I hate showers.
Wedding showers & baby showers (Are there other kinds?).
There is a voice in my head that tells me I should like them, or at least tolerate them with a positive attitude but every time I find out another one of my friends is having a celebratory baby/wedding shower, I cringe internally.
I am a single 32-year-old woman. I am living on a single income, and I work in the education industry. I’m paying on various debts (student loans, car payments, etc.) in addition to all the normal fees associated with having my own place. I can’t afford to buy a home, so I rent. Every penny I earn is accounted for and given a home in my budget. Basically, things are tight. I don’t think my friends truly understand this.
At this point, all my closest friends are married, and many have children of their own. They appear to get so amped for someone else to join the “parent” club. Not only are they buying little outfits for the baby showers, but also sporadically gifting these things throughout the year unprompted.
Why don’t I share this desire? Am I missing a crucial piece of empathy? Why don’t I care?
I guess a part of me feels like it is an exploitive practice for those of us who don’t make tons of money but are friends with individuals who get to follow the traditional marriage, baby, white picket fence path. I feel the societal pressure to show up, smile, and pay-up. It is expected of me. If I chose to show up empty-handed, I doubt anyone would say anything about it to me, but the expectation is there.
I guess it’s hard to wrap my mind around laying gifts at the feet of individuals whose income swamps mine completely. I go to these things and feel like a peasant paying taxes to the wealthy lords. "Here m ’lady, I lay before thou ye finest diapers and teething toys."
In the south, and I guess in more in more places now, lingerie parties/showers were a big-deal. A bride-to-be would dispense her measurement for guests to bring her risqué scraps of cloth to wear for the honeymoon. In a way, that is a clever idea; Those fancy panties are expensive. It still feels weird purchasing a strappy black body-suit for someone all the while wondering if I’ll ever get to wear something like that for someone else. Is this the only time I’ll be buying this sort of thing? Sexy little outfits for everyone but me.
I recognize I probably sound bitter and selfish. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong for me to feel this way, it’s just the truth about how I feel. For years, I’ve used the argument that I need to show up for my friends in this way because someday I’ll be in their shoes. But the older I get (and the more jaded I am from failed dating attempts, and relationship failings) the more I’m questioning whether I will actually ever be in their shoes.
There is this quiet longing and jealousy that lives in my heart when I see their lives continue on this ever-evolving path. They’re wives and mothers. I’m still the same as I was upon graduating college nearly 10 years ago. I want to fall in love too. I want to be a mother. But wanting something doesn’t give the thing life. There is only so much I can control about the path my life takes.
So, I hate showers. I hate spending money to continue feeling left behind.
It has been a very long time since I've written anything here, and I'm only doing it now to avoid my responsibilities.
My fitness goals from last August were derailed. I made great progress for 8 weeks straight, and then I worked the polls and got sick with...something, probably COVID-19 (though I never tested positive), and I spent almost three months, unable to do much more than shower, eat, and sleep with little windows of mild improvement followed by weeks of coughing and misery. So most of my fitness progress disappeared.
That has been discouraging. Luckily, I'm much better now and starting to try to exercise again but it's challenging to get the momentum I need to be back where I was before the winter from hell (as I'm now calling it).
To make matters worse, I am back in the dating pool. I don't really mind being single, nor do I dislike being in a healthy relationship but the transitionary period between these two states of being is pure misery. Like most people, I would prefer to be in love with someone...alas! this requires effort and vulnerability, two things I despise.
I went on a date last week with a seemingly nice person, and had to suffer through a whole evening with him touching my shoulder and leaning into my face, knowing full well that I would not want to go out with him again and then narrowly dodging a dreaded goodbye-kiss in the back of the Upland parking lot. The worst part is even though I know logically that I didn't owe this man anything, I couldn't help but feel guilty. He was clearly excited and interested in me, and I hate feeling like I hurt his feelings by rejecting him.
I guess I'm just all too familiar with the sensation, though rejection doesn't sting as much as it used to. At this point, I'm not as afraid of rejection as I am simply discouraged at putting effort forth and coming up empty. It's exhausting to text a guy, call a guy, meet up with a guy, opening myself up, being hopeful for something to click, only to have to go back to square one again. I sometimes wonder if I missed my opportunity to find the right person when I was younger and more open-minded, more malleable. Perhaps my own personal preferences have grown too rigid and now no one will be able to satisfy? That scares me. But at the same time, I look back on previous relationships and see that I contorted my personality to strange uncomfortable angles in order to fit into shape that I thought would make the relationship work.
I'm not afraid of changing and letting go of some pieces of me to make room for a nourishing relationship, I'd just like to make sure that I can still recognize myself when I stare into the mirror. The problem I'm now facing is that I can't seem to find anyone who would remotely stand a chance of matching me. Almost every swipe I make is to the left, and the few that I do make to the right usually end without me sending a message. They just feel wrong somehow. Maybe it would be good to write out a list of qualities I hope for, perhaps by simply writing them they will spontaneously manifest into the individual I wish I'd meet.
I'm sure there are more nuanced things. but I don't really feel like I'm looking for a needle in a haystack so I'm confused on why this is so hard. I'm an adult woman. I know who I am. I know what I'm looking for. Indiana is just a desert for decent men these days.
I could say the world is "going to hell" but perhaps it's always been this way and I'm only just seeing it. All I want to do is shout and complain about how exhausted I am, but then I remember all of my Black peers and others who have faced true injustice and can't even imagine how exhausted they must feel.
The other night, I was only able to calm myself enough to sleep by reminding myself that people have survived fascist regimes in the past, and if that's where we end up in the US, maybe we can...survive it? I don't know. It's crazy. I'm afraid and I really feel powerless to make a difference. My exhaustion threatens to prevent me from acting on the things I know I need to do. I hope I can be better than that.
Ok. Moving on to the progress hour.
It might not be noticeable but I have lost about 1/2 inch everywhere, which is pretty cool because honestly this exercise plan has not been challenging at all. I think it's just been practicing moderation with what I consume and just being consistent with my exercise activities. I've been doing a 45 min walk each day, drinking at least 80oz of water, and then either doing yoga, strength training, or cardio (depending on the day).
The plan Is to lose weight as SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE. Good to know I can still have ice cream and make progress. This was from last weekend. YUM.
Just for continuity's sake with these posts. Here's my weight and measurements.
Weight: 185 lbs (down 2lbs).
Oh, did I mention....my Plantar Fasciitis Is (oh I hesitate to get too excited) going away! It's been over a year, but I really have hope.
I've told myself I'll be honest here. This blog Is somewhat off the grid, so I feel a bit more comfortable being candid. It's going to be a bit different from the "View From My Window." This place is more internal; it's more for me. It's a place for me to explore my thoughts both high and low without fear of judgment from peers.
I have no plans to share this blog widely with the public. Though perhaps I could be swayed to share with close friends. If you've somehow managed to stumble upon this, you might be wondering why I didn't just...idk...journal? You know...to keep it truly private? To that I say, I wanted to include photos and media, and I didn't want to create a completely separate website for it.
The real me, according to me, right now: a bundle of contradictions. Tidy on the outside, messy below the surface. Hardworking, but utterly lazy when given the opportunity. Eats healthy all week and then destroys my own progress with box wine, the cheapest frozen pizza and most expensive pints of ice cream over the weekend.
This year was supposed to be the year of true progress. I was going to be doing yoga every day, and lose weight to kick my plantar fasciitis to the curb. While I have lost about 10 lbs since January 1...my plantar fasciitis lingers on despite the custom insoles, steroids, months of physical therapy, and prayers for healing. 12 year old me would have never expected to cry over the inability to go for a run but perhaps my tears are proof that people are capable of change.
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to go for a walk and see others run swiftly past me knowing if my feet would just give me permission, I could one day be zipping past them. Running in the 2010's was my medicine. It was free, simple, and cathartic. It was the easiest way for me to shed excess weight or simply stay in a healthy range.
I suppose I can't complain too much because I do have a bicycle, and I enjoy riding it. Plus it's nice to have an alternative form of transportation...but it's not the same as running. So, I'm doing everything I can to find a solution. I've hired a personal trainer.
She suggested I take "before" pictures for encouragement as we go. She suggested I take measurements:
She suggested I limit how frequently I check my weight, but as a starting point I went ahead and documented it: 187lbs.
Let me be clear, my desire to "get fit" is two-fold.