An awakening of sizeable proportions
Original artwork by Sarah Wood
Note: Earlier this month, we asked our friends and family members to tell us about their own ideas, questions, favorite things, and amazing discoveries (read that post here: https://ourownsweettime.com/2011/04/01/discovering/— and know that we’d still love to hear about any discovering that you’ve been doing lately ). My good friend Sarah, a sweet soul and gifted graphic designer, was kind enough– and brave enough– to share the following bit of writing with me, and I’m so thrilled that she was willing to let me share it with all of you.
lately i’ve been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart
you’d think at my age i’d of thought
of something better to do
than making insecurity into a full-time job
making insecurity into an art
i fear my life will be over
and i will have never lived it unfettered
always glaring into mirrors
mad i don’t look better
(excerpt from Present/Infant by Ani DiFranco)
Her name is Ani. Last name DiFranco. She is a folk singer, and beyond that a poet, musician, feminist, environmentalist and over the last few years she has become the catalyst for the expansion of my own mind. Her lyrics are controversial to say the least which I believe is the case for anyone who has opinions of their own, especially when that anyone is a woman – with a shaved head who refuses to wear a bra. And while I would like to think we have come a long way in the women’s rights movement, I know we still have work to do.
What I have been realizing lately is just how much of the work must be cultivated in our own minds and bodies and about our own minds and bodies. I am of the mind that if it’s not perfect then it’s not good – whether that is a new recipe I tried for my ever-encouraging chef-of-a-husband, my skin, the way my hair fell today or my jean size. The jean size has been a real issue lately. Speaking of said, chef husband; Kolby prepares food that is consumed at 5 star restaurants, food that people wait hours to try, food that is a gift to me each night from his heart and prepared with love. And I have been accepting this love and tasting it and indulging in it and savoring pastas, grilled eggplants, cabobs of every nature, pastries, linguini with clam sauce, gorgonzola steak, homemade runza, great wines, home-crafted beers and bread. Lots and lots of bread with butter. Lots of butter. All of this indulgence comes at a price, all my happiness comes at a cost – big girl pants.
After an unfortunate trip to a favorite place to pick up jeans, I realized that American Eagle Outfitters and their pre-teen sizes were not going to cut it for me any longer. As I sweated and grunted and jumped up and down to fit my behind into those jeans I was panicking – every fiber in my body wanted to scream, and cry or at least pout like the model in the poster staring back at me. But I stopped myself. I peeled the pants off, put on my leggings with elastic waist and left with what shred of dignity I had left. I was defeated by models, size 4 jeans and teenaged girls.
As I pouted home, tears in my eyes, I knew I needed some Ani to cheer me up. I wailed out the lyrics to my favorite tunes and wept about how chubby I was until a song came on that seemed like Ani reached through my car stereo and slapped me right in the face. I heard that lyric clear as day – “don’t let the sellers of stuff have power enough to rob you of your grace.”
That was it. I dried those tears, went to a grown-woman’s store bought the jeans that fit my blossoming booty, showed those curves, felt my own power and went home to my wonderful husband and had wine and bread. Lots of bread. With butter.