Written on the Body

Everyone wants to feel strong. We watch movies, obsessed with action heroes and those with super powers. And we’re all familiar with the working out/training montage.

I’m no different, of course.  I love the feeling of strength.  The one thing that *is* different about me is that I have Cerebral Palsy, a disability that has an incredibly large range of impacts.  To a degree, I am only very mildly affected by it.  But I’m not unaffected.

`Walking becomes increasingly difficult as I get older and my body is getting stiffer by the year.  And yet, I don’t feel weak most of the time.  I joined the YMCA recently and I have to say, working out with the weight machines is the best feeling. Yes, I do cardio as well, but thats always more of a struggle.

Weights make me feel AWESOME.  They make me realize how amazing the human body is, even when it’s not functioning at 100% like mine.  Even at 80% the body as a machine is a work of art and I feel like one when I’m strength training.

It makes me happy.  And that’s been all too rare in the not so distant past.

(Editorial note: In looking for a picture for this post I searched free photos for “body”.  The results were pretty depressing, Almost all the female photos were a disembodied waist, often with a tape measure.  The pictures that show strength? Almost all men.  Sigh.)

Party of One

I’m very much an introvert.  I need to be alone a lot of the time so I don’t go crazy.  Ask anyone in my family how bitchy I get at Christmas after too many days surrounded by people.  It can get bad, lol.

But sometimes life gets lonely, and it’s very hard to shake off.  It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, really.  You try to explain what you feel to others and they simply don’t understand.  It’s not their fault, but the lack of an understanding ear can make you feel even more alone.

I have a full life, and I am very lucky.  I have a family that loves me.  A good job.  A great place to live.  Adorable pets.  Hobbies and interests that I am passionate about.  And yet….I am not always happy.

There are times when  having a very singular life can bring me down.  I have friends, but I never see them or hang out with them.  Everyone is busy or far away.  I’m single, with no romantic partner and don’t see that changing.  I live alone.  I have many siblings, but none of them share the same father as me. All these things often make me feel very alone in the world.

Sometimes you just want someone who gets it.  Someone who shares a piece of your life. Someone to talk about your day with.  To take care of you when you’re sick. To hang out and do nothing with.

To be plural.

A ‘we’ instead of an ‘I’.

Acceptance

I think a lot of what makes us sad is a lack of acceptance of our reality.  We keep reaching for that dream, or that goal, often to fall short.  We rarely accept ‘No’ for an answer.  It’s embedded in the smallest things we hear in life from “You can be anything you want to be if you just your mind to it” to “There’s someone out there for everyone” to “everything happens for a reason”.
These are lies.  Well meaning lies, but lies nonetheless.
I think that’s part of my problem.  I’ve gone through life with expectations and desires like everyone does.  I have no want for things, it’s relationships I’m looking for.  I want people to rely on, no matter what.  And the fact is, there is no one you can rely on no matter what.  I want a best friend like I had when I was 16.  I want a partner who loves me and misses me when I’m not around.  I want to be the most important person in the world to just one other person.

That is what I want.

I have never had that.  Not really.  I keep trying.  Looking for it, trying to mold people into my vision of what I want them to be.  Trying to make more of things that are paltry and unsubstantial.  As I grow older this becomes harder and harder to do.  It’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes.  I’ve gone all my life WANTING so very much to really be seeing the Emperor’s fabulous new garments, but I never quite get there.
My relationships with friends and others have been lessening day by day, it doesn’t really matter why.  It just matters that it is.  I am single.  My friendships are mostly superficial.  And I am miserable because I don’t have what I want.

Maybe it’s time to accept that I will never be the most important person to anyone.  I will never have that partner in life that I always thought I’d find.  Maybe it’s time to realize that it will only be me, alone, and stop trying so hard.  To accept that I am solitary, and act accordingly.

So here I am.  Accepting that fundamentally I am alone.  Not actually alone, for there are people who care about me and love me, clearly.  But today it’s time to start realizing that I will not get what I want.  So it’s time to stop wanting it.