AMBER LOVE 03-AUG-2013 If you follow my Twitter (@elizabethamber) or if you’re one of the few I allow on my personal Facebook Friends list, you probably know all about the ups and downs of my personal life. I’m sure readers of those updates make their own assumptions to fill in the gaps. That’s something our brains do when information is missing. This is not a post complaining or about self pity. It is about reflection and discovery. Don’t misunderstand those words. Neither reflection nor discovery have to be happy joyful components to one’s life but they are necessary.
In one week, I’ll be turning 41. I did not want to get passed 35.
After two horribly failed marriages, lots of failed romances, break ups with friends I thought would always be with me, job losses, debt, surgery, identity change, and uprooting my life every so often, there has been virtually nothing that makes me feel like I contributed anything to this world. This suffocating feeling that is always with me is partially why I do charity work; I also do it because it simply needs to be done.
Even my actual biological family life is sad and depressing. The only people who have shared DNA that talk to me are my parents and that’s because I live with them (none of the rest better ask me for a kidney). My father doesn’t even talk much at all. In 41 years he’s never figured out how to have a conversation with a daughter. Not once. Last night, yet another really inappropriate comment was said. I’ve tried working on cars with him. I tried including him in ice hockey when I was a teenager and I used to love it. I even tried to join the Army because I could not figure out what to do with my life but that’s the moment my mother said she’d disown me. I would have had literally no one in my family. Now I brush off my father’s lack of social skills on the fact that his hearing is pretty well shot from a life inside trucks and tanks. So when it comes to feeling connected to anyone in my family, that leaves only my mother who is so used to me sharing everything that she has zero concept of boundaries. My life truly takes on scenes from a sitcom when she has to talk to me while I’m in the shower or on the toilet or trying to have a private conversation over Skype (I really don’t need that to happen when I’m topless and talking to someone I’m in love with, ‘mkay thanks.)
This year is no different in filling my life with feelings of despair. My heart was once again ripped from the compressed cage of bones, yanked through the sinewy connective tissue, and thrown in the cosmic blender of failed relationships. This makes for the most bitter smoothie of all creation. During this time of depression, I did post to Facebook where I reminded people of what Demi Moore said after her overdose. She had had her heartbroken too. Here was this woman who was successful, a mother, a great role model to women in entertainment, and the world’s most famous cougar who nabbed Ashton Kutcher. Yet, her heart got destroyed when they broke up. She is not a Titan nor an Amazon. She was an emotional wreck who described to the press that she felt “unlovable.” A woman that beautiful and smart who was busily contributing to feminism felt unlovable. And so do I which is why I posted about it.
I was grateful beyond words for all the messages I received from kind people, mostly men in my life I only get to visit once or twice a year. Good people. People who told me the problem wasn’t with me it was with the person hurting me. That sounds appropriate as the thing to say in situations like this. “It’s their loss.” “You are beautiful and smart.” “Anyone would be lucky to have you.” And so on.
Like most women I bet, I immediately blamed my physical self for its state of being. I’m now one point away from being Obese again according to the currently maligned system in place called the Body Mass Index. I also blamed mental illness because I was dumped a few years ago and was told it’s because he couldn’t handle things like my moods and daily crying.
The thing is, I do have some lengthy moments in my schedule where I have time to self-reflect. This is one of the greatest things about the figure modeling I do. It’s three hours of actively posing where my mind needs to go somewhere so it is my meditation. It is where I find comfort. After three hours I get to look at beautiful art too. While I’m modeling I always wish I was thinner and more suitably sculpted like a Greek statue with perfectly defined musculature. You can’t see any of my muscles but you really couldn’t see them even at my physical best of 120 pounds and dedicated to pilates. I have soft features and that’s all there is to it. I don’t mind that. I don’t like hardbodied women personally.
Yesterday I had a text conversation with a friend who politely said he finds me beautiful; he’s a thin guy that would be labeled a “chubby chaser”. That was the moment when words popped in my head that I thought I could finally express more clearly than I have all these years. Even though I’ve said I’m fine with my body and my weight but I’m not happy with it, the words never came out right to explain my feelings. I definitely don’t feel well. Since moving back into this very old house in the sticks I can’t breathe which wasn’t ever a problem when I had a condo next to a farm. I’m still fatigued all the time which never changed when I was thinner. But a big difference is my loss of flexibility since not doing yoga or pilates.
And before anyone says, “So go back to working out,” just take this with love: fuck off. I’ll do what I need to when I’m ready to. Your pushing won’t get me there. It will freak me out from the pressure and keep me from leaving the house.
But yesterday’s conversation with my friend presented me with these words:
I’ve had my heart broken and been in despair at every possible weight/health milestone. Being “healthy” and “hot” didn’t stop it.
Reality is, those people who took their own actions to either leave or have me boot them out of my life because of their behavior don’t think they were lucky to know me. If they did, why didn’t it work?
Perhaps yes. Timing can be interpreted in different ways. It can mean age, maturity level, schedules with work, or maybe they’re in relationships outside that need to be ended first. Timing seems to be a major factor.
Regardless, I am a firm believer that if it’s your time to die, you don’t necessarily get to prepare for it.
* You absolutely should tell people you love them every single day even if you’re fighting.
* You should never say something you don’t mean – or if you do, man up and apologize – make it right.
* People do not come from cookie cutters. In the immortal words of Dharma Freedom Finkelstein, “The differences are the point.”