Missed Part I? Read it here.
Things have been weird between us for a while. You’ve noticed it too, right? We’ve been on-again, off-again for so long that I figured I ought to take a bit of time to put my feelings into words… But it’s not easy.
I know now that I should’ve been kinder to you for a long, long time. As long as I can remember, really. I blamed you for a lot of things that really weren’t your fault – like, the fact I couldn’t walk. The fact my shoulders ached from dragging you along on those bloody crutches. The fact that I was addicted to painkillers, cigarettes, food… Whatever happened to cross my path, really.
Turns out they aren’t kidding when they call it “addictive personality.”
So all that stuff, I’ll take responsibility for.
But that’s not the worst thing. Not even close.
Nope – the worst thing I did was deciding that you were ugly. I don’t know what on earth I was thinking, ’cause you were pretty god damn gorgeous.
So now it’s just you and me, naked and alone… Let’s address a few of those “ugly” things.
First up, the scars. Two kinds: there are the big, bright, purposeful noughts and crosses, the angry scrawled red marker of four knee surgeries, and then there’s the stretch marks. They’re everywhere.
But they’re not ugly. Every single one is the sign of something overcome, something you are now that you weren’t yesterday. They change all the time, but they’re a permanent reminder of both how fragile you were, and how strong you’ve become.
Eventually, there will probably be more, too. That’s fine. They’re glorious.
There are also all those other visible imperfections. The cellulite, the spots, the loose skin, your ridiculously tiny pinky toes (eww) to name but a few – somewhere along the line, I got confused and figured they weren’t okay, because the women in magazines don’t have them.
Of course, that was dumb. The women in magazines barely have skin; it’s more like a painted sheen on Lino. But these things – they’re normal. In fact, they’re not just normal. They’re bloody gorgeous, because they’re you, and you are a human being.
And, there’s all that fat. I mean, for a long I was kinda under the impression you’d be thin by this point – it’s been three years, after all. But you seem to have reached a point you kinda want to stick at, and that is fine.
Stop feeling like you’ve gotta be the perfect “after” photo. Stop using that as a reason to put yourself down, and stop assuming people will be underwhelmed by the fact you’re still not small. Chances are, you just ain’t built like that. You come from a long line of strong women, and not one of them is designed to be a size six. They’re all gorgeous though, right?
And anyway, those squishy bits, the squeezable, grabbable, sexable and smooshable bits of you – they’re gorgeous, ’cause they’re you. They’re in there, alongside the heart that beats, the lungs that breathe, and that brain that thinks. Don’t doubt how much joy could come out of loving them, ’cause you know what happens when you do.
You walk taller. You swerve that more-than-ample junk in the trunk when you strut across a room. You throw your head back when you laugh, and you don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. You put Beyoncė on when you’re alone in your pants, and you get DOWN, right in front of that mirror. You smile, even when you’re alone.
And that’s how you ought to be, all the time.
Now, don’t get me wrong – we’re going to have our ups and downs. I’m still going to make you eat pizza when I’m drunk; I’m still going to have “fat days,” and you’re still going to get the flu around deadlines and things I’m excited about; I’ll probably make you wear uncomfortable things I like the look of, and you’ll almost certainly throw your toys out of the pram during my healthy January – probably by having some kind of knee-related strop.
But the ups? They’ll be beautiful.
I’ll drag you to the gym, and we’ll work out because it feels good, not ’cause I have any expectations of how you oughtta look. I’ll eat nice, healthy food most of the time, and you’ll respond with shiny hair, great skin and strong nails as a reward. I’ll keep working you hard with crazy writing hours and a demanding job, but you’ll handle it with good grace, and a favourable response to caffeine, because you’re strong. You kick ass.
So: let’s start afresh. Let’s be great, be beautiful, be empowered by the fact that we’re very much a team – and let’s do this.
Let’s go take over the world.