Posts tagged “Confidence

Stop Trying to Outrun Yourself

Posted on February 24, 2019

I can trace back to as early as eleven, things about myself that I remember running away from. I had a penchant for cussing, picked up from sitting along the periphery of my dad’s poker games. The vocabulary would escape with enthusiasm on the playground. “You’re a bad influence. We don’t want you around because you bring trouble. Just because you’re parents are splitting up doesn’t mean you can act like an animal.” Her name was Lisa, we were at Amazon Park in Eugene, and I can still see the way the weeping willow limbs cast shadows on her face. She had a hint of a smile as she said it, the other kids gathering around her. I was poison. Too strong, too loud,…

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The Cuts That Echo

Posted on March 10, 2018

A couple of weeks ago conversation at my office turned to ordering clothes online as we discussed what we would wear to an industry awards ceremony. I found myself completely blown away by how commonplace self-criticism is, and, more poignantly, how inaccurate the laments were. The history of the “flaws” jumped in relief as women talked candidly about what didn’t work on them and why. I was too flip about brushing off their worries, because these things we carry, the words from the past echo and influence us for so long, they do exist. When I was 9 my best friend lived across the street from me. We usually played alone, but sometimes her brother would come out with his Darth Vader Star Wars character…

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As Good As We Let Ourselves Be

Posted on April 29, 2017

We were sitting in the wood stove room. He was sitting in a small leather chair we bought on a trip north. He saw it and fell immediately in love. “It looks so small,” I said. “I love it. I love the lines, I love the look of the leather, and those antique wheels on the legs are perfect,” I couldn’t remember him being that smitten by something in a long while. It was a beautiful chair and it wasn’t so much that it was small as that it was not the oversized, over-stuffed, kid friendly thing we’d been drawn to for the last decade. It fit perfectly within the small, boxy rooms of our house. Across from his spot are the wildly patterned…

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Stunned Silent Watching Others’ Battles

Posted on February 18, 2017

A week ago we went to see the movie “Embrace—Your body, the movement, global change”. I watched the promotion of it with curiosity. It was strange for me to see a local connection to a deeply personal issue, one of the hosts was my neighbor, friends of mine were posting on Facebook that they would be attending. I’m used to managing my demons in a private vacuum. I know there are women in my community who have battled with image and that there are abuse survivors, even closet liberals, but I’m more accustomed to finding connections on these issues through the relative safety and anonymity of the internet. I suppose me talking about anonymity is strange as someone who has voluntarily shared great parts…

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A Game of Chicken with Weight

Posted on February 12, 2017

I have obsessed about weight. In college I abused laxatives. I’ve battled with disordered eating. I said hateful things to myself. I compared myself to women in magazine, classmates, strangers, and, quite possibly, people who didn’t even exist. The lengths I took to keep the bar of how I was supposed to look and what I should weigh just out of reach was staggering. I made it impossible to succeed. As I raise three daughters I feel terror because of all the very real threats in the world, hating ourselves can be the most devastating. I watch them grow, their shapes changing constantly, and each new contour and curve makes me fall more intensely in love with who they are. They have never had a…

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