Sometimes people feel the need to come up to me and tell me how smart she is, as though that was ever in question. My daughter can recognize words on a 12th grade level so yes, she is smart -- but she can't tell when her shirt or pants are on backwards and that the tag almost always goes in the back.
The moment I put on my dream wedding dress, I cried tears of disappointment and frustration. It was exactly as I had pictured, with a corseted top that tied like a ballet slipper in the back, shiny white beads on the front, and a flowing, silky train. The dress wasn't the problem. It was how I looked in it. "You look beautiful," my mother said, thinking I was crying tears of joy. In that moment, I knew I still wasn't "better." I thought I had recovered, and I thought this meant I'd love the way I look. I hate that my eating disorder tainted this precious moment that I cannot have back. I use this hate to empower myself. Today, five years later, I think I'm "normal."
Yes, that's right: I wish sometimes that I was needier. In recent months, I've come to a very blunt awareness about just how independent I had become in my four years as a single person. Moreover, I can reflect today and acknowledge just how much society places value on that independence. Is our system flawed.
The good news with all of these steps is you can start right away. The exercises in step 3 are gentle, similar to a meditative breathing (they require a great deal of concentration!) Give your body the time and proper tools it needs to recover. Connecting with your muscles will give you the strength and confidence to get back to your favourite activities, whatever they may be!
Dear Old-Hot Stuff, I am writing you this letter to remind you of a few things that you may forget along the way. I know that experience and age-weight may provide you with the assumption that you know it all and you don't need advice from your 35-year-old self. But memory-loss aside, you may have gotten a little too fixed in your ways to remember a life, well let's just say, a little less-lived.
I threw away the only man who ever loved me, who I was in love with. I realize that this statement must elicit a bunch of questions. Ten years later, I still can't process, make sense of, or come to peace with this loss. I am alone and lonely, so much that it is slowly but surely eating me alive, day in and day out, from the inside out.
It can be really easy to live with a secret. Three and a half years ago I was living in Toronto's East end, long time boyfriend and cat at home. It wasn't long before I met someone who did more than wolf-whistle out a car window. One night a few of us went out dancing. Mid-twist he kissed me and all my senses were on fire. But innocent walks turned into conversations tinged with sexual innuendo. Alleyway makeout sessions, then sex -- anywhere we could. I found myself turning into this seemingly new person. People who have never cheated ask how you can do it mentally, emotionally. It's different for everyone. But what they don't understand is that it gets to the point where recklessness overpowers all logic and all sense of "right."
When I finally got married at 37, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. But it happened in a flash on our honeymoon and we had a son. I was one of my only friends who openly wanted a second child. So began the trying; a summer of love. Which then turned into a fall of resentment. Now my sister and I are in the waiting cubicle of an IVF suite in downtown Toronto.
I had tried yoga, Buddhism, Kabbalah. But I had always fallen short, still searching, still not whole. Trying so many new things, while still having so much sex, but changing nothing in that arena except maybe the guy or the country, led me to reevaluate. Maybe tantra wasn't crazy. Maybe it was actually what had been missing...
I've had only two sexual partners in my life and being diagnosed with abnormal cervical cells doesn't feel like the best way to be repaid. Women are constantly being shamed about their bodies and how they use them and to think even a lack of proper usage can result in the same shame and disconcerted feelings about female sexuality.
After living with someone who never let go of the opportunity to insult or debase me, honestly I had started finding it hard to laugh or grin for that matter. My so called "better half" questioned my existence throughout my marriage and so along the way I started questioning myself. After the separation, as the days turned to nights, I felt a change in myself.
A better day comes along, and I tell myself that it's not that I'm unwilling to commit, it's that I haven't found my career true love yet. I am unwilling to settle. I'm making progress, improving and learning with each step I take, getting stronger at understanding what I love and what I won't grit my teeth through anymore.
Yes, looking at a butt selfie from Kim Kardashian is entertainment and sure, we need the escape sometimes, but I'm wondering if our society can make a little 2014 New Year's resolution: have a little more balance. Maybe a little less coverage of her and a bit more of someone we can relate to and learn from.
I was given the opportunity to visit the Olive Tree Refugee Camp in Atmeh Syria. All the little girls approached me with their unique knitted creations. When I had to say my goodbyes, one woman voiced her concerns about the lack of yarn to work with. That same night, I wrote out the plan for Tight-Knit Syria, a project to help supply yarn, as well as establish an online store to sell knitted products from the Olive Tree Camp.