on monday night i chopped all my hair off.
i needed a change.
yesterday, i bought myself an unforgivably expensive purse (euf. thank you birthday money).
and this morning i packaged everything i own into plastic bags in preparation for the exterminator. turns out preparing for bed bug demolition is like moving (without any of the organization).
everything can change in a day.
two weeks ago i looked in the mirror and began to cry. i saw myself. as i haven't seen myself in four years.
you see, when ned pitches a tent and stakes a corner of my life.... well, my face is the first thing to change. it swells ever so slightly which changes the overall appearance. it's not a big change. just enough to change... everything. so i looked in the mirror and cried because i thought, oh my god, my mom's going to look at me and see her baby girl for the first time in four years.
when this thing... this ned...first came about it took so much time to interpret him--to learn his language, and convey his meaning to those around me. so by the time everyone understood, i feared most for my mother. she thought it was her fault. she hated that she couldn't help me. if there is anything unforgivable about the time with my eating disorder, it is the pain i have put my mother through. i know because i'm tethered to her. when she is sad, i feel her sadness tenfold. i can't imagine what she has felt throughout this--this process.
so, that's what i thought, yes, my mom's going to look at me and see her baby girl for the first time in four years.
and then of course the bed bugs descended. and my birthday. and the impending arrival of my family (we have a wedding to go to tomorrow). and if you don't know it by now... i tend to not do so well with big events. i've dampened many an important holiday in the past (i seem to recall a very difficult thanksgiving two years ago) and with the arrival of all these things, ned crept back in. by small degrees i allowed his onset.
this... thing that today i cannot give more of a name to than just that: thing, is a constant lesson--an experiment in humility. just as soon as i am ready to claim victory, i am reminded that there is no such thing as victory. there is only this day. and tomorrow. and an endless fight. and that's not necessarily bad. because the fight won't always be hard. but it will be. the difference between a very healthy me and a very... not healthy me is at most two inches on the battle map.
have you ever noticed that laughing looks an awful lot like crying? and making love can resemble a fight between two people? this world is made of infinitesimally small lines that we all traverse each and every day.
the past two weeks have been not so good. but last night when i had the impulse to cater to ned's wishes (yes, that pun was intended) i didn't. and that's all it takes. one moment of unbearable strength where you pull yourself over the cliff and begin the slowly and steady walk away from the edge.
so whereas i was not okay yesterday, i am today. and so yes, everything can change in a day.
when i see my mother tomorrow, i may wish that my face still reflected what i saw in that mirror two weeks ago. and i may way wish i looked slightly better in my dress, but, c'est la vie. there will be time for that in the future. so for tomorrow i will smile and know that my eyes hold all the me my mother will ever need to see.
back in high school i listed in on a lecture by a visiting shakespearean scholar.
this is what he said:
the average american has a vocabulary of about 3,000 words.
the most educated americans possess about 6,000.
language fails us. all the time. every day. is it any wonder people suffer from any form of mental illness--when there aren't enough words to aptly express the full gamut of human emotion?
shakespeare's vocabulary? culled from all his plays and sonnets?
holy moly. 36,000 words.
the man made them up. if it didn't exist. he created it.
so on this day i wish i had all those 36,000 words to thank you all for your kind birthday wishes. i'd like to thank each and every one of you individually (and am hoping to... eventually) but for now i leave you all with just these two words.
my birthday was a lovely oasis in the midst of these past two weeks. it's funny, 24 has gotten off to a rocky start. but i've never been so hopeful or so positive about what's just around the bend.
thank you. all of you. this thing--this blogging community--changes my life each and every day and helps me heal in a way unlike anything else.
love and thanks to you all,
ps: one of the best birthday gifts i received was the knowledge that president barack obama was known as "barry" back in college.
my gift to you:
post ps: i am a child of october. october is the month the gods of baseball reign. the yanks took down the twins 7-2 in the first game.
game two is tonight.
let's go yankees.