Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Struggle To Improve

I am good at a lot of things. Cooking, planning. driving. I can analyze literature fairly well and I navigate crowds well. I'm a good cleaner, and I garden. But liking myself? Well that is just not one of my virtues. And to be fair, why should it be? This is not something that we are told is important. For every article I read in not-Glamour or not-Cosmo about loving myself and writing lists about the positive aspects of my chin there are ten articles devoted to everything I am doing wrong. I'm too smart, not smart enough, too available, not available enough, too brunette, too curvy, not curvy enough, too much, too soon, too little, not soon enough. Did any of that work for you? Because all of that works for me.

And 90% of the time I can ignore those little spiky voices that aggravate everything in me. But then the weeks come along when everything goes terrible awry and everything you want is denied you and everything seems determined to reject you. And isn't all of that so lovely. Seriously, it's something about this time of year, the light, the weather, the imposing specter of Valentine's Day, that makes everything your do feel like a failure. There is something about the conversion about light and cold and drab mornings that let's you know you have fought the struggle and you have lost. It's over, finito. I might as well resign myself to a life of ill-fitting sweatpants and terrible terrible hair.

And when those devastating moments happen, which they do, after the subtle but terrible gentle increase of disappointment upon disappointment, rejection upon rejection, nothing seems to make you feel worth the effort. And it's totally possible that it isn't. Worth it, that is. But the most excellent thing about being a human being is all these other human beings who, despite your best and most solid efforts, seem to keep hanging around you. So you slowly deal with that fact, and you let them in the best way you know how and try to be nice when you can't. And they stand there and are nice and take it. And then, if they are REALLY nice, they give you that lovely thing called alcohol. And that's when you recognize that no, unfortunately enough the struggle? Well, that's just beginning.

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