Every year I get incredibly excited for the fall season to arrive. It’s my favorite time of the year because of the local festivals, cool weather, cheery holidays, and of course fall fashion. I got a little ahead of myself and bought clothing for fall that is mostly too warm to wear at the moment :(, but today as I was driving down the highway to class through the Piedmont region of North Carolina, I saw yellowing trees: the true promise that fall is coming.
For most people, fall is the signal that the year is coming to a close, but for me fall has always been the marker of a new beginning (spending my entire adult life thus far in academia has knocked a few things off course, including my sense of time ;)). A year ago I was beginning graduate school, crying to my mother every night that I was doing the wrong thing, doubting my intelligence, and feeling generally pretty damn lonely. A year later not every thing has changed, but my perspective of where I’m heading has evolved into a much more happy place. I’ve been slowly allowing this blogging space, the FA movement, and body politics to leak into my “real” life.
More and more of my friends and acquaintances are finding this place, my safe place, and it’s scary. I guess I haven’t fully gotten over the “but they’ll make fun of me” mentality that has ruled my actions/opinions/dress for so long. I’m also incorporating this passion in my academic life, first with my Huge essay, and now with fully considering writing a thesis or project on blogging for social justice, and possibly looking directly at this community that I adore.
Regardless of where I go with this is my academic life, the boundaries of my blog are changing, and I think that really gets down to the root of my hesitancy to write and to continue to post photos. A few weeks ago, my photo was featured in a Jolie.de slideshow that garnered both positive and negative comments, but for whatever reason I really allowed those negative comments with my increasing insecurity about IRL people reading my blog get the best of me.
I checked the article today and saw a new comment at the top of the list. It said, “Thank you- – for your self-confidence and your marvellous style!” It was simple, and it was so nice. It was exactly what I needed to hear to remind myself of the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that one year ago I felt lost. I felt lost until I stumbled on some amazing blogs by fat women that completely turned upside down the thoughts I had about myself, my body, and my role in the world. It reminded me of the first few weeks I found those blogs, where I could barely turn my head away from the screen because it was such a revolutionary idea that fat women could be happy… could celebrate themselves and support one another. That commenter gave me a reality check, one that said get back up, leave behind the insecurities, and do what you love. This started out as a post about sweaters I bought, seriously. I guess I needed to get off my chest that this space makes me nervous sometimes. That I still have moments where I’m willing to hold myself back from fully experiencing things, but that I’m not willing to let go of that moment of recognition in the fact that my life, my ideas about myself, can be better than I’ve ever imagined.
Thanks for sticking around.