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WriteOut of Her Mind

by Kelly Waterhouse

Happy medium

Have you ever had the supreme pleasure of watching a dog chase its own tail in circles, around and around ever faster in a dizzying display of madness?

If so, you would know what it’s like to watch me try on my various pairs of blue jeans in front of the mirror in my bedroom, obsessively spinning to ensure that all sides of the denim stretch to shape my thickening curves as we agreed they would at the point of purchase.

Vanity does not look good on me and neither do the jeans I practically lived in two summers ago.  Self-acceptance is key.

That is the message I replayed in my head during my recent closet reorganization: self-acceptance.

Rationalization helped.

“It’s all about how you feel in your skin,” I told myself repeatedly. “You aren’t 25 any more,” I reasoned as the “give away” pile of skinny jeans began to teeter over.

“You can always buy new pairs of jeans,” I whispered reassuringly to myself.

I am as tired of trying to fit into the stereotype of being the ideally thin and rumple-free figured female as I am of the whole “love yourself and just embrace your imperfections” stuff I cannot entirely buy into either.

It’s like the cult of happy: everyone should strive to be happy all the time. Have a positive outlook. Choose happy. (Shut up. Everyone gets to be grumpy sometimes). There has to be a happy medium.  There just has to be.

I choose to get real.

It’s politically incorrect to express an attitude that suggests anything other than focusing on inner-beauty rather than outer vanity, but I’m the one that has to live in this shell and I’m not quite happy with the exterior.  I reserve the right to be self-critical.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my body. We’re miracle workers. We have survived the unthinkable and the unbelievable. We’re deeply indebted to one another. But like any roommate relationship, we have arguments.

For instance, I wish my body would just comply with a few simple rules like “stop expanding,” or  “bloat only after 10pm,” or “maintain a proper hormonal balance unless otherwise directed.”

I’m sure my body has some complaints for me too, but whatever. And while I’ve accepted that, once my birthday age started with a 4 and ended with a horrifically fast escalating number to follow, gravity shifted. Unfortunately, I forgot to ensure the stretch-cotton ratio followed suit. Denial is ugly.

I’m not fully happy with the skin I’m in, not because I don’t love myself, but more because I have some pretty high standards and I’ve not yet met them. I think this is a good thing. 

I’m driven to be healthy. Never settle. Strive for more. Exercise. Self-care. Drink more water. Move. Dance. Eat less french fries (ignore that last one).

Love the journey and earn the scars. That I can do.  And when I fail to meet my own expectations? Drown my sorrows in chips and dip and call it a day. Forgive. Forget. Start over.

My goal is to find a happy medium; happy in mind, body and soul. And then buy new jeans. 

I’ve earned them.


Vol 50 Issue 13


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