Saturday, December 26, 2009

Auld Lang Suck.

Ohhhh ladies and gents of a single nature, we’re getting into that time of the year that full-on, no doubt can suck huge if you’re not partnered up, the double shot of annoyingness that’s known as New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day.

Along with the usual year-end horse puckey of making “resolutions” that all seem to circulate around losing weight and “getting healthy”, there’s such an extraordinary pressure upon pretty much the whole of civilization to be in a relationship because, after all, YOU MUST HAVE SOMEONE TO KISS AT MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR’S EVE DAMMIT. Well, for the first time in a gigantically long time, I’m not feeling that horrific empty ugh that would accompany me in years past. Oh, it’s not because I’ve got some sort of big reveal hidden after the cut. I’m not about to spring an Oprah-esque makeover show KAPOW moment on you. It’s because I decided to try a new tack – and of all the assorted tacks over the years that I’ve tried, it’s one that is actually working for me. That tack?

Not giving a good goddamn.

One of the major things I did for my head and my heart this year was extract my hind end out of the online dating pool. I deleted all the assorted profiles I had on eHarmony,, Yahoo personals, Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid. I found the exercise in online dating to be utterly exhausting because they didn’t seem quite able to convey...well, me to my satisfaction. There are plenty of folks who have had success on online dating sites – I just found myself excessively pissed at the end of the day at my general ineptitude/fail at it. The weird thing is that once I did that, once I took that particular stone off the seemingly infinite pile that I tend to tote around on my shoulders, I felt really...good. I was surprised, actually, at how relieved I felt to shut all that shit down. I’m sure on paper it screams “GAVE UP”, but I’m someone who is a firm believer in not doing something that causes me stress, pain, or all-around agony (much like, you know, dieting), and I just wasn’t taking any sort of pleasure in trying to explain the jist of me in 300 characters or less.

That action forced me to turn waaaay inward. I needed to do an internal inventory of just what I really, really wanted and who I really, really am. At the heart of it all, do I want to be in a relationship? What do I want out of said relationship? What am I seeking in a partner? Is it possible that said partner might not actually exist and is actually a construct of assorted male movie characters played by Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, and Steve Buscemi? And most gigantically super-importantly, if said partner never materializes, can I get through the next however many years I have left tromping around earth?

Ultimately, I think that’s the question we all have to ask ourselves because as we all know (and as the well-meaning critters around us insist isn’t the case), it’s quite possible that we will never have a romantic relationship of any significance. We have to make that peace with ourselves because ostensibly, we’ve all got a loooooooong time to dither away here on the planet and we have to make those years enjoyable – or, at the very least, tolerable. I don’t want to wake up every day feeling like I’m at the bottom of a well and spending every moment of my day trying to climb to the top of said well, you know what I mean?

My best friend Kristin is my guru, for lack of a better word. She’s one of those extraordinary people who seems in tune with the universe in general and can effortlessly whip out insights that would take the top of your head off. We were having one of our endless conversations about starting a blog together and discussing the dramatic relationship travails of a friend of hers and she said something that caused the “record scratch” sound effect to go off in my head: “Your life can’t be all about finding someone to make you ‘you’.” Mercy, did that ring my bell. I’ve spent so many years thinking that if I found the One, I would blossom in some form or fashion - basically, the Fantasy of Being Thin except replace “thin” with “in a relationship”. I couldn’t possibly be of value to the world or the people in my life because I hadn’t been anointed by the mystical God of Romance...or...something. My existence would have meaning because someone else (a male, in my heterosexual case) deemed me worthy of romantic attention. Whatever magical properties I contained on my own weren’t terribly impressive since I didn’t have a male at my side to officially communicate to my family, my friends, and the world at large that I was somebody.

Let me tell you, after quite a few brutal years, holy fuck am I exhausted of that sack of nonsense. I don’t need someone to “complete me” (sorry, “Jerry Maguire”) anymore. What I need is to be at peace with me and stop dreaming about who I could be and be who I am as I am now. When I seriously think about it and listen to those who love me...why in the high hell would I want to be different than who I am now? The very heart of me (w00t, Aragorn) isn’t an improvement project looking for someone to take charge of it. I am damn fine company – and not just for other people.

So I guess it does beg the question – if I’m not goofing around with online dating sites anymore, what exactly am I doing? The answer is nothing, and it’s the right answer for me at the present time. And I don’t know if that’ll change any time soon because I feel good about me and my life as it stands, partner-free. Do I have wistful days? Well hell, of course I do. But the good days far outnumber the bad ones (finally). I’m not in a constant state of pine for what I imagine those with partners must have that I lack and will never have. If the opportunity to get together with someone comes up and it suits me and feels right, then I imagine I’ll take the leap. And if it doesn’t, it’s not because I’m broken or have failed or am defective in some way. I have myself and I am, finally, enough.

Read more on this article...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Reminder: There are no rules in loving yourself.

I'm going to be kind of vague and I'm not going to name names or throw up links, but in my internetting travels it seems to me that there are a preponderance of stories lately about women who are embracing their bodies and loving those bodies, dammit, which is great...except that the message is quite loud like an air raid siren that the loving of said bodies only became possible after losing 10, 20, 30 pounds or more. Or "eating healthier and exercising".

Let me reiterate (and I'll have to be quick about it because the Bejeweled Blitz is calling and it's looking like the Midwest is about to have its ass kicked by snow and winter and it's really bumming me out having to mentally prepare for it): YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MEET A CERTAIN WEIGHT OR SIZE IN ORDER TO LOVE YOURSELF. Your belly, your thighs, your ass, your arms, every single frickety-fracking inch of you is eligible for embracing and enjoying and rocking and locking and popping RIGHT NOW. The crap magazines and all the other horseshit fiascoes online love to sell body acceptance, but their brand of body acceptance is only applicable to certain kinds of bodies - ergo, they aren't truly advocating for ALL of us though they do so enjoy wearing out their rotator cuffs trying to pat themselves on the back for being so edgy and progressive.

We're about to go headlong into the New Year's Resolution season. All we're going to be seeing, reading, and hearing for the next month or so is a fuckton of body-hating, self-loathing bullshit in the media and most likely from friends and family. I think the most important resolution any of us can make is to continue to be visible, continue to be seen, continue to live lives that so many seem determined to prove to be wrong, defective, ugly, faulty. We must dig in our heels and keep pushing back, keep pushing back not just for ourselves, but for everybody in every body.

Self-acceptance is not a treehouse club that only allows certain members. It is not a limited time offer for gold card holders. It's for all of us. Read more on this article...