It still boggles me that people want to spend time with me, though, when I am prone to say so little. Talkative folk are happy to create a chime-filled home in the quiet space, maybe. I am all for lively discourse, but the fact that one singular person could have so much to say is a mystery to my deeply introverted Self. This is not a negative judgment – it really isn’t. I enjoy people. I appreciate that there are those content to fill my silence with quirky tales and eyes that glint in the light of their smiles.
In recent years I have acquired quite a lot of self worth. I am fond of my Self, which is useful as we spend quite a lot of time together, and for the most part I can wile away many moments with my thoughts contentedly. Inner turmoil and I are also, of course, well acquainted – but this is something I accept and work through on a daily basis. On the whole, I am content with who I am.
“You don’t say much, do you?” “You don’t eat much, do you?” “You don’t wear colors much, do you?” “You don’t get out much, do you?”
But you haven’t asked me what I do or how these things make me feel.
As a girl human, I was chubby. (I am still by no means perfection on legs, but the term feels more arbitrary now that I’ve gone through the motions and process of getting over/through societal pressure to a large degree.) I’m not sure it occurred to me that this was “wrong” until I grew taller and adults were suddenly telling me that I was lovely now that I had “thinned out” some. When I was ten, we ran into my teacher at the bank. She said, “what are these acne spots? Oh, but she’ll have boys after her like flies to honey once she hits fifteen.” At nineteen, boys are still yet to show any interest in my majesty; the difference now is that I realize superfluous attention from boys would make me unhappy. I have yet to dispose of my teenage hormones, however – just one nerd-boy-who-is-not-accidentally-gay would be great, for the record.
That same year, a friend’s mother told mine that she really “ought not be dressing Katie in all these purples. She looks okay in them, but she would look so much better in teal.” While the comment never made any actual impact on what I wore, I still sometimes wear purple purely in spite. (And in any event, purple is a fantastic color.) Teachers twice concernedly asked me whether I had lost weight while I was wearing a red blouse; whether this was true or not, for years afterward I was convinced that red made me look thinner.
My childhood was shattered glass, bare feet, and blindness. (Call me overreactive; no longer will I apologize for the unoriginality of my story.)
My father was always easily angered. Once my mother told me that he disliked it when we finished eating our dinner before he did. I spent years afterward running this through my head during dinnertime in an attempt to kill time and parse meaning from it. When I was nine he stormed from the dinner table, grumbling loudly that his dislike for this sauce should have been clear when he refrained from eating it the last two times and that my mother should not be fucking serving it. We never ate it again. It was my favorite sauce; maybe memory has made it this way.
There is a difference between being accepting of and feeling comfortable with oneself, between forgetting and getting through.
I’m so much happier now.
|Classy mirror photograph is classy. Self, body,|
and I may never meet impossible beauty
standards or perfection, but we like each
other just fine.
“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
- Havelock Ellis