… at 11:30 pm as I was trying to find sleep.
You ever have one of those nights? The kind where you lay in bed awake because your mind is going a million miles a minute? It was definitely one of those nights for me. I had been talking with a friend earlier in the day about how I missed living near mountains. It got me thinking about where I want to be and what I want to be doing. As many of you know from reading this blog, I do aspire to be a writer. Since starting work a year ago, I really haven’t had much time to delve into my creative processes. I mean, I want to be a fantasy writer. That means I need to know my world, my magic system, and my characters inside and out. I simply don’t have that creative energy right now, but I don’t want to wait until I do to resume my writing.
That’s what got me thinking of Anne of Green Gables. Over the last weekend, I invited my mom over to watch the Green Gables miniseries pack that I bought on DVD. There was a lot of nostalgia and tears and we really enjoyed it. In the second miniseries, which is based on L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Avonlea (or Anne of the Island – I don’t quite remember), Anne receives her first rejection letter for a manuscript that she had submitted for publication. She stumbles upon Gilbert Blythe and he coerces her into showing him the rejection letter. Later, after a certain episode concerning baking powder, Gil tells Anne that she’d be better off writing about things she knows, in common English. He tells her that she should write of Avonlea. She does and is published.
So I started thinking last night about writing something that I know. I don’t have to create a world if it’s real. I don’t have to develop characters if they’re real. I’m not saying it’s easier, but it would be a more manageable way to write while working full-time.
Then I realized that taking that literally and fictionalizing my own childhood wouldn’t really work. I mean, growing up in the 80’s doesn’t exactly have the same kind of charm as growing up in the countryside of an island in the Maritime. I then asked myself, Does it need to be fiction?
So, what do I know?
Lately, my mind has been on weight loss. Many of you read the other blog that I share with my husband, which is chronicling our weight loss journey. It’s been really good for me as I talk about some of the day-to-day (or week to week) struggles of weight loss. However, in my frenzied thoughts last night as I tried to find sleep, I realized that there’s so much more to weight loss than the journey at the end. I’ve had a relationship with my weight from my earliest childhood that has shaped my perception of myself.
Does anybody care?
It doesn’t matter. Writing this is going to help me in numerous ways. Firstly, it’s going to get me writing again, without having to invest as much creativity (which is at an all-time low) into it. Secondly, it will be immensely cathartic. I hadn’t realized until last night just how much my weight (both lack or excess of) is tied deeply into my self-image and how I approach things. Finally, it will help me on my current (and final) weight loss attempt.
It will probably never be published. In fact, it will probably never be read by anyone except my husband and my mother, because the love me and they have to. It doesn’t matter if no one else finds it interesting, inspiring or otherwise mind-opening. It just has to be written.
When I was a young girl of eight or nine, I remember watching an after-school special with my sister. I don’t remember the name and I don’t remember the story. What I remember most is that a younger sister got mad at her older sister and called her “thunder thighs”. My immediate response was, “I wish I had thunder thighs!”
My relationship with my weight is neither simple nor complicated. But it is old, as old as I am in fact. I was a child who not only never put on any baby fat to lose, but also yearned to be more than skin and bones. I was so self-conscious about my lack of any weight that I could never have imagined weighing 325 pounds as an adult.
But I did.