I’ve made peace with this body. It hasn’t been an easy peace to come by, as I seem to get constant reminders about the diminutive size of my stature. Most recently, I met an older Chinese woman who admitted that she thought I looked sick and weak only after she discovered I had colitis. It was as if she thought colitis caused some kind of malnutrition that stunted my growth, and she didn’t want to bring up the fact that I was this size because it would have been too embarrassing unless it was caused by a medical condition.
I’ve been dealing with all kinds of similar comments since I was a kid, so when a girlfriend would say that she liked a particular part or portion of my body, I always thought they were just blinded by love. Eventually I realized that if they could come to love this body, then I could too. It will never look right in anything but slim-fit extra smalls from Mexx. It will never be good enough for my parents. But it will always be who I am, and I’ve learned to accept that.
Sometimes, I write these entries in my head over several days, but when it comes to getting them on the screen, I can’t. Not because I don’t feel like it, but because the words come out with such difficulty.
So I sit in my room with the lights off, hoping for something to give me courage, something to move my mute fingers.
Instead, I procrastinate. I buy myself time by playing a game on my iPhone, or surfing the net. It’s like I’m stalling, I’m building up for a moment that’s no more important than any other, like a nervous schoolboy trying to ask his crush to the prom; picking up the phone, dialing a number, and hanging up again.
Maybe if I bury it after a bunch of inconsequential thoughts — like how it’s hard for me to write about something — then people will get bored and won’t bother reading the rest. I try to convince myself that everything will be forgotten much quicker than it took for me to write this. Nothing works, when all I’m trying to say is that every time I listen to Letter Read by Rachael Yamagata, I imagine she’s listening to the same thing at the same time.
So sometimes, you just have to say fuck it and write it anyway, even if you’re afraid and you can’t breathe, and put it out of your head that you’re left vulnerable, that anyone could read it, that people know something that you probably shouldn’t share, that you’re still thinking about her when everyone is telling you not to, because none of it matters when it’s the truth, and telling the truth is what makes you you.
With a tone of genuine concern, as if I was being consumed by some disease, Abdallah told me he noticed I was getting thinner. Perhaps this is true. I was recovering from an episode of IBS, and controlling my food intake. Maybe its my sets of narrow, flared pants I’ve been wearing lately on Julie’s suggestion.
Louise tells people I don’t eat a lot, which is true only when we’re out , and is also the only time she’s seen me eat. It makes me even more ill at ease when I’m already feeling unattractive, as if it was my fault and I wasn’t doing enough about it. Others will comment about the size of my waist, or make a passing remark about how they wish they had my metabolism.
I try to take it all in stride, but it’s not easy when the subject is constantly brought up.
According to my doctor, I’m average weight — the average being a range, with me being near the bottom. I know this, but it doesn’t make it easier. Bronwen once told me that I have a weight issue, and after thinking about it for a while, I realized that it was true. Even though it’s something I can joke about, it’s still a source of self-consciousness, leading back to memories of my parents telling me that no one will love me if I’m this size forever.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get over it.