The Shanty

The Shanty
where I grew up

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life's Little Changes

The choice to not have kids comes with some repercussions that aren’t easy to accept sometimes. Around the time all your friends start (and continue) having children their lives change. They are no longer available whenever, they can no longer guarantee anything anymore. Luckily for them, they are going to have other friends who are having babies who can relate. But what about those of us who choose not to reproduce?? There is a stage of loneliness that lasts until your friends kids are more grown up. During this time period you more than likely will flock to older friends or possibly even younger ones who don’t yet have children. We all have a need to be liked and to spend time with friends. The truth is it’s much easier to do when you don’t have children. It’s not impossible but it does become more difficult once a little one is dependent on you. Additionally your priorities aren’t the same any more (or at least they shouldn’t be!). Childless couples are still focusing on doing things for each other and their finances flow a bit more freely with no extra expenses to worry about unlike their counterparts.

Now I’m not saying that you will lose certain friends should you choose to have children or not have children BUT things do become a lot more complicated and sparse.  During this time you should try to remember that your friends aren’t abandoning you…they’re just simply busier now than they used to be. This is hard for me to remember sometimes. Occasionally it feels like the universe is punishing me because I don’t want children. Since it isn’t the norm it is hard at times. People are always asking why and how come and saying that I should and that it’s a pity because I’d make a great mother. Who’s to say this is true? And who’s to say THAT’S the reason why I choose not to have children? Trust me, choosing not to reproduce is not a pity nor is it a shame. Nor is there anything wrong with this choice. There are bouts of solitude however but it’s not painful enough to make my own mini companion.

I will always have friends who make time for me and other friends who share the same choice in life as I do and are therefore more available. But because it isn’t the most popular of choice, it is emotionally difficult at times. I suppose it’s difficult anytime your life takes a turn and heads in a different direction than your friends'—Kids vs. No Kids being one of the biggest ones. I suggest you keep your friends but also get some new ones whose lives are more parallel to your own. Once things settle down a bit you will be glad you have all your old friends and new ones as well. Just don’t get offended in the meantime if it seems you don’t have much in common anymore…you will likely find some common ground once again.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Body Realization

Yesterday I looked at some photos that were taken right after I bought my house in 2008. I looked at the pictures of myself and thought “damn, I look skinny.” Well compared to my size today I was. But that’s not what saddened me. What saddened me is that I remember that day. I remember getting ready and having “nothing” to wear. I remember feeling fat and ugly. I remember settling on something I didn’t feel very comfortable in but feeling like I really had no other options. The saddest part about this remembrance is that I have never felt comfortable with my body no matter what size it’s been. I thought this time would be different. I keep telling myself, sure I wasn’t comfortable back then but now if I were that size I would be. But um…I can also remember thinking that very thought on other occasions after ballooning up a bit and then back down. It didn’t matter, it was never good enough. I have NEVER felt good about my body. So as I try so hard right now to get into shape and become a healthy person once again I am disturbed by the fact that even if I lose some weight and get into the best shape of my life, I am still not going to love my body. Wow.

I have got to learn how to love myself inside AND OUT no matter what size I am. I have little idea of how to do this but I am going to try. I have never been taught to love my appearance. What I have been taught is how to pick people apart, pointing out all their flaws, including my own. I have tried to pick out certain features before that I DO like and try to focus on those but quickly I fall back into thinking “yeah but look at my _____”. I must put an end to this. Because if I don’t I still will never be happy with how I look. I want to keep tricking myself into thinking that this time will be different but that has never been the case and I must try something new that might work instead of failing over and over.

I am going to continue to eat healthy and work out to some degree daily. I have also decided to include Bikram yoga back into my life. This practice was so good for me not only physically but mentally as well. And mental reshaping is what I need most right now. I am also going to try to point out positives about my body and steer away from the negatives. We all have things we wish we could change. Someone out there is jealous of whatever you feel your flaws are though…try to remember that. I hate looking at pictures of myself right now because I look round and fat and it just breaks my heart to see myself like that. However, now instead of focusing on THAT I want to try and focus on how happy I look. And focus on the inner beauty I know I possess pushing through.

This is not going to be easy. But what a sobering thought to realize that no matter how my body looks I am never going to be happy with it unless I teach my mind to love it NOW. All these work out infomercials showing people happy and vibrant after they’ve lost weight is crap. I mean, they might really feel good and proud of their accomplishments, as they should, but the true reality is that I bet they still don’t have anything to wear. And I bet they still wish they had this or that or could just lose 5 more pounds. I vow to only wear clothes I feel comfortable in, no matter what size they are. And I vow to compliment myself on my appearance quietly to myself until I believe it. Those of you who also suffer with body dysmorphic disorder know how personal of a struggle it really is. Others could compliment me all day long and I still see myself as gross. It really is sad because it holds me back from so many things. 

Well, enough is enough. It’s time to start loving myself from the inside out. And it’s time to start doing so NOW.