>> Friday, January 12, 2007
Then here goes.
I've never been a tiny girl. As a young child i was slender, probably a result of all that running around in the hot hawai'ian sun, but i've never been truly "skinny". When i hit puberty i inherited my mother's classic woman's body: large hips, teeny waist, average bust, broad shoulders, etc.
It's always been very nice to have curves, to feel, well "like a woman". And it's flattering to hear men say how much more they'd rather have some fluff than nothing. However, there's one girl in high school who was my fiercest competitor, and who's comments on my body i've never forgotten. They were not malicious mind you, but delivered with such frankness and surprise(?) that they have stuck with me all these years.
Body issues aside, I never thought i had a chance at winning with her. Her family was wealthy, lived in a nice house, bought her everything she could ever want (inc. a baby grand for her birthday), and though my family lived comfortably and i had no cause for want, her well-off-ness bugged me, and still does today. In grades she was, for lack of a better word, superior. She was in all the special classes, great at math (where i was struggling), and just plain smart, though i believe all my years of daydreaming lent me a great deal of creativity, which i feel she was lacking.
Her parents, strict on the books, were more willing to let her go out at a young age. Before i had even started liking my first boyfriend, she had been with several, spent numerous nights over at friend's houses, hours at the mall, and got to hang around with classmates until late. Though i never had a real desire to do these things, (i was much more into video games, movies, building things, reading, and playing with a best friend who went to another high school) when i did eventually want to do them, i was not allowed at first and jealous of her freedom.
I've met her parents for a few minutes at a time, but i get the feeling that they are not very affectionate people(the validity of my views is not confirmed, i admit, i've seldomly met them). And i know, in my heart, that i grew up in a place open and full of love, which is worth more than money, cars, security, and even a baby grand piano. My parents were overly protective, which has had reprocussions throughout my life, and for the resentment i harbored towards them for a time, i am sorry.
But back to the point, we competed in many ways of which the playing field was completely level. In french we strove to be the most learned, to have the best gutteral "r", and to gain the most favor with the teacher whom everyone adored. We competed at dancing, who had the best moves, the most creativity, and most importantly, who looked the better doing it. In those silly ways and so many more, we developed, amazingly enough, a friendship. We never spoke of our competition, yet it was every day implied with a thick tangible tension that hung in the air.
After high school, through college, the constant struggle was muted, but not abolished. We worked hard and accomplished great thigns for so many other reasons than just each other. And while i sank into depression after graduation, some 3,000 miles from home, she went back, to the islands we both love, and is seemingly very happy.
To come full circle if you will, at this moment, i am very displeased with my body. I am not disgusting, i am not ugly, but i am quite a bit heavier than i want to be, than i used to be. This morning i found out she's a Group X instructor for 24 hour fitness. Perhaps it's a pompous exaggeration set up on MySpace, the ultimate site for gluing peacock feathers onto your own matted fur in an effort to prove to yourself that you matter in society. But regardless of its truth, it hurt like hell to read that. To know that the biggest thorn in my side, my body, is one of her top priorities and has been ever since those days in high school. I feel like i've let myself down, like she's won, like if i had her money and her family and her drive i could have done better.
It makes me want to work harder. It makes me hurt. It makes me mad. And upon recollection it makes me feel silly, that such a thing as weight can spawn such feelings in us. It makes me question myself. And the only answer i've come up with is that using hurt and anger to push yourself towards something you want will ultimately lead to your own destruction.
I want to be healthier and in turn, skinnier, but logging into MySpace and reading her profile everyday is not the way to do it. The pain, frustration, anger, jealousy, and even the competition will fade with time, if i let it. Right now, i'm still upset, and that's ok. I will not tell myself "i am a better person for being less vain", "i'm sure she's really unhappy on the inside", "she's only doing it cause she's insecure". It doesn't matter what she is or is not. The only one that matters is me. And i will not "be the bigger person and just let it go", 'cause that's bullsh*t too. For now, be upset. But, i'll look towards tomorrow and do more than just wish, hope, remember, and lament. I'll do the hardest thing i can. Take action.