This is gonna have to be my new tradition. I also did 2009 and 2011.

Seems to me now that the dreams we had before are all dead, nothing more than confetti on the floor )

Ew I ended it on a sour note. Well this has been kind of a sour year. I mean for other people I guess it would be a fine year (minus nearly dying and finding out your friends don't care about you) but to fill out this quiz I was deleting my answers from LAST year when I had become the world's best groupie and recently been deflowered by my then-celebrity crush and followed that up with three first dates in one weekend, so like... deleting that and throwing in how stupid this year as been made me crankier and crankier.

Let's hope next year I'll be able to delete these answers and fill in something a lot perkier.
So it's REALLY hard to erase an entire lifetime of believing fat-shaming and such, but I'm starting to learn.

An important first step was for me to realize that I'm not doing everything all wrong. I always treated myself like I was and still struggle with shame when buying and eating food. I keep realizing that things that never upset me before are totally not okay. I remember my parents being pleased when my naturally thin brother asked for seconds, but my father consistently saying "Don't you think you've had enough?" or "You don't need that." if *I* was the one enjoying my meal. I remember in middle school how proud my parents were when I decided to only ever eat half of the food on my plate in an attempt to teach myself--MY TWELVE YEAR OLD SELF--portion control. I remember my mother and I competing to see who could lose the most weight over Lent when I was eight years old.

I want to also say that I am NO LONGER flattered when people compliment me for losing weight. I know my dad used to jokingly say, "You're wasting away" but would quickly follow that up with "You seem happier like this; you should keep it up." It struck me the most during my month of no income, which I'll talk about more in a second, where I was barely eating at all in an effort to save what money I had and everyone was constantly complimenting me. I WAS EATING A BOWL OF CEREAL A DAY OR LESS. But it didn't matter WHY I was losing weight: losing weight at all is seen as a triumph when you're fat. No one realizes that something serious could be going on.

I follow a lot of blogs on tumblr that are helping me along the way, and every day I see stories about girls (and guys) who were bullied and teased and called names for their weight. The thing that boggles my mind still is that, other than living under the shadow of my mom's insecurities and my dad's enablement of them, no one ever told me I was fat. I never got bullied in school because I radiated a giant I-don't-give-a-shit attitude. It's interesting, because on the surface I don't seem much different now, but in fact I'm totally renovating my thought processes. The difference is that back then I just ignored what my body looked like, pretended not to notice, and constantly wished I could develop an eating disorder and constantly felt bad if reality ever broke through my little shell of denial. I never looked at photos of myself and rarely looked in the mirror, especially getting in and out of the shower. Now I'm trying to come to terms with what I really do look like and to unlearn that I am supposed to change it. I am not a thin person who did something wrong. If I was ever going to be thin, I have given my body plenty of chances to get there and it chose to remain at this lumpy weight.

This is a much harder thing to learn, because most of the world disagrees. Most of the world believes that being fat means I'm going to develop diabetes, or I'm going to die young. (I have seen studies that disproved BOTH of these, and in fact being "overweight" LOWERS your risk of Alzheimer's.) It's even harder since I just went through the whole pulmonary embolism thing. I was reading the doctor's report and it said right on there that it happened because I'm overweight. Over WHAT weight??? When they weighed me in the hospital I was seven kilos less than when I went to my OFII appointment in May!! I'd spent a month eating nothing but one bowl of grain-based cereal and an apple a day OR LESS. I'd been exercising (only a little bit, but still way more than the first 22 years of my life). Should I have eaten LESS food somehow? I was miserable during those weeks. I had headaches and low energy. And guess what? I'm STILL not a skinny person. SHOCKER.

IT HAPPENED because I was on birth control and I spent looooong amounts of time sitting with my legs crossed, knitting and watching shows online. I didn't know pulmonary embolisms existed.

I will not be told that I am unhealthy until I change my body weight. I only went running a few times, but now that I understand how to breathe normally and maintain a steady pace I don't get winded running for métros. (Well, I would if I tried it NOW because I'm still sort of recovering from being forced to do nothing but lie in bed and eat three huge meals a day for a week IN THE HOSPITAL. BY DOCTORS.) This is the first time IN MY LIFE that I have ever been to a hospital. I don't smoke, I barely drink, and I've never even SEEN drugs. Just because I don't think sports are a reasonable use of my time doesn't mean I'm unhealthy, and fuck society for propogating that I am. I DON'T EVEN LIKE SODA. I LITERALLY, HONESTLY ONLY DRINK WATER, AND I DRINK A LOT OF IT EVERY DAY.

On the other hand, I have noticed that when left to my own devices, I am incapable of entering a grocery store and leaving with "grown-up" foods. Maybe once I have a regular paycheck and a decent-sized kitchen that isn't laced with cat hair this will change, but for the moment I am incapable of passing up a €1 bag of chips in a wacky flavor for a €3 salad. BUT I can also say that after a day of only eating potato chips for breakfast and then having mashed potatoes for lunch (what can I say, I'm broke as hell) I had the presence of mind to go get myself a big container of carrot coleslaw the next day to sort of balance things out. I also ate a tomato like it was an apple today.

I still have a mentality that I need to "get away with" eating the "fun" stuff that I want to eat while no one's looking. I constantly want to snack on something even when I'm not hungry, and I think it's backlash against being pressured into denying myself everything my whole life. Now I'm trying to work out a way to normalize my headspace enough to be able to eat what I want to eat without shame, but to also not go crazy and finish off a whole bar of chocolate in one sitting Just Because I Can.

I'm sure there's something really interesting happening in my head that causes the snacking and the obsession with potato chips and other "bad" foods, and if I keep reading up on blogs like The Fat Nutritionist maybe I can work out what it is and learn to change my thinking in a way that lets me eat normally and also be unapologetic if/when that doesn't lead to me suddenly morphing into a runway model.

Part two, I would really love to lose the secret desire to lose weight that STILL won't leave me alone. When the hospital brought me three meals a day I was inwardly cursing them for ruining the "progress" I had made after all but starving myself (for financial reasons, I promise) over the preceding month.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD THAT I EVEN HAVE TO MAKE ENTRIES LIKE THIS???
Remember the guy who told me to lose weight?

Well, he sent me a lot of apologies and that time I was drunk I told him to calm down and go to sleep.  That resulted in him messaging me a hundred and seven more times about how sorry he was some more.  When I didn't answer, he tried telling me he had a friend who was going to be in Paris and had seen my profile and had a HUGE crush on me and was desperate to meet me, and I was like

Hey, just wanted to let you know that I met a guy from the site yesterday and we got along really well, so I'm not answering messages for a while so we can see where it goes.

and he was like

great, happy for you, but we can continue talking ! i wasnt necessarily talking to u just for flirting, as u would appreciate..
bonne nuit


and, a day later, when I hadn't answered that, he said

grr

Now, something like TWO WEEKS later, I get this:

how are you, is everything allright with you ?
and why don't u think of writing me without me writing to you ?


I... there are so many ways I could answer this.

PS I have a date tomorrow with Samuel, the cute one with the nice smile who seems to actually get stuff done.
lesmisloony: (lol amadeus)
Guy: So you moved to france just like that? WOW!! Do you know anybody here at least?

Me: Not really. That's a big reason I have this profile! Fortunately there are at least twenty other au pairs who are very nice, but they like to go out to bars and I'm more of a theatre/cinema fan, so I don't spend much time with them either.

Guy: Wow really? I dont drink. Would you like go watch a movie with me some time this week?

Me: It's hard to say at this point! There's not much on your profile and you haven't answered any of those silly question things, so I don't know anything about you!

Guy: Loooool I didnt ask to marry me. I just asked you to watch a movie. My personal info is upon request haha. What do you wanna know? Where do you live?

Guy: Anyhow, screw the movie lets do something else tonight.

Me: I *think* you may have just told me what I needed to know.

Guy: Say what? Ohh no dont you dare!! You're saying I'm a liar? I do love more and I do not drink. Its the truth. I know what you're thinking.

Guy: can u go check my new picture see if they're better. I need a girl's advice. Please be honest so I know if I should keep them or remove. Tell me which ones to remove pleaaase.

Guy: Thanks in Advance.

Me: Nope, I didn't say you were a liar. But I think I have the right to know something about someone before I agree to go meet them alone somewhere, especially in a place as dark and awkward as a movie theater. So... nope, I guess you didn't know what I was thinking.

My honest advice is that you should smile in your pictures. I don't know about French girls, but where I come from you look a little bit dangerous/rough. Smile and look friendly. I'm attracted to cute guys, not scary ones.

Guy: Thanks for calling me a scary guy. Thats a complement. French girls are only attracted to scary guys yes. Thanks for the advise Madeline!

Guy: My question was more about how I look, not the way I take the picture. Is my face great? Are I fashioned enough?

Me: I have no idea what you're talking about... I suggested you smile. That's easier to change than your face!

Guy: No I cannot change my face. You might ask yourself why I reply so fast. Dont get the wrong idea, I'm using my phone. I'm not like 24/7 online or something jus saying. Well was nice talking to south Carolina! Adieu! I dont think we're made for each other at all lol

Me: Aren't you glad we talked more before we met up to see a movie? I just saved you a lot of money.

Good luck finding girls who are attracted to someone who doesn't smile!

(NORTH Carolina.)

Guy: Thanks, good luck finding a guy who likes BBWs!! :P

Me: I already did, sweetie. I've seen three in person, will probably be in a relationship with one soon, and there are four or five others who won't stop messaging me. (Including you, that's six people who can't take a hint.)

This is getting really childish. Why don't you go talk to some of the girls on this site who are attracted to immaturity? I'm sure there are SO many.

Guy: Haha you're so innocent. Just a hint for you: men dont think like you believe they do.


Things I didn't say:
1. Oh, sorry, I didn't realize you were more worried about what guys thought than what girls thought!
2. I'm not worried about the way *you* think, that's why I refused to meet up with you...
3. Get a life! If you aren't interested in me, why do you keep answering my messages? Why did you message me in the first place? This is really boring.

I'll let him have the last word, though. Good luck, lonely creeper!

And hey! I gave no shits about him trying to make fun of my weight.

Peace out. ;)
So I was having a pretty cool conversation with an okay-looking French guy on the dating site I joined, and suddenly out of nowhere he said this:

an arrogant but really sincere advice : lose some weight. u’re somebody really beatiful, but whose beauty can easily be a bit concealed by weight, i know it from myself.
and in any case, it’s paris ! :)

ps: hope it wont be offending !!!


Even six months ago hearing something like this would have shattered me. But thanks to the great curvy appreciation blogs on tumblr, the support of my friends, and the reactions of A LOT of other men on the same site, I was able to respond like this:

That actually is pretty offensive. I’ve struggled with self-image issues my whole life because of people saying things like that, and it’s the main reason I left the United States. Because of people like you I went on my first diet at the age of eight and have continuously emotionally abused myself ever since, but I’m finally starting to come to terms with myself. If you think I need to change what I naturally look like to impress other people, to starve myself or hurt myself again the way I used to, then I’m perfectly content to let future messages from you go unanswered and spend what little free time I have talking to the all other guys on here who aren’t telling me that I’m not good enough for them. I opened my profile on Sunday night because I just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship that I let go on for months because I have believed my whole life that I wasn’t pretty due to my weight, so I thought this guy was the only guy I would ever get. I opened this profile to show myself that I was wrong and that I could find people who were interested in me without me having to keep on being miserable about what I looked like. I already have dates this weekend with two different people.

If you think beauty can be concealed by weight, you really need to redefine your definition of beauty.

Good luck with everything though. It was going pretty well for you for a second there.


I’m not upset. I’m proud.

(Also, I exaggerated a little by using the phrase "emotionally abusive" and I know that, but still.)
A million mental breakdowns last week.

One breakdown began when I finally started coming to terms with the fact that I was secretly expecting a relationship with my friend with benefits (I say benefits... right now we have only acted on our thing once) and I finally started coming to terms with the fact that it's not going to happen and I'm learning to be okay with that. I honestly am okay with that, I don't know why I was deep-down holding out for more. It's better this way, and this is what I really did want. I think the world had just convinced me that I'm supposed to be needy and require a lot of attention, plus I have the self-image issues and a constant desire for validation, so of course the man who isn't even my boyfriend lets me down a lot. I need to be honest with me or I'll never be able to be honest with him. I'm also getting better at accepting that he's not the only man in the world who would agree to sleep with me. Heck, there are probably even men out there who would fall in love with me! I hope I'll be collected enough soon to figure out how to meet more people.

Then my host family had a long talk about how life is a train and I'm standing at the quai hesitating to get on and how they're worried I'm going to ruin my future and stuff. Good to hear. They even got Shantelle the last year au pair nagging me about what I do with my free time and why I'm not doing yoga or something, I don't even know. I LIKE SPENDING FREE TIME ALONE. Why is that not okay with these people?

Though their conversation inspired me to go back in my room and cry until two o'clock in the morning, it was a kick in the pants. I've realized that my problem is saying I'll do something "in a second" and then never doing it. That's how clothes end up piled in the corner and that's how deadlines pass and that's why these people think I'm lazy. That's how things slip my mind.

The other thing I'm realizing is that I don't have any friends here. When something funny happens, there's no one for me to send a text to. I spend so much time alone that I've isolated myself from the other au pairs and I don't have a support network here in Paris. If I didn't have my internet friends and Kelley and Phoebe on skype I would have probably had this breakdown much earlier. I need to make friends somehow!

So I'm now waist-deep in information about how to continue living my life here. I probably will only be able to afford the teaching assistant program if I live with a roommate, and apparently a great place to start that search is that American Church in Paris. Meanwhile I finally found a place that does faxes and sent off for a copy of my transcript and I finally started investigating just what the problem is with the imagine R company and why my student navigo pass hasn't come yet. In an effort to appear to be someone who does things I went out alone last night and watched French Mamma Mia. It was a lot of fun, but the problem is that it cost me about €45. I just want to stay in my room and not spend my money and use the wifi. Why is that so abnormal?

Still, the mom did make a good point: I do need money, so why am I not going out looking for English lesson opportunities like ~*~*Shantelle*~*~ did? Oh. I just didn't think about it. I'm still hesitating. I'll go to that American church thing sometime and see what they have to offer.

Losing my fixation on the relationship to that man has opened my eyes to a lot of things. In some ways it feels better because I feel like an individual again, like a person who's worth more than he deserves and like a badass. In other ways it terrifies me, because I realize that my parents don't want to always be my safety net, and if things stop working out they aren't just going to send me rent money. I mean, they won't let me live on the streets, but it's time to be an adult now.

Going back to school isn't quite an option. I hate homework and I can't afford the housing. There are JILLIONS of offers for English teachers here, so I'll just get my shit together and do that. I always swore I wouldn't become a teacher, but I also always swore that I would move to New York and die a virgin. You do what you gotta do. Life changes, you change, aspirations change, perceptions change.

I just don't want any obligations. I want free wifi and a pantry to raid and unlimited time and limited human contact. But I do what I have to do to not starve and to stay in the country where the little things make me feel amazing. Next year, TAPIF and finding my own housing. The year after that... who knows? Maybe a real job. Then it's two more years and maybe I'll want to stay, or maybe I'll go back to America and complain about everything for the rest of my life.

In other news, Grimm and Once Upon A Time are both AMAZING shows. Why did American TV get so good when I decided to leave?
I feel pretty good about everything, mostly myself. When I get scolded for not doing something well instead of getting despressed it makes me want to immediately prove I can do better. I didn't expect that.

Today for instance, I did awesome. I let the kids watch television while I ironed their clothes without being asked, then I sent them to do their homework while I colored with the littlest (he drew me a picture of "my friend Mozart"), then I gave the littlest his bath with no tears and rough-housed with him while he got dressed. The other two joined in and soon they were desperately trying to convince me to play with them instead of fixing dinner. That culminated in all three of them battling me while I tried to get to the door. It took me fifteen to get myself downstairs, especially since they all ended up clinging to my legs and I had to alternate between dragging them across the floor and tickling them to get a chance to step forward. Then they finally released me once I had gotten to the kitchen without killing them (try dragging three children down a spiral staircase with nothing but the muscles of your calves) and then I fixed a dinner that was completely chosen by me. Usually I either panic or wait for the mom to give me instructions. I got the kids to the table and we were chatting about some song the oldest had learned in school when their dad got home.

And instead of commenting on anything positive, he told me there was laundry outside that had fallen to the ground. I was so proud of myself for ironing without being asked, and then it turns out that not only was that what was expected, but it was LESS than what was expected. I was a little disappointed but instead of getting disenheartened I just made a mental note. I can do that too. I can do all of this. I can be a better au pair than the girl from last year. I always have to hear about her--oh, she was so outgoing, her French was great, she was so good with the kids, blah blah. My French might not be as good as hers, but it's still better than ALL the other girls with the agency. Believe me. I might not be outgoing, but I'm determined. And you know what? I'm AWESOME with the kids, so suck on that. They'll see.

Meanwhile, tumblr and the Frenchman and Kelley have done wonders for my self-esteem. I don't hide from my reflection in the mirror anymore, I don't limit myself to clothes that hide my body shape... the lights around my bathroom mirror are super flattering; this morning my appearance pleased me so much that I did a happy dance. And I'm wearing a tight stripes-around sweater that practically accents my gut. Who cares? I choose sugary food and temporary happiness. As long as my clothes don't stop fitting, I'm fine. Every time I go out I get catcalls. It might be going to my head. But I love it.

I found a sticker when I was helping Mimi clean her room yesterday that says "I'M in charge." I stuck it to my mirror, right in the middle, and I force myself to believe it in the mornings. I'm tired of feeling apologetic for entering a room and shuffling around in corners. It's time for me to feel like a badass, and permanently this time.
High-waisted shorts!

Read more... )

I know, I still can't take myself seriously in pictures... oh well. The point is high-waisted shorts! They're a tiny bit tight but they were the only pair in the entire store and they were on sale for $14 (marked down from something like $60) and I wanted some and didn't even know they existed so now I own them!
Me every year at Carowinds.

Read more... )

PS I know there is a picture from 2007 because I went with a bunch of people from my job... or maybe that was 2006.  No yeah, 2007 I went with friends from high school and there was no group photo, and the year before, 2006, I went with friends from my job.

Man I go to Carowinds a lot.

BY THE WAY MY VISA CAME IN TODAY AND IT'S BEAUTIFUL

Urgh.

Aug. 16th, 2011 10:13 pm
Went shopping with Kelley today and bought three dresses, three bras, tights, and socks.  Good things to have.  Then we did a photoshoot.  I was doing a good job all day untilllll the photoshoot, when I basically started pouting and bitching because I couldn't take myself seriously enough to pose for any of the pictures and I felt really self-conscious and horrible about it.  I then proceeded to loathe every picture when I saw it in the camera.

I put the pictures on facebook anyway because Kelley made me, and once they were online they weren't so bad.  Here are my least favorite pictures of each outfit we took pictures of:

Read more... ) 

Anyway, that was my day.  I like my new clothes and stuff.  I just wish I liked me more consistently.
 A day with Kelley includes a whole lot of "You look so hot!" and "You're such a sexpot!" and other such things I had never heard before this past year.  KELLEY.  YOU ARE REALLY GOOD FOR MY SELF-ESTEEM.

If I ever mention this whole self-image thing to my mom she protests that my dad used to tell me I was pretty all the time.  But the thing is, he's my dad and he never said it seriously, it just seemed like a thing he said to fill silence so I never took it seriously or listened to the meaning of those words.

And today at the end of a long conversation with my mom I finally said, "Do you like my hair?"  She shrugged and went, "It's not as bad as I thought it would be.  Daddy doesn't hate it."  Fishing for a compliment I said, "I think it makes my eyes look bluer."  She wrinkled her nose and said, "Maybe, but you'd have to get your hair out of your eyes first.  Your bangs are too long."

She wasn't being rude or anything, she just doesn't really say unnecessarily complimentary things.  My mom has never complimented my looks before.  I know because they have been complimented so rarely that I remember every time.  Except with Kelley because she does it repeatedly on a daily basis.  KELLEY YOU ARE FIXING MY SOUL WITH YOUR OVERLY KIND WORDS.

One time I overheard that guy I dated when I was seventeen telling a mutual friend "she's so pretty!" and when he saw me standing there he blushed and tried to shut the door on me.  And one time my Frenchman called me "guapa," which was incredibly adorable of him.  This is why I love the dragueurs so much and the ooh là làs.  Also Mikele told me I had sexy eyes.  There.  That's every compliment that has ever been paid to me by a male human.

However.  The thing is.  I don't know where the line is between confident and vain.

There are pictures of me that I really like.  Usually I try to credit things like the lipstick I'm wearing or the fake lashes or whatever.  My brain keeps rejecting those pictures I posted the other day because I don't believe that I wasn't sucking my gut in, but I really wasn't.  I think I wasn't.  I remember forcing myself not to.  But that can't really be what I look like when I'm relaxed.  So I said it was because I was wearing a great bra.  I really don't see that body when I look in the mirror.  If I did, this would be a lot easier for me.

I recently lost fifty pounds, as most of you know.  That's about, what, 22 kilos or something?  It's a LOT of weight.  A huge difference.  I've always considered myself vastly overweight.  It was always my defining feature in my mind.  But I think I've always been wrong.  I think I've blown it way out of proportion due to my insecurities.

Today I really liked my outfit and I kept running to look at myself in the mirror before I left to work.  And at work I went to the bathroom to check it out.  I was hoping my mom would say something about it when she saw it, but she didn't.  Well, she asked why I was wearing knee socks if I had gone through the trouble of using an epilator.  I told her I just liked them, but actually it's one part Patrice Maktav tribute and five parts to hide the tattoo she doesn't know I have.  It's just not in her nature to bestow unnecessary compliments.  She's not cold or mean by any stretch of the imagination, just... practical, I guess.  She hasn't ever felt good about her own looks, so she doesn't point out others' features either.

I like my haircut, I like my outfit, I like being a little bit overly friendly with customers and watching the tip jar overflow.

My new hair color makes me feel really confident.  It's vixen hair and I'm a little bit obsessed with it.

Look at my hairrrrr

 
and my sonic screwdrivers

I was going to take a picture of my outfit today just because I liked it and it looked hot but I couldn't think of any justification for posting it.  I felt like it would look vain just to post a picture of myself for no reason.  The sonic screwdrivers feature in that picture up there just because I wanted a reason to post a better picture of my new hair color, so I did it under the guise of showing off my sonic screwdrivers.

This paranoia of vanity is only crippling me.

I want to get this obsession with self image sorted in the next twenty-seven days.

TWENTY-SEVEN DAYS!!!  That is such a short time!

In unrelated news, today I decided to get a new phone number when I get back to France.  There are two people from whom I no longer wish to receive texts, both of them... unbalanced... fans.  I'll text my new number to the people who won't cause me drama.

BYE OLD PHONE NUMBER!  BYE OLD LIFE!

I am gonna be Ehreen and I am gonna be such a badass.  With vixen hair, an epilator, and two sonic screwdrivers.
lesmisloony: (MariusR manlove)
You guys.  I thought the reaction to my last post was going to be, like, "Oh look at you you're so brave" or something, at best.

I do not know how to respond to compliments but ahhhhh thank you omg.

I am shocked and delighted and embarrassed and really really grateful for you all.

Um.  Wow.  That's one way to fix broken self-esteem.

I don't even know what to say anymore, haha.
 I'm trying really hard here.  I'm trying to believe that I'm fine the way I am, but even on the days when I wear tight clothes (I've been doing that a lot to try to force myself to own my belly rather than hide it) I look in the mirror and find myself thinking "I'll look great once I lose this little bit of weight!"

That's the thing, I picked up my mom's obsession with dieting but not her willpower to actually diet, so I live in a constant mindset of thinking I'm in the process of losing weight and striving for a specific goal.  I'm not.  Every time we go to Harris Teeter I eat at least four free cookies without blinking an eye.  I don't care enough to actually diet or exercise, so this is what I'm gonna look like.  I don't want to constantly worry about what I'm eating and whether or not it's going to make a number on a scale go up.

The problem is, in the way I've always seen the world, there's thin-as-a-model and fat.  No in-between.  It does make me feel better to see images of curvy girls (on tumblr) and I am in a much, much better place than I used to be, but I'm still not "there" yet.  And the problem is, I'm not sure what else I can do to get "there."

So I did this.

Read more... )

Update!

Aug. 10th, 2011 01:26 am
 1. I think my tattoo is finally starting to be itchy and have dead skin on it!  It never scabbed, but I don't bleed easily and it's just linework.  Next it has to peel and then I'll know if it's okay or needs a touchup AND I can stop having panic attacks every time it touches something!

2. Had a long conversation with my mother about sex and I finally understand why she holds her old-timey views and, more importantly, I firmly disagree with them and I know why I disagree with them!  I feel like I'm right and that's a huge relief.  For the first time, I honestly believe that I'm not making a mistake in my plans to loosen up a bit when I'm back in Paris.

3. Today I realized a life-long dream to dye my hair a dark shade of red that I think stems from being obsessed with Ariel as a child.  I like it.  And Kelley realized her dream of getting a pink streak in her hair after more than a year of wanting one.

Before hair:

 

After hair:

 

I'm a big fan of it.

4. I was wearing my tanktop again today, still trying to be confident and unapologetic.  Usually I expect people to give my belly weird looks but all that happens is guys stare at my boobs.  Awesome.  Today however, as we walked into a restaurant, a slutty sorority type finally lived up to my expectations and raised her eyebrows at my weight.  But I didn't feel ashamed like I thought I would when that moment came.  In fact, I wanted to take my bigass calzone stuffed with cheese and go sit next to her at her table and eat it there while she picked at her salad.  Bitch, you can judge my looks all you want, but in 31 days a hotass Frenchman is going to start texting me again and you are still going to be living in fucking Carrboro.  Enjoy your salad and your frat boys.

5. My epilator came in the mail.  It is definitely very sting-y, which is unpleasant but not impossible to deal with.  I'm not super happy with it because I did one leg and when I run my hand over it it feels quite scratchy.  Also there are red bumps but I'm sure they'll go away.  HOWEVER.  I used it on my underarms and it hurt like a mofo BUT. My underarms have never looked so hairless in my LIFE.  Hurray!  I don't know what the deal is with my leg though.  I got kind of emotionally exhausted after the leg and the armpits and I just called it quit for the night, so my other leg is still a jungle.  Does anyone on my flist find epilators to be a successful thing?  Do you have tips?

6. That man moved in.  He's very good at not being awkward, which makes me jealous.  I now live in the corner of the living room, but I'm extremely content with it.  I hate having too much space, and that whole room was unnecessary.  This corner makes more sense.  I like it here.

So here's me in my corner trying to model my tattoo...




Also, my hair.  I decided last night I wanted to dye it and today it's done.  I think now that I have a tattoo I've decided that nothing else is scary.
 I love my tattoo so much.  I can't stop looking at it.

Also, my Frenchman messaged me telling me to make sure I call him when I get to Paris.

I am really excited about both of these things but I cannot tell my mom about either one.

Buh.

Pictures and videos of the tattoo experience to come!  Though since I've been posting the picture everwhere I figure I can go ahead and say
LOOOOOK

 

Yay!

It hurt a lot, but I didn't mind.

ETA:



And I wore a tanktop again! Hmph.
Today I had noodles for breakfast, frozen yogurt and four free cookies from Harris Teeter for lunch, and broccoli and chocolate-covered cheesecake for dinner.

I wore a tanktop that is super tight and hugs every crevice of my flabby belly and I wore it in public and I didn't cross my arms or wear a vest or anything.  No one gave me a weird look or told me I should be ashamed of my hideous weight or even cared what I was wearing.

Hmph.

Also this icon is irrelevant but it's my favorite thing ever.  I am also the proud owner of an .avi of the toofthBRUSH video.

Life is good.

37 days!
 Blah blah blah I thought this would be a good idea and now it seems weird but I'm gonna do it anyway so feel free to just keep scrolling. :D

Last time I was painting my nails I remarked to myself that they looked really good.  Then I suddenly remembered in high school when I was dreadfully insecure about my fingernails.  And I realized... there is not one thing about me that I haven't gone through a phase of being insecure about.  Not.  One.  Thing.

Read more... )

I'm working on it.  I am so tempted to post this as private because I feel like it looks so, so vain.  But I'm going to force myself to at least friends-lock it if I can't bear the thought of leaving it public.  Confident people shouldn't be incapable of admitting that they're desirable to some people.  (I want to delete that sentence so badly but I'm leaving it, oh god.)  I want to be confident.

Livejournal, you are my therapist.
 Anyone who saw my tumblr today already knows this, but I thought I'd say it here, too.

I've decided to surround myself with pictures of confident, gorgeous, healthy women being hot and curvy.



You know how to convince yourself that curves are beautiful?  To actually see beautiful curvy women in the media sometimes and have someone to look up to.

 

I already feel better about myself than I ever have, and it's only been a day.

Being away from America and television for so long were helping me slowly form an appreciation for curvy women, so this is finally cementing it.  For the first time in my life I really might be able to believe that I don't have to look like a runway model because let's face it, I never will.  I've spent more than half of my life feeling ashamed of what I naturally look like and going on diets.  I'm only twenty-two years old.

It's not my body that's wrong, it's my mind.  I can fix it.

I'm sorry if you'd rather this be under a cut because the images are playing with your flist or whatever, because I have no intention of cutting it.  Images like this need to be reproduced everywhere for the sake of people like me and so younger people will know that they aren't wrong to look natural and they don't have to be ashamed.  I still can't imagine not being ashamed of my weight, but someday I might get there.
 I think I've figured it out.  Every time I talk to my mother I end up crying about how miserable I am when I'm not *that* miserable.

Well, I won't be back in France before September 12th, but since I plan to stay this time, I guess I'll do what I can to take advantage of my last month or so here in America.  Of course, if I was in France that would mean visiting museums and historical sites I'd neglected or checking out shows I'd passed up.  Here that means... um, I don't know, eating Papa John's pizza and Kraft mac and cheese, I guess.  I'm kind of over my addiction to ranch dressing.  Maybe I should get ready to bid skim milk farewell too since I never really drank much of it when I was in Paris.  It cost too much and the fact that it sat out on the shelf without being refrigerated still weirds me out.

I'd say that also means saying goodbye to my friends, but I can't help but notice that a whole lot of them haven't made any effort to reunite with me since I got back.  Some of the people who trolled my facebook all year telling me they missed me can't be bothered to drive their asses over here and say hi.  Okay.  Hope I see them before I take off again, since from this point forward if all goes well they won't see me anymore unless they come visit Paris.

Seriously.  I'm going to do everything in my power not to come back.  Unless of course I find out I hate France when MOR is gone, but... well, I don't know.  We'll see.  Let's just say I kinda doubt that'll be the case.

I could have gotten used to America again, but I didn't give it the chance because I saw myself slipping back into my old habits and my old self-doubts and my old miseries.  I can't have that.  I was almost *there* before I left France.  I was almost happy with myself for the first time in my LIFE.

Yesterday I was driving between my parents' house and my apartment and I asked myself whether I was going to or from "home".  The answer was neither.  In the apartment I feel trapped by the humidity, the lack of transport, and the lack of anywhere to go.  In the house I feel completely suffocated by my parents and by the ghost of the judgmental child I used to be.  If these aren't it, I asked myself if "home" was the yellow garret room in Bois-Colombes, but it couldn't have been.  I was always so quiet and withdrawn there, terrified of disturbing the family that was good enough to house me.  That was when I realised: "home" was freezing my ass off or getting sunburned in the midst of a crowd of girls my age whose parents were (mostly) nowhere to be seen, girls who knew the difference between Corentin and Guillaume and thought Patrice Maktav's behaviour around me was remarkable, girls called me "l'Américaine!" or, even better, "la fan de Patrice qui tricote!" and asked me how many French swear words I'd learned and how their names would have been pronounced in English.  Approaching the hotel after some kind of harrowing journey on foot and hearing people cheer when they saw me arrive or run out to hug me and bisou me was almost as good a feeling as rapidly telling someone why Patrice was the nicest man ever in French and hearing them respond, "Mais ça c'est juste avec toi, il n'est pas comme ça avec les autres!"  Home is unlocking the door to my hotel room and flinging myself onto the massive bed for the first time, spending all morning rolling around in the big bathtub or all afternoon dancing as hard as I can to my iTunes.  I don't even have to mention the way Florent Mothe's face lit up when he saw me or Mikele's lifeless, glittery stares and never-ending hugs.

Home was being a MOR groupie, and that's gone.  When will I feel at home again?  Maybe it'll be in my little flat next door to my new host family.  Maybe I'll find some kind of Frasier-esque café where I can spend my mornings waiting for class to begin.  Maybe it'll be years from now when I have a steady job and am paying rent on an even tinier flat somewhere near Paris.  I don't know.  So I feel so strange because, for all intents and purposes, I'm kind of homeless.  The best thing I have right now is you guys, tumblr and the Florum.

I tried to express this to my mother on the phone and she picked out random details of what I was trying to convey and tried to suggest ways to correct them.  She told me to make new friends, hang out with my coworkers, go to hipster concerts at bars, try to identify with the people around me.  Every time she did that I felt like she was undermining my problems, like she was telling me that it wasn't so bad and it was my own fault I was unhappy, so I'd bring up something else that I didn't like about my life and the whole thing would start again.  The more I told her about things that made me unhappy, the unhappier I became until I couldn't keep myself from crying.  I don't want her to tell me what I *should* do, I want her to commiserate with me over what I've lost.  My friends understand that, you guys understand that, so why can't my own mother?  She also has a defense mechanism wherein she turns things around to keep them from being her fault, so I often feel attacked by the way she words things.  I feel like she accuses me of being judgmental all the time and she constantly says things about how *I* think poorly of *her* which beg me to correct her and tell her how great I think she is.  If I complain about something someone did that seemed closed-minded she'll say, "Now that sounds judgmental."  Then I was telling her that of all people it's Anais who has sent me the sweetest messages of encouragement and she said something about random like "What does that tell ya?" and I said "Huh?" and she admitted that she wasn't listening.  Then she asked me if I want to get counselling.  She tells me that internet friends aren't real friends and I'm only comfortable with them because I don't have to talk to them face-to-face.

I *know* I talk too much about myself and don't listen enough, she has made that EXCRUCIATINGLY clear to me in my life.  Because of her I always feel incredibly guilty whenever I'm spending too much time harping on about my time as a groupie, recounting my adventures or whining over how much I miss Patriiiiiiice.  It's probably good that I'm conscious of this because there are plenty of people who don't want to hear it, but it also makes me ashamed of my desire to jabber on and tell my stories over and over.  I HAVE REALLY GOOD STORIES DAMMIT.  And I need CONSTANT validation.

I am not a miserable person.  I am an incurably cheerful person.  When things are bad I make a mopey post about it here on lj and then within a day (or two if it's REALLY bad) I do my best the focus on the good or to move on.

I tried to explain to my mom that it's good for her that she found the right guy while she was in college, then found a job in which she was happy, then got married, then had kids, raised them up, retired from the same job, and can now sit around doing nothing or whatever, but she needs to understand that the world isn't like that.  She needs to understand that there are some people who don't meet "Mr Right" before they've had sex, there are some people who don't know what job they want, there are some people who don't want to be retired and have no goals for the rest of their life.  I told her that I am no longer proud of my sheltered childhood, that I feel like I missed out by not learning how to socialise normally (ie go to a bar or a club) and never watching the shows or listening to the music that defined the childhoods of so many of my friends.  She glibly replied that I could go to a club right now if I wanted, I was just saying that because I didn't want to leave the computer.  Okay mom.

I don't care about my crazy-ass childhood "values" anymore, even the ones that I held up until a few weeks ago.  I don't care about the integrity of dying without ever tasting alcohol or "saving yourself" for some magical prince charming or not even knowing what different drugs looked or smelled like if I were to ever encounter them.  I wasn't being "good" by avoiding all of this in high school, I was limiting myself because I was afraid the "cool" groups who were blundering their way through these things wouldn't accept a tubby dork like me.  It never had anything to do with Christianity or values, it had to do with fear.  But I learned to stop being scared this past year, and now that I'm ready to stumble out into the world and learn how to socialize, experience things and figure things out and learn through trial and error how I want to conduct myself, I'm geographically back in the place where I had surrounded myself with people who saw the world the way I did, people who had built walls around themselves too.

Wake up, guys.  This is probably your only life.  Try the weird green fruit with the mayonnaise on it.  It might be the best thing you ever tasted, and, better yet, it might be good for you.
 I think I'm entering some kind of rebellion phase that most people go through a lot of years ago.  I want to get out there and go against all my preconceived notions.

It started with the revelation that I like spicy foods.  All my life I've claimed I hated them, but when I was in France Sherry and I went to an Indian restaurant and I ate a whole plate of it.  My mouth was on fire and my nose was running and if I'd been at home I would have thought that meant I was unhappy but I realised that I wasn't.  I enjoyed it.  If I like spicy foods, what other opinions was I wrong about?

We know what happened regarding me and how I almost developed a sex life.  If I'd had one more week... that was another one.

I think that in the past couple of weeks I have finally, finally divorced the judgmental child I used to be.  I knew something was different when I was pouring a glass of wine for a customer at work and suddenly I had no idea why I didn't allow myself to drink.  Sure, I probably wouldn't like the taste, I have obsessive tendencies, I'm afraid of the idea of losing control, but if I started drinking it seems pretty unlikely that I would immediately wind up clutching a bottle in a ditch.  Not saying I plan to start drinking, because I still don't quite see the point of it, just saying... why not, really?

My brother turned 21 on Friday, and on Saturday he called me.  To chat.  He and I have practically been estranged since middle school, but suddenly I get it.  He's NORMAL.  Heck, not only normal, he's a good kid!  Yeah, he went to parties where he drank underage, who knows if he tried drugs or not, but that does not make him a bad kid!  He's a normal kid coming from an uptight family.  Thanks to Paris, I was finally able to break through the walls of rules I'd built around myself and see this.  And while we were talking he started telling me how he almost got a tattoo but he didn't have enough money.

And that was when it really hit home with me... I could go out and get a tattoo.

But I've never wanted a tattoo, I told myself.  But the idea was there.  I could do it.  I have (a bit of) money.  I could just go out and draw something on me that would be there forever.  And why not?

I was musing over it with Chestnut in skype this morning and I wrote something like "I mean, the only thing I'd ever want a tattoo of would be, like, the words 'vivre à en crever' or something, so it's not like I even have a plan" and even as I was typing an argument against getting a tattoo I saw it in the sentence.  "vivre à en crever", the song that changed my life, the words that inspired me to run uninhibited after my dreams, to live the best time of my life and to finally become a person who thought for herself and was proud of what she had accomplished, who she was, and heck, even what she looked like on occasion.

I have been thinking about it for less than a day, but it seems so shiny.  Before leaving Paris I wanted to do something to mark the change in me, to make it official that I wasn't the same.  Up until the last moment I thought that was going to be achieved with the help of a gorgeous Frenchman, but we all know nothing happened.  But this could be it.  I would have it done somewhere I could cover up, though since I hate most of the things about my torso and I never wear shorts or a skirt without tights anything there or on my legs would basically be permanently hidden thanks to my persistent lack of self-confidence.  I think arm tattoos are cliché and I don't want to limit my ability to wear short sleeves in a professional setting.  So... foot tattoo?

Obviously I'm not running to a tattoo parlor tomorrow.  I don't leave the country until August 25th, so I have time to mull it over.  But today at work I wrote the words on my hand (since I was wearing tights and my foot was inaccessible) and just pretending that they were permanent was fun.  Maybe I'm just thrilling in rebelling against the way I was brought up for the first time in my life (not including the time in high school when I dyed my hair darker brown without permission), but there will never be a time when those words don't represent a period in my life when I thoroughly kicked ass and was totally, fully happy.  I've already lived through the worst repercussions of my groupie lifestyle (being broke and going my first weeks and then months without acknowledgement from the Troupe) and I still don't regret an instant of it all.

Anyway, I'm not the type to fully abandon obsessions.  If I had a Les Mis tattoo right now I'd still be proud of it, even though it's no longer a fandom in which I'm active.

I don't know what I'm getting myself into here.  They say foot tattoos are incredibly hard to care for, but I can't imagine getting one anywhere else.  Is there somewhere else?  Apparently ankle tattoos hurt like a mofo.  But like I said, it's a crazy idea and it's less than twenty-four hours old.

Does anybody have a tattoo and have advice on the subject?

January 2017

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