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My Life: A Short Post. April 16, 2008

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I, The Cast.
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This last month has been, in a word, insane.  March began with my boss on vacation which dumped a lot on my plate at work.  After she returned, there were some staffing shake-ups that made us all wonder what was going on there.  Then, just when things seem to be settling down, my father has a heart attack.

So that’s where I have been.  And now that things are starting to wind down, perhaps there will be some time to do some posting.

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A Dog’s Life. March 19, 2008

Posted by Jae in The Cast.
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Two weeks ago, I adopted a dog.  She is a lovely little girl who enjoys sleeping, eating, and long walks around the neighborhood.  She is smart, friendly, and housebroken.  My whole extended family is smitten with her, and I certainly could not love her more.

However, from the moment I got her home my Dad, who sometimes watches her during the day, has worried that she might get fat.

When we got her she was on the thin side, probably because she doesn’t care for dry food (and that’s what the shelter was giving her).  Since she’s joined my family though, she eats like a champ.  She eats according to the feeding guidelines, and though she gets a good amount of treats, she also gets pleanty of exercise.  The vet did not seem concerned about her weight; hell, you can easily feel her ribs.

Yet my father has brought up the what-if-she-gains-too-much-weight scenario multiple times.  I’ve tried to stay away from the topic, because quite frankly, I’m not ready to get into an argument with my father over HAES for dogs or the idea that perhaps she might not been predisposed to fat in spite of the fact that she is a food vacuum.

I know that my dad really isn’t trying to be a jerk about it, but it really is getting on my last nerve and it makes me wonder exactly what is really bothering him.  My father is a heavy guy, and has been as long as I’ve been alive, but every now and then he seems to feel his weight crosses a magical line and becomes unacceptable.  He starts talking about how he has to “lay off the cookies” and he reminisces about the days when he used to walk everywhere.  After awhile though, the talk stops until another unknown phenomenon causes him to start up again.

And it sounds a little crazy, but I think he might be projecting his issues on the dog.  She looks less scrawny then when I first got her, much more like a healthy, lively, dog, but in his mind she seems to be just one MilkBone away from unacceptably big.  And it makes me really sad for him, because while I know he will never stop loving her no matter what she looks like, it makes me wonder what he thinks of himself.

Sometimes it seems like no one is safe.

Nightmares October 6, 2007

Posted by Jae in Body Image, Dreams, Me, myself, and I, The Cast.
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I intended for this next entry to be about clothes, but I had the most disturbing dream this morning that I just had to share it.

It was Thanksgiving and I was moving into a new apartment that looked like my aunt’s house before it was remodeled. Because of this, I couldn’t go (to my aunt’s house) with my family for Thanksgiving dinner; my uncle called me on the phone to tell me that he missed me, but he was excited for my new apartment.

Then…I was out, shopping I think. I remember coming out of the subway. I had a choice of two different exits: one was closer street-wise to where I wanted to go, but I would have had to walk across town, and the other would have left me on the right side of town, but twenty streets away. I opted for having to walk across town.

The next thing I know I was sitting somewhere on a large, indoor, balcony. It is sort of dark, but I didn’t seem to be bothered by this. I was doing something, writing, reading…I couldn’t tell. And there are people behind me who I am talking to, but not really looking at. At first, I don’t think I knew them, but when I do finally turn one of them is my sister. She asks me to demonstrate some dance move that looks something like belly dancing; I do this (while still sitting down) and she and the others laugh; when I turn away from her, I hear a picture being snapped. I jerk my head back around just in time to see her trying to hide a tiny camera from me.

“What are you doing?” I ask. “Are you trying to take pictures of me because I’m fat?!”

“Yes.”

“Why?!”

“It’s funny…can you blame me?”

The next thing I know, I am in my parents living room with my sister and three of her friends, only one of whom I recognized; in real life, she hasn’t been really been friends with this girl for some time. I am yelling at them, screaming at them, asking them what makes them think they can do this to me. I yell right in my sister’s friend’s face, but I get no answers from anyone. I follow my sister into my parents kitchen and scream at her and she won’t even look at me; she is paying attention to something she is knitting, and though I can’t tell what it is, I can see that it’s brown.

My mother comes in, because of all the yelling, and I try to tell her that my sister has done something horrible and won’t answer me, but she brushes off my concerns.

And then, I woke up.

I have no idea what this means, or where any of this comes from. I think I’m going to need to think about it some now, even if it’s the last thing I want to do.

Avocados and Other Demons. September 28, 2007

Posted by Jae in Jobz, The Cast, The Crazy.
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Today was one of those days were I felt guilty every time I took a bite of food, and now all I want to do is jump on the scale.

I have long denied any connection between my emotions and the way I feel about my body. The most I was willing to say was that my body got in the way of my happiness, and it did, but not in the way that I meant it. My body got in the way of my happiness because I made it my enemy and swore that I would never be truly happy until I had vanquished it–lost 50 pounds, shed five inches off my thighs, wore a size 8–however, that was the only connection I was willing to acknowledge between my body and my emotions.

Today though, guilt followed me around like the proverbial trained puppy. I wanted everything and nothing for breakfast; I picked on dried fruit and pretzel chips, and felt bad for even wanting pretzel chips, let alone eating them for breakfast. At lunch, every nibble of my grilled chicken wrap felt like one bite too many. And when the pilot light went out on my stove, leaving half my dinner undone, I didn’t even bother to relight it, even though that was the part of the meal I most looked forward too. The strange part though was that I wasn’t really having any (more than normal) negative thoughts about my body, but I still felt tremendously guilty for having a body that needed things.

Tonight I think I figured out why.

My best friend got a new job yesterday, and I truly am very happy for her, but a part of me is envious. We both graduated college this year; I graduated in the winter and she escaped just this past May. It took me until the end of July to secure a job, and I was only able to get it because someone else left the small company where I was interning, and even then they waited nearly two months to offer it to me. In spite of having a degree, with a double major, in spite of having graduated with honors, in spite of having some experience in my field, I had no other job prospects. I never even received a call-back for the jobs I applied to.

My best friend on the other hand, had several interviews scheduled, and blew many of them off or didn’t take follow-ups as seriously as she might have. She went weeks without applying or even looking for jobs. And then, this one fell into her lap, and it seems like a fantastic job. Don’t get me wrong, she deserves a fantastic job; she works hard, she is smart and talented, and she has suffered more than her fair share at work and in other areas as well. But that’s why I feel so guilty.

She’s my best friend and I love her, and I want her to be happy, yet I can’t seem to shake my petty jealousy. She’s going to be making more money then me. She’s going to have better benefits than I do. She’s working for a well-connected company, so she can build a big network. She has an assistant. She’s also going to get to travel and go to some pretty exclusive events. And I get to work in a shabby loft in a no-frills neighborhood, making less than she would have if she’d accepted a management position at her retail job, in an area of my field that doesn’t interest me that much.

Are there perks to my job? Of course there are. In fact, most days I’m sure it is the right place for me to be right now, but sometimes I just get so tired of working so hard and feeling like I have nothing to show for it–especially when I see someone else work just as hard and get so much more.

That’s a hard thing to admit though. It’s much easier to feel bad about eating half an avocado.