My relationship with food had been complicated for as far back as I can recall. When I was fast approaching 50, I believed this was a unique situation. Turns out, not so much.
Our culture has raised generation after generation of fucked up eaters. It’s as if we set out to do as much damage as possible, then sit back and collect all the money from ways to make it better. (And by “we” I don’t me or you, at all. I mean the MadMen, the misogynistic and selfish white shitheads who have been holding our power for far too long. And by “better” I mean far worse.)
Now that I am closing in on 60, my education on this topic has been deep and painful. I have spent the last nearly nine years climbing out from under a lifetime of shame, guilt, and man-made (literally, made by men, and sure, a few women) falsehoods which, quite honestly, nearly killed me. (And I can’t say whether they factored into the death of my sister or not, but I will stand strong in my belief that they didn’t help her health at all.)
In a restaurant the other night, as our meal was nearly concluded, a young woman sat down behind me. Well, she tried to, but my chair (and the empty one next to it, where I’d piled up a stack of personal belongings) was in her way.
I began to rearrange furniture, as she laughed and said that this was something she herself often did. I was glad to hear it. She was a lovely (and funny) girl.
It had been on my mind earlier that the fantastic tearing down of diet culture and enhanced inclusiveness movement is really gaining momentum. We are all seeing the signs and messages of how, collectively, WE are no longer going to take the lies and the garbage any longer.
As Dan and I were leaving, our table-neighbor and her dinner partner told us goodnight/have a nice evening, we did the same. But then, I turned back to my new friend, and said:
take up space!
A huge smile appeared on her face, and she replied enthusiastically, “you, too!” We shared this small sisterhood, we knew what we were saying. We were part of the change, not part of the problem.
This message, this phrase, is about self-worth. It’s a way of being in our own skin, and feeling good there. It’s something we should all be sharing, at every opportunity.
She and I connected because we knew that no matter our size, no matter our age, no matter our gender/identification, no matter our ANYthing, we have the right to be treated with care. Basic rights are our basic foundation. I couldn’t have been more proud of her if she had been my own daughter.
In that moment, we both knew each other. We shared a connection which is the new direction our world is turning. Hope, lovingkindness. It’s our future.
(For more on “taking up space” all one needs to do is run a quick search and a huge number of hits will appear. If this is something you’ve not heard of until now, I highly encourage following-up.)
is below, it’s my most recent view. My January page. I spent the month looking at this tranquil scene.
One of the hashtags I’m currently following (for my mental health, and self-care) on Instagram is Sea Glass. I found THESE FOLKS from there. And I can’t even say how very happy their calendar makes me.