The Plight of the Skinny Girl

I first feel the need to add a foreword that this post is meant in no way to be of a fat-bashing nature. It more importantly is NOT a “pro ana” or “thinspo” post either. I am here to tell a story of what it’s like to grow up being ME in MY body. Thank you for listening.

I am tall. I am skinny. I, in fact, have an ideal body that I quite like. So, why are people are trying to put me down about it?

On a weekly basis I get called either anorexic or bulemic at least 3-4 times. Usually by co-workers, and always by people who don’t really know me. This really hurts my feelings. One of my best friends struggles with an eating disorder. It terrifies me everytime she calls herself fat, goes on crash diets, and starves herself. She posts pictures of herself, hip bones and ribcage sticking out like a skeleton with skin stretched over it, asking the world why she can’t lose weight. It makes me so sad because I know there is nothing I can do or say to make her feel better about herself. Her body image is distorted, she doesn’t see what other people see. She is the most beautiful girl I know and she’s killing herself because she thinks it’s not enough.
This is not me. This is my worst nightmare.

I LOVE MY BODY. There, I said it.

That hasn’t always been the case. Everytime I get called anorexic my only defense is to recant what I refer to as “the awkward years”, aka Birth through age 16. The first half of my life I looked like a noodle with shoes on. I hit 5’8 by the time I was in the 8th grade, had huge feet(size 10! on a child!), and towered over every girl and boy in my class. I was not graceful. I moved like a baby deer, all limbs, tripping over myself, and not in a fuzzy, adorable, Bambi sort of way. All my clothes were too big and too short. It was a horribly awkward way to spend my developmental years. I was teased and tormented. “Don’t your parents feed you?” Yes, they did. They fed me healthy foods. In fact, growing up I live in a junk-food free home. There were no potato chips, cookies, or candies in my cupboards. If I wanted a snack I went in the backyard and picked something off of one of our fruit trees. It enraged me as a child that my lunch box never had a pack of Doritos and a Fruit-Roll up. I was actually made fun of for bringing a healthy lunch. Kids are really cruel, they’ll make fun of you for anything. I wish I’d known then that I’d get the last laugh.

It wasn’t until about my junior year of highschool that I really “Filled Out”. In my case this meant gaining some muscle tone on my legs and arms so I looked less like a stick figure and my body transformed into that of a supermodel(minus the boobs, 10 years later I’m still waiting for those to grow…aaaany day now I’m sure). All of the sudden people (men) took notice. Unfortunately after years of torure for being Sally Speghetti, it was unwelcome attention. Had I had more self confidence at that point in my life I would have loved to persue a career in modeling. 5’9 and a size 0, and I didn’t even have to try…I coulda been great 😉

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure when I started to love my body or why. I suspect it began when everybody else started hating theirs. The girls who had the big boobs in high school started to sag after graduation. My A-cups are still as perky as ever, though Victoria’s Secret doesn’t even carry a size for me. I am very lucky though, because I don’t even care that I have small boobs. No matter their size, I think they are PERFECT. My tummy is flat and I keep it that way. No crash diets, or crazy workouts. I eat a high-fiber diet. I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full. A concept I’ve found is baffling to most.

Everybody’s quick to say that if I’m not starving myself(they add that with skepticism) then I must be blessed with an incredibly high metabolism. WRONG. I have an underactive thyroid. I metabolize much slower than you. My roommate says I’m like a shark(they have slow metabolisms to store food to use for energy later when they food supplies are low(in case you’re not a shark week fan)) “Carrie fed last week, she’s fine for a couple more”. He makes me laugh. I can’t take my thyroid pills because they terrorize a pre-existing anxiety and insomnia disorder, so I have to concentrate on doing what’s right for my body. Hence the high fiber diet. Easy to digest, and foods with fiber are also some of the healthier choices out there. When I feel sluggish, or like I’ve been overindulging in unhealty things(sugar is my vice, I eat more candy in a month then most families do in a year) I EXERCISE. And no hardcore work here either. I hate to sweat. I walk. When I want to “work out” I go for a walk. I’m a lucky girl and I live 1 mile from the pacific ocean so I always have a beautiful stroll. Not only good for the body but good for the soul. When I feel healthy, I feel happy.

I ask you all, next time you see a thin person, don’t automatically assume that they have a disorder. In fact you should probably sympathize with them because, like me, they spent the better part of their life looking like an awkward skeleton. EveryBODY has it’s own unique story. And instead of hating on thin people and calling them names, why not compliment their dedication to a healthy lifestyle. If you’re unhappy with your body, ask them their secret! I’m happy to share mine.

I leave you with my love, in all her glory. I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can!



What Happens Next?

“…The only reason for life or a story is “What Happened Next?” -Jack Kerouac

So, what does happen next? I find myself, 25 years old and without a clue as to where my life is headed.

I know where I’d like it to go but I have no idea how to get there. I have grand dreams of being an archaeologist. Ever since I was a child I was a huge history enthusiast. My interests lie mainly in South America, a land I believe holds some of the world’s most ancient and interesting mysteries. The Amazon river and rainforest, I think, is home of the most unique, dare I say unevolved species in the world. A real-life Eden, untouched by modern man.

So why don’t I do it? I was a straight-A, 4.0, honors everything since preschool(with the exception of napping, I could never fall asleep on command, I’ve had terrible insomnia as long as I can remember.) As I’ve explained in my previous post I had to make a mad-dash out of my hometown to save my sanity. I put myself in a hard spot early on, leaving my parent’s house when I was just 17 years old and still in highschool. Being on your own as a teenager is REALLY fun, I’m not gonna lie, but I may have subsequently screwed up the rest of my life. I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck ever since…well, ever since I got paychecks. Because of this, just to get ahead in life, I find myself working 50+ hours a week. I have no time to grocery shop, shower, or do laundry; when am I supposed to find the time to go to college?!

Even if I had the time I do have issues with the college system itself. I’m sure it works great for kids whose parent’s are willing to support them while they work full time on an education. Those who don’t have any other obligations but to write their term papers and get drunk at the local bar every night. But for me, with the schedule I maintain I’d be able to pull off MAYBE one class a semester. And it for the first few years these wouldn’t even be classes that were remotely relevant to my field of study. And the ones that are you literally have to FIGHT to get into. It’s not fair. I know I’m smarter than 90% of the people in college, no kidding, it’s not that I can’t do it, I just don’t have the means or the time to. I’m willing to read any text, go through any sort of training, I’m even saving my pennies for a volunteer archaeology project in Peru where I can at least get my feet wet in the field and hopefully make some connections. I don’t need to win Nobel Peace Prizes and change the history of the world, but I want to DISCOVER. I want to disappear to foreign countries for months at a time and dig in the dirt and unplug from American society. I want to be a part of something great.

I have a fortune I carry with me:

“You will become successful through innovation and determination”.

Wise cookie. I think It could not be more true. I know what I want, and I know the conventional method to acheive my dream isn’t going to work out unless my life changes in drastic ways that are beyond my realm of reality. I KNOW I can make it happen, it just has to happen my way or not at all.

So, what happens next? I don’t know. I do know that I can’t do the 9-5 thing forever(or in my case 7-7) I’d lose my mind. The thought of going to work and doing the same job everyday is so BLEAK. I’d rather be dead than live a life without adventure and discovery.

I welcome any advice from anyone in the field who thinks they can help me out with the next step.

Hemet is Heaven

To give you some insight into my twisted little mind I thought I’d give you some background.

I grew up in a small town called Hemet. Right smack in the armpit of California. My grandma told me when she moved there in the 50’s, they used to call it ‘the foothills of heaven’. Unfortunately, that has since become a sick joke as my grandmother’s and parent’s generations began to die off and move on. Located just on the other side of the mountains from Palm Springs, it was set to be the next big desert resort town. The warm weather brought orange groves as far as the eyes could see. It’s even rumored Marilyn Monroe was one of Hemet’s visitors.

The smell of orange blossoms has since been replaced with the smell of manure that hits you like a brick wall the moment you cross the border into town(although, there are no real farms anywhere I’ve ever seen). The orange groves, now acres of run-down tract homes. Hemet now boasts the world’s 2 closest Super Wal-Marts and one of the highest meth production rates in the USA. My single greatest accomplishment in life was leaving that little shit town. Although, at the age of 25, I am still susceptible to The Hemet Curse. The Hemet Curse has proven itself time and time again, generation after generation; Once you live in Hemet, no matter where you go, you’re doomed to return there to live there someday. I’d even go as far to say that if you were born in Hemet, you will more than likely die there.

You can still see the remains of Hemet’s Glory Days. One of my favorite landmarks is the old Hemet Stock farm. A now dilapidated old field, it once hosted horse races and events for Hemet’s finer folk. It’s claim to fame now is that it was used in the movie adaptation of the novel, Seabiscuit. A beautiful piece of history that’s no surrounded by low-income housing and trailer parks. I know it’s just a matter of time before the powers-that-be tear it down to make…well…I would assume another Super Wal-Mart.

I have to wonder at what point everyone in Hemet went batshit crazy. When they turned from a hardworking farm town to a welfare warzone. It’s hard to look at the town in the state it’s in now and imagine anybody EVER deciding to move there in this day and age, let alone stay there when they have the means to leave. But that is the Hemet curse…you’re born there, everything and everyone you know is there, you stay there. It’s fear of the unknown. What is behind that wall of cow shit? A lot of my friends and family will probably never know.

I was severely depressed while I lived there(the better part of 22 years) Idle hands and an overactive mind. After a particularly bad year and my best friend moving 8 hours away to northern California, I decided I had to make an escape or die there. I decided on a whim to move to the small beach town of Carlsbad, CA. I used to camp there as a child and it held some of my favorite memories. I found a job at a hotel and a roommate on Craigslist and made my break for it. It was rather a bold thing to do, to abandon all I knew, friends, family, all the things that held me there, the things that made me, me. But it was all I could do to save my sanity. I didn’t like the ME that was formed in Hemet. Leaving was the best decision of my life.

It’s not all sunshine and roses. I am very lonely out here on my own. No family, no friends nearby, and let’s face it, the beach lifestyle ain’t cheap. But I’m HAPPY. Well, the closest to happy I can remember ever being anyways(most people would still classify this as miserable, but trust me, I could be worse) I’ve got a long way to go until bliss, but I’m getting there. The path is becoming clearer to me, but I still have some roadblocks to get over before I can begin that journey.

Squirrels and Spies

I’ve been reading a lot lately which makes me realize I need to write more. Not about anything really, i just do. I was walking on the beach today, along Carlsbad’s seawall. I had to laugh out loud at a man having an epic battle with a ground squirrel. The man was vehemently trying to pass the rodent,who was running along side him on the top of the wall, but everytime he got close the thing would skitter 2 feet in front of him. He literally looked completely exasperated by it. I tried to stifle my giggles as I passed, I really did, it’s really rather embarrassing when you’re walking alone and see or think of something funny and laugh to yourself. Alas, I laughed at him anyway and he looked quite offended actually, it’s a shame he couldn’t see how funny he looked. But I probably look rather insane going about smiling to myself and laughing at strangers.

Speaking of my sanity, I became quite paranoid that I was being watched on my way home. I saw a redhead in a red car who kept looking up towards me. After she saw me she began jotting something down. I know from watching true crime tv that to get the heat off you, you let them know you’re on to them. So naturally I made I contact with her, glanced toward her notebook and nodded. Walked on. About a mile down the road I came upon a couple more curious observers. These 2 were sitting in the front of a pickup truck, no shit, peering at me over newspapers! Both of them! People are nuts I tell ya. I also acknowledged their presence and strutted on my way.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s really no reason the heat would be on me in the first place. However there is always the off chance they’ve discovered my genius and are afraid I’m going to use it for evil. I probably should…I certainly don’t use it for good. I wish I did. There’s a lot of things I’d love to do if I didn’t work 50 hrs a week just supporting myself. I dream of being an archaeologist, but this country’s college system is seriously screwed up. It’d take me 15 years to get a degree with so little time on my hands. I’ll never understand why I can’t just take the classed I NEED for the field I want to be in. I wish someone would give me a shot. I’d read any text they wanted for a job excavating in south America. Picture me, with a machete, in the middle of the Amazon. Amazing. It’s a strange dream for a twenty-five year old girl to have, but I know I’ll lose my mind completely if I have to live the rest of my life doing the same old same until I die. To be honest, I live my life in a state of anxiety. I’m terrified because I’m stuck in this loop of nonstop work and my dreams just aren’t able to be made reality at this point in my life. I’m saving up cash to get my passport and join up with a volunteer dig I read about. I just still can’t figure out how I could ever abandon my current life without a safety net. Nobody can afford to take care of me if I can’t find work when I return. As you get older that “marry rich” idea seems more and more tempting.

I joke. Kinda.