Tuesday, March 9, 2021

RINGO STARR

I just got my period, so now I know why my entire last week crashed and burned. I deeply regret the entirety of last week, I don't remember the last time I had such a continuous bad week, nothing was turning out right. I was a douchebag on Friday, and I feel terrible about it. I'm not a douchebag, I don't think? But if I allow myself to be a douchebag on my bad days but then don't measure myself as one, what does that even make me? Clearly, I am in some ways a douchebag, argh. This frustrates me to no end, I would like to rewind by a whole week and get a do-over. ARGHWJEKDJSKDSKDK. However, I am in a constant state of learning and growth, and if I am not soft and gentle on myself on my worst days, who is to be soft and gentle with me? Thus, be soft and gentle with myself, I shall. It's okay, I'm human, I get to be a piece of shit sometimes. I will forgive myself for it.

I am also not here to talk about myself being a piece of shit. I am here because I had a magical night, and despite the dumpster fire that last week was for me, I have a renewed bubble of hope within me from tonight. I have a friend from work called Adelene, we've been friends for a few months, thanks to lululemon. She's a dancer, and for the past couple of months, she'd been posting on Instagram about her journey with eating disorders. She's also been collaborating with a lingerie brand in Singapore called Perk by Kate, and so tonight, for International Women's Day, she organized an "Intimate Session In Our Intimates" just for women. Ten of us, mostly strangers to one another, got together and stripped down to our intimates, sharing our intimate stories of body image, self-esteem and self-acceptance issues. Adelene also incorporated a little bit of movement and play in the session. 

As we shared, we cried with and for each other. It's easy to read on your phone or computer screen that everybody has self-esteem issues, and therefore you shouldn't let it affect you. It's a different thing when you're all almost stark naked, looking at yourselves in a mirror in a dance studio, actually saying out loud all the things people have commented about you, that have hurt you. The things people say about rolls, and cellulite, and your age, and arm fats, and your hair, and a million other things. You pretend to let it roll off you, but sometimes they come from people who matter, and they echo in your own head, and you see it and feel it still, when you see your own reflection. I talked about my own journey when I practised disordered eating without even realising it, and the excessive running and skipping, that all have translated into painful joints and hunched shoulders now (I started hunching because I used to have very little body fat and I would feel very cold, so I would fold into myself to warm my body up). 

We talked about how we've all been made to feel less than. I thought but didn't talk about how, when I had my miscarriage, I felt truly not enough for my mother, and therefore not enough for the world. How I had wanted to have a child because my mother had kept me when she had me out of wedlock, but then how my mother said the miscarriage was good because I wouldn't be reminded of my so-called sin, and how she couldn't have terminated me because it was too late in the term. These things are things that no longer affect me now, because I have extricated myself from my mother's value system and the world of sin, but once upon a time they did, and I was depressed about it for a long, long time. 

Our other friend from work, Aishah, also cried a lot, because she's in a body that's not portrayed to be accepted or beautiful in mainstream society, especially in Singapore. Watching her cry when she talked about the comments made by her friends or peers, and seeing all the other women and girls almost yell good things about her, to her, ooof, it was crying season. Aishah is such a lovely person, when I go to work, I always look forward to her energy and her jokes and her dancing, one time I laughed so hard at her rapping and dancing, I literally got depleted of energy and fell to the floor (I tell you, depression takes up a lot of energy). I wish more people really believed their worth to be in much, much more than just their bodies. 

I really like so many of my lululemon friends, so much. I know I mention Jaysen's name a lot because damn if I didn't have romantic feelings for him (unreciprocated but it's okay, I'm a cool person someone! will! love! me??????), but I actually really do appreciate my team very much. When they crowdfunded that sum of money for my studies, I really wanted to write a long-ass thank-you note to every person who contributed to it, I haven't yet, seeing as I haven't left, but I think a lot of my team is truly very special. There are many, many words I could write about so many of them, but I'll write the words to them when I leave, someday, eventually, before I die of burnout. 

Tonight was something special, and it takes a special someone like Adelene to open up about her own painful journey, on something as public as social media, to gather a group of like-minded people. It was almost a support group therapy session, and I am so grateful to have been part of it, to have witnessed ten people's relentless journeys through life. I have politics class in ten minutes, so the excitement and magic from the intimate session is slowly dissipating into a tiny bit of dread and sleepiness. It's okay, though, I'll process it properly this time, and we'll keep on keeping on.

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