm going to go brush my teeth in the dark and try not to think about things I had finally, finally managed to forget about.

Dang it.

I don't know if I could be more clear.

Sunday night:
Me: Tomorrow you need to call and get the electricity changed to the new address, okay?
Dad: Okay.

Monday morning:
Me: Make sure you get the electricity transferred to the new apartment today because they are going to shut it off.
Dad: I will.

Lunch Break:
Me: Did you call about the electricity yet?
Dad: Not yet, but I'm going to.

After work:
Me: You didn't get the electricity switched, did you?
Dad: Not yet, why?
Me: Well, the electricity is off.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

My room looks funny all full of boxes.

We are moving this weekend. I talked my parents into getting an apartment. Since my brother moved out we have this empty bedroom. We don't use any of the yard or the dining room or the living room or the garage. All this wasted space. They said they didn't want to live in an apartment. Too noisy, they said. I tried different tactics. The one that finally worked? I asked how much the rent was here. Then I told them the average price for rent in an apartment in town. We are moving this weekend.

I'm excited about living someplace else. We have always moved frequently. I start to feel antsy when we live one  place too long. Shouldn't we be moving on now? And I don't like living outside of town. It feels like I am wasting so much gas and time driving there and back every day. It isn't very green. I can walk to the grocery from our new apartment. I can bike other places.

Oh! Maybe my internet connection will work better!

I'm going on a bike ride today. Maybe two. I'm meeting a friend for lunch today but I have time for a short ride first and a long ride later. My dad fixed the brake. Last weekend at the beginning of what turned out to be a  50 mile ride, I discovered my front brake was getting stuck on. And my chain was starting to squeak. Dad fixed that. Hooray!

I have triangles on the backs of my hands that are slightly tanner and more freckled. My biking gloves have triangle openings that line up perfectly to these areas. Yes, I have biking gloves. Yes, I am cool like that. I should go ride now!