CW: Internalized fatphobia ahead. Guard your hearts, you angel creature.
Long story short: I couldn’t go back to volunteering at the aquarium this morning because I don’t have any black pants that fit me anymore.
And it’s hard to not feel like some moral failure over that stupid fact. It’s hard not to feel like a letdown. It’s hard not to be disappointed and angry: at myself, at the concept of pants, etc.
Because I was going to do maybe the ONE THING I am truly good at this morning. I was going to stand in a wide open space and I was going to wave and smile at patrons and I was going to be all, “Yes, hello! Welcome to the aquarium! I’m truly psyched you are here, because this place is special and magical and you’re going to have a great day and you’re going to learn how to be a steward of our oceans and wildlife and that is important AF. Do you need to know where the bathrooms are? I fucking got you.”
(more or less)
I don’t feel good at anything right now. I feel like I am failing at existing within a body. I used to run and stretch and do bullshit like Downward Dog and I was close to strong. Really, I was just thin, so it felt like I had permission to fucking exist. To put on clothes and go out into the world. I spend about half of my days in my bathrobe currently just because I don’t want to deal with the shame inherent in getting dressed And that, my dudes, is some fatphobic nonsense and I hate that it is inside me.
When I realized my pants didn’t fit yesterday, I got really sad. I got sad and I went inside and I ate some potato salad from the farmer’s market. And then later I made these tasty spicy noodles and I ate them twice. And then I still ate a Mickey Mouse bar and I hate that I will maybe always feel like I have to confess my food choices to someone as if they are inherently a sin.
I don’t feel good at anything right now. I don’t feel excited, which used to be the main thing at which I excelled. That’s why I was so ready to be back at the aquarium this morning. It truly makes me feel alive to point people in the direction of sharks. It is the only thing for which I am qualified. I’m a loud goober who really wants you to know where the eels are.
If I can offer you a fact, a smile, a direction, maybe it doesn’t matter that the rest of my feels like a failure, you know? This thing has always felt so transactional and I am really tired.
I will still be smiley and good at knowing where sharks are when I acquire new pants that fit. (I’m gonna order some today, I promise.) And it will be okay if they are a number I haven’t encountered in a very long time. Maybe even ever. Our bodies are changing and beautiful and mine is capable of spilling my guts and pointing out sea turtles. I walked this morning to get a latte and that was pretty cool.
Pant size isn’t indicative of your worth, of your strength, of your heart. Fuck that fucking noise.
You’re so good. (I whisper it to you as I would whisper it to myself.)
Eat something tasty today, okay?