Personal Growth vs. Old Demons

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I never understood why people said to enjoy high school, that they were the best years of my life. As a miserable teenager, this thought was not comforting. As a slightly happier 20-something, making my first real friends at University, I laughed at the people for whom that was true. As a 30-something “adult,” there are things about teenagehood that I miss. Sitting in my room undisturbed for hours on end, for example. Knowing that my laundry would be done for me. Never having to cook if I wanted to eat. But high school? The large machine through which we are squozen into our final acceptable-to-capitalism shape? That was awful. I remain deeply, deeply suspect of humans who are somehow convinced that being an awkward teen is The Pinnacle of Human Existence. Read full post

This is a Story of Moderate Weight Loss

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I come from a long line of people that value food.  Gatherings in my family always involved huge amounts of food, tables groaning under the weight of the effort of the matriarchs and their progeny.  Food was always offered when company came by, regardless of the hour of the day, how recent lunch may have been, or how close our guest was to consuming dinner. My mother likes to tell stories of her grandmother, who used to require that her grandchildren eat their fill, making eating motions and saying “Essen, essen,” hoping, I imagine, that her lovingly made food would bridge the linguistic gap between her mother tongue and her Anglo grandchildren. Food has always meant love in my family, and I have always desired huge amounts of both. Until very recently, my form has betrayed this desire. Read full post

I Am Not a Strong Female Character

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I am not a strong female character.

My stomach clenches when I criticize or disagree with others. I have never wished harm on another human being; I almost never squish insects. I try to be kind at all times. I have no upper body strength or hand-eye coordination, so I’ve never learned to wield any kind of weapon. I could not project a stoic and calm exterior in the midst of explosions and gunfire.

Instead, I am mostly Belle—yes, Disney Princess Belle. Read full post