Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Skin and bones and muscles and guts

I watched To the Bone on Sunday. I'd heard about the movie and told myself I wasn't going to watch it. But then I changed my mind. I changed my mind about a lot of things last week. Things like ginger (Delicious!), radishes (When roasted, not entirely terrible!), underwire bras (I quit! No more of these ever!), long road runs (I do like random, weird adventures and hey, my joints didn't hate me afterwards. Score!) and flowers (I still think giving someone fresh flowers is like saying, here I got you this thing that is going to wither and die very soon! You get to watch it die! And it's going to drop pollen and petals everywhere, making quite a mess! But! That's life. Those flowers are all of us. We're living and dying simultaneously. The people in our lives are a gorgeous bouquet that we get to watch live, and die. It's joyful, sorrowful, messy and a beautiful privilege).

So when I was browsing Netflix and saw To the Bone listed there, I changed my mind about that too. I hadn't wanted to watch it because I knew it would feel more like a memory than a movie. I was mostly right. Though with the added bonus of Keanu Reeves. I would watch paint dry if Keanu Reeves was in it. Pete came in the room at around the midpoint of the movie, watched a few minutes and said "I don't get it. This movie has no plot." There was a scene where the main character measures the circumference of her bicep with her thumb and forefinger. I hold up my hand, thumb and pinkie finger touching to form a circle and say, my arm used to be this small. Pete says "And now you can do chin-ups!" For a moment I wish I had the luxury of seeing this as a movie without plot. But to me the plot is everything. Starvation, physical and emotional. Emptiness. Perfectionism, a death by a thousand tiny cuts. Choosing life. Becoming a person who believes she deserves to live and love and enjoy life. From skin and bones to muscles and guts. And Living - really, truly, completely living.

For a moment I wish I did not understand this so acutely, that I didn't recognize so much of myself there. It's a past I am happy to leave behind. I haven't been that ghost of a person in a long time. But I stop myself from wishing this. I can't erase the past. I'm not held captive by it, but it is a part of me. It will always be a part of me. The part that led me to here, the awesomeness that is my life today. Sitting on the couch, eating chocolate-covered bananas. Watching a movie that's like a painful memory. Feeling the old pain rise up and leak out my eyes, only to be assuaged by compassion and overwhelming gratitude.

Choose life. And then fucking get busy living it. It will change everything.

Lyric of the moment: "Skeleton you are, you are my friend. And I will be there for you until the end. And even though, when I take you out, you've got me, you've got me standing in an awkward position. With unwanted attention and a need for explanation. I could, I could never let you go. And that is all I know..." ~Kate Nash "Skeleton Song"

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