Wednesday, March 12, 2008

my body is a temple, or, i ain't no mobile home

it was only recently that i felt like we have FINALLY settled into our 'new' apartment. there are no more visible cardboard boxes signifying our transitory status. there is organization and order in all the rooms. images and art are hung instead of heaped against an out-of-the-way wall waiting to be displayed. it took a little more than a year, but i finally feel completely moved in.

the funny thing is that everything in los angeles still feels so new... or maybe it feels more like impermanence?? yes, that's it. there exists this pervasive temporary feeling that still nags the back of my mind, even after a year. at first i thought the feeling stemmed from knowledge of an impending home purchase in the near future. there are no firm plans right this moment, but buying a house and getting out of apartment life is one of those big goals on the horizon. but this ephemeral sense is rooted deeper: my guy and i don't plan stay in los angeles forever. but when we left the comfort of chicago, we didn't think further than 'hey! let's move to l.a.!'

...and then what?

this seems to be the question that keeps me calling my apartment new, that allows me to consider myself as having 'just' moved here, that makes me feel nonplussed about this town and its inhabitants. signing the lease for another year is probably a good indication that i should probably drop the 'new'.

i've been thinking about how i live with 'temporary', how it feels to view my life as 'temporary', how it feels to know that my current job isn't permanent, that my apartment is not truly my space, that this town does not engender a sense of belonging within me. temporary does not feel like mine.

when i think of my home in chicago, i am overwhelmed with nostalgia, with a fondness for a city rich with culture, intellect, savvy. i think of the beauty of the seasons: bitter and unforgiving in the winter, delicate and innocent in the spring. i think of the home i owned for a decade, the modifications and renovations that i did with my own hands. i think of my truly amazing girlfriends, who inspire me, who challenge me, who accept me as i am. i think of my dysfunctional, lovable family. my heart swells with pride when i think about 'home'.


i recently read that the body usually fluctuates between three and five pounds from its normal weight. what an unexpected, harsh slap in my face this bit of trivia was. three to five pounds is what i have been dancing around with for the past three months, fooling myself that "it's" working! i am down 2 lbs! up 1:( down 1.5lbs!! up 4lbs.

what the fuck am i doing?? i'm not committed to dieting. i'm not sticking to the plan. i've been foo-fahing around with weight watchers online, dancing around a nice, neat structured system and telling myself, genuinely SELLING myself on the idea that i'm doing this! i'm really in it to win it!! i'm full of shit. i'm starting to think that a smart slap is exactly what i need to help me snap out of it.

as i examine the myriad of excuses, of broken systems that i live by, as i poke around my inner workings, i am drawn to this idea of permanence and sense of pride. i realize that right now, right this very moment, my relationship with my body feels temporary. one day my body and mind are buddy-ole-pals and the next day, my mind is leaving my body in the dust. for a week or two, i feel centered, whole. i am conscious of how my body feels, if it's hungry, if it wants exercise and i lovingly attend to its needs. in one afternoon, this groovy symbiosis is dashed on the jagged rocks of too many drinks and late nite greasy food. my relationship with my body feels temporary. my body does not feel like mine and therefore, i am excused from taking care of it.

i need this to change. i need to feel like my mind and body are engaged in a permanent and exclusive relationship. i need to know with every fiber of my being that my body is my temple. i need to know that regardless of the impermanent state of external forces in my life, my relationship with my body is constant. i need to feel proud of my body. i need to feel like i belong to my body, like it's my beloved home.

so here's what i've come up with so far:
change is good
change is necessary
my constant, my permanent lies within me
my body is permanent
my relationship with my body is permanent
i can endure change because i can always rely on my body

...and then what?

i'm not really sure. i don't know what comes next.
hard work? ok. but what does that work look like?

self love? yeah. that sounds great. how do i do it?

awareness? mindfulness? self respect? yes. yes. and yes. sign me up!

what? no instruction manual?!?

Body, i guess it's you and me, kid. we're gonna have to figure this out together. are you in this with me? are we in this to win this?



manda31 said...

I am in it with you, don't worry...........

Lasserday said...

i didn't realize that the temporary thing is a problem for me until you articulated it. thanks! gotta do some thinking about this now. :)

Heather said...

oh I will never leave chicago, I love it too much!

I know how you feel, I used to have that temporary feeling with my body too, until one day I accepted that this is who I am and I could either make my fat permanent, or change and make a healthy life style permanent. thank goodness the healthy choice won out. I know you can do this, it just takes a while to get it right. but you will.

justoofat said...

This post touched me in a very deep place. Reading your comments about the concept of "home" and then contrasting it to how you feel about your body, threw into sharp relief my own frailties in this area as well. My body is not my temple either. Most days it feels like my enemy... and what I realize is that as long as we're in opposition, this is going to continue to be a fight. It's no wonder it's so fucking easy to feel beaten so often.

Anyway, you've very articulately struck a nerve with your insightful words. I hope you find your way.


bikinime said...

belly ... wow. This post is very powerful -- "my constant, my permanent lies within me" -- love it!

The idea that change is good and necessary is hard for most of us to ... not only grasp, but welcome. I am being reminded daily that change is also unavoidable. I'd like to find within myself the strength to flow with change, rather than squeeze my eyes shut against its intrusion and hope it goes away. Instead of feeling safe within a routine and finding security within a controlled environment, I would rather have security in the knowledge that I am strong enough to live my own life.

I am strong enough to live my own life.

Thank you for such a wonderful entry.