© 2011 lefron JENNIFAH

Jennifer’s Body

After much tribulation then seeming loss of my thought-ridden mind, the queries and qualms have weasled their way back in. I once again find myself stark awake at night writing lavish paragraphs in my head, and I’ve given love to my rusty trusty thesauraus. Old friends how I’ve missed you. The brain, just like all my squishy un-buildable muscles, yearns to be exercised. The longer I prolong cranium thrusts, the less I can perform when I get the motivation. Though ready and willing to perspire, my brain is wound tight from lack of movement, and thus requires deep stretching in order to clearly produce the thoughts that are begging to come out.

So I’ve been stretching. There’s a few hidden gems—blogs so epic in material and execution that I chose not to reveal them to the public for fear you’d feel inferior to their genius—that are left unfinished on this very server. Blasphemy, one might think, for such an eloquent young woman to keep prized revelation and thought transcendency from us, the naiive audience. Just as good high school students write first and second drafts before the final revision, I too, must behave in such a mature fashion, and trust that not all my work needs publishing.

—I paused here for a brief moment to paint my nails grey and take a sip of microwaved coffee out of an orange mug with butterflies and flowers on it. Back to the drawing board!

Getting “back in the groove” (is that how it goes?) “back in the swing of things” (always in reference to prestigious dance eras) “back in the saddle again” (less and less do these idioms relate to getting back in the flow of writing. I must be grooving in the swinging saddle again!) is not the easiest thing; for starters I’ve been trying to get back in the groove of having a six pack for the last 22 years. I don’t think I need to clarify how that’s working out. Returning to a hobby or craft that once poured from my creative mind and pooled perfectly into a finished result is frustrating when I’m out of practice; the mind feels incapable or somehow plain bad at its previous skill. So, I’ve had to practice.

First step: Overcoming Discouragement. Easy for me when the discouragement is self-inflicted; difficult to damn near impossible if the discouragement is an outside source…but that’s another story. I recognize that everyone experiences feeling rusty, and that not only am I human for losing touch with my hobby, but I’m super-human for trying to get back at it. Discouragement refuted, ego boosted.

Second step: Willingness to Abandon. This one is trickier for me. I have a hoarder’s heart with Megan Fox’s body, and it’s difficult for me and my big sexy hair to give up on any idea, no matter how small or undeveloped. But just as Megan Fox only accepts Academy Award worthy roles, I too must abandon some trains of thought.

Third step: Keep Trying. Though unpracticed in “the man’s” world, I am rather diligent in my own world. I will not “keep trying” to find my career path, and I will “stop trying” to live a conventional life. Yesterday I told my beautiful boyfriend that I’ve felt monotonous over the past month or so, and it’s because I’ve “started trying” to live conventionally when what makes me happy is to “keep trying” to be diligent in my own wacky world. I try by making different choices, and every choice I make is my own little experiment.

Choices are personal desires played publicly and they are the bravest thoughts we have; they’re difficult to make because in doing so we’re owning up to their potential disaster. (I realize this is a tangent, but I’m massaging my mind and you get to watch it happen.) I’ve met many passive aggressive people, generally those people are of the indecisive nature—”I don’t care what we do, you decide.” They protect themselves from potential disaster by actively opting out of the choice-making process. Additionally they remain invulnerable to a situation where their desires could be judged or shut down; a choice is not only a risk but a statement of personality. I’ve been at fault for this myself: I’ll omit my choice thinking I’m bowing down to someone else’s needs, which I tend to put before my own. Subconsciously I think that by letting others choose I’m immersing myself in their world, when in fact I’m shutting them off from my own.

This is something I’m very good at. People-pleasing is a common ‘quality’ amongst us and yet I find it to be a disease of the insecure. Pleasing others alone is passive-aggressive, and counter-intuitive if the object is to make relationships: if we’re always doing what you want to do, how could you ever get to know me at all? For someone like me who’s been a PP most of my awesome booming radical sweet bitchin’ life, it’s a struggle to break out of the habit and become assertive with what I want. After growing accustomed to under-choosing, making choices for myself felt selfish, and finding a balance continues to take practice.

I feel really good today. I woke up early, I took out the trash, I listened to the neighbors bitch about the track marks I left in the alley from dragging the trash, I “cleaned” the tracks, I made coffee, I blogged, I went to the gym, I made meals for myself, and the whole time I couldn’t wipe a grin from my face. I made choices and stuck to them; nothing felt wishy-washy or half-assed, and I feel brave and excited to be comfortable in my skin. While these daily activities might seem arbirtrary to you, feeling confident in my choices is for me the equivalent pivotal experience of the day I pulled my depressed ass out of bed. It is so hard for me to say what I want. It is the pinnacle of Rachel’s vulnerability and she fears being vulnerable above all (yes, even above never having a six pack).

Several months ago my manfriend told me he’d love for once to hear what I wanted to do. Several months ago this rubbed me the wrong way, and it made me even less inclined to speak my mind. I was being stubborn and he was right; I rarely spoke up about what I wanted, whether it was what I felt like eating or whether or not we raged that night, but I refused to think that voicing my opinion was the better option over nurturing his desires. I admire that he makes strong choices. He knows what he wants and he’s not afraid to say it; I wouldn’t say he consciously inspired me to speak up, but since then I’ve noticabely felt more and more comfortable vocalizing my desires and making choices I might have previously let fall to the wayside. It feels really fucking good.

Usually blogging is a visual discovery of the changes I go through; whether its dealing with anxiety or pure joy I scatter these obstacles on paper and watch them create a picture. It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I thought I had “stopped trying” to uncurl my thoughts, when I in fact was uncurling them all along with the use of the intangible world around me. Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog because I felt out of practice, maybe I’ve been given the gift of a companion who helps me practice my thoughts in reality, or maybe its both. Either way, I’m falling into a balance between my thoughts and my actions, and getting in the swing of that is the grooviest of all.

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