Yesterday, a few friends of mine were talking about how sometimes they like to track the comments they make to themselves, the little “mental notes” that often go overlooked or get dismissed before we can truly recognize what they do to our souls. A few of them even said they take the time to jot them down, a few others said they regularly recognized them and often tried to correct them, or realize how insanely destructive or deceiving they were.
So as a little experiment, I offer you a day inside my head. It’s gritty, mostly un-edited, and 100% true. It’s a testament to the fact that regardless of how put together we can seem on the outside, the inside is often a completely different story. We tear ourselves apart. I tear myself apart. Over stupid things. Like food and boys (my big ones), but also over intense feelings of guilt and shame.
So here it is, all of it. All of me. (Well, what I can remember, that is).
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
“What do you want to eat for breakfast? Hm, french toast with that maple syrup you have in the pantry would be awesome today, since it is Sunday. But you should probably have cheerios instead. Less calories. [Cheerios and a banana it is.]”
“Your room is really messy, you should clean it. [So, she cleans.]”
“You’re leaving on vacation on Wednesday and you haven’t even thought about packing. Or doing laundry. You’re lazy. [She still doesn’t think about packing.]”
“Wow, at least your room looks clean. That’s a win.”
“I really need coffee, maybe I’ll go to Starbucks. [So she goes.] You really shouldn’t have the whip cream on your coffee, you didn’t work out today. [She orders it anyway. It’s her ‘rest’ day, so it’s ok she didn’t exercise.] How do I have so little self control? [She feels guilty, until the coffee kicks in, and then she feels great.]”
“Man, I wish it wasn’t so crowded here. Also, where’s that cute guy I sometimes see on Sunday mornings? Why isn’t he here today? My hair looks good. Should I stay anyway? Yeah, why not. Stay and read a while. Maybe he’ll come in later. [He doesn’t, so she eventually tires of waiting and leaves.]”
“Maybe I’ll go shopping. I don’t have much money to spend, but sometimes shopping makes me feel better. [So she wanders.]”
“Nothing worth spending money on. All the cute clothes left in the sale section are a size small, that’s too bad. [She wishes she was smaller.]”
“I’m kind of hungry. Is it time for lunch yet? Why are you always hungry? What can’t you stop thinking about food? [She walks for 30 minutes and finally settles on a sandwich shop].”
“What do I want? Man, I’d love a panini. But the salad looks good too, kind of. [She orders a salad].”
“I’m dying for a little something sweet. [She eats two Godiva chocolate pieces]. Ugh, there goes my afternoon snack. WHY THE HECK ARE YOU STILL THINKING ABOUT FOOD?”
“Ah, I wish someone would text me to hang out today. But on the other hand, it’s really great to feel anonymous and spontaneous and alone. [Am I the only person in New York sitting in their apartment alone right now?]”
“Who’s going to eat all these cookies? You can’t have any. You already ate chocolate today. These cookies are going to be sitting here tempting you all afternoon. Now this will be a serious test of your self control.”
“OMG, these look so cute. I need to take a picture of them for Instagram. Show them off. They deserve to see the world. [So she does. She moves and styles them for 30 minutes until they’re perfect. They look perfect. And then she refreshes every few minutes to see how many likes she gets.] Oh, this is a good one. People must think I’m a good baker. At least I’ll be a good housewife someday. [DID SHE REALLY JUST THINK THAT?]”
“I think it’s time for dinner. What do I want? CHILI. Yep, that’s all I want. [So she makes chili.] Skip the sour cream. No wait, I need the sour cream. [She adds the sour cream.]”
“Goodness, I feel full. I should lay down on the couch a while. [There she sits, for hours.]”
“Did I really get anything accomplished today? Maybe I’ll blog. That’ll make me feel productive. [So she blogs.]”
[She looks back at every comment she made to herself over the course of a day — and I’m sure there were more — and can’t help but to feel unworthy, dejected, lonely, defeated. And then she thinks about the phone call she had with her mother, her grandparents. She thinks about their smiles and about the way they laughed. Her grandma says she “looks good” (they were on Facetime). But does she herself believe it? Her mom says she’d follow her anywhere. Does she understand how truly & deeply she is loved? How beautiful she is? The fact that food doesn’t define her? The fact that the number of likes she gets on Instagram doesn’t really matter.]
She tries, and that’s good enough.
It’ll always be good enough.
Because she’s enough.
She’ll always, and forever, be enough.