Monday, April 11, 2011


Today I woke up and ran ten miles, which is--to my knowledge--the farthest distance I have ever run at one time.

While on the treadmill, watching TLC and OWN, "Dwight Shroot" from the TV show The Office came on and gave one of his favorite quotes on the moment:
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." -Teilhard de Chardin

That made me feel good. Because at the point the rest of my body was not feeling so good.

Today I taught high school students for an 80-minute class period that I was sure would never end, but then it did. We talked about trust and stereotypes and how we must consider context before making judgments. My teacher, Mr. Bob, watched from the back row as I sweated profusely through my sweater. I couldn't tell whether it was him or the twenty-three students.

Today I realized that it's okay if, when all is said and done and finish my degree in English education, I don't want to be a teacher. It's okay.

Today I scarfed down "lunch" while simultaneously packing my backpack, checking my e-mail, and changing clothes. This is not ideal. This is life right now. It won't last forever.

Today Jeremy was warm and accepting and understanding in spite of the fact that we may spend a grand total of 5 minutes together. He reminded me that we've gone 9 weeks (during our long distance stint) without seeing each other. Short-distance will always be better.

Today I ate pizza because I wanted to and it was good. It had gluten and cheese, but as a result of a cold laser treatment from a chiropractor, apparently I am no longer sensitive to such foods. Take that, food sensitivities!

Today I looked at a pretty, blond, skinny thing basking in the afternoon sunshine and before the evil in me could think, I reasoned: Ya know what, I'm not so bad. She's probably got insecurities too.

Today between classes, I looked in the mirror to find a large, white-headed zit staring back at me. I couldn't help it. I'm not exactly sure where it comes from, but I had to pop that thing RIGHT NOW! So I did, only to remember I had a photo shoot in an hour. Whoops.

I went to a friend's dorm room to borrow some make-up to cover my "flaws." I half-chuckled to myself when I remembered that the photo-shoot was for a friend's photography project about feminism. I would be wearing a t-shirt that said, "This is what feminism looks like."

Considering that to me, feminism is all about self-acceptance and equality for ALL people, I found it ironic that even offering to be a poster-child for such a cause didn't stop me from picking myself apart (trying to cover it up) and attempting the look of "perfection" if only for a moment, ya know, for a good cause. Couldn't grant myself grace even for a moment, could I?

Today a new "friend" asked me to meet her for coffee. She had heard me speak for a V2 about three years ago and decided I was a safe person to talk to. So we did. We talked about what hurts us. How we hurt ourselves. How we cope. How we heal. I felt a teensy bit more liberated. I hope she did too.

Today I looked at an ever-increasing, rarely-shortening list of "to-dos," took a deep breath, and told myself: It's okay if some of these assignments are late, the RSVP gets in after the fact, and you disappoint that person again. And the reason all of those things are okay is, I've wasted years of my life chasing the mirage of perfection. It hasn't gained me anything yet and probably never will. It's going to be all right.

Today I lived as if I feel adequate, competent, put-together, or peaceful. Because days will continue passing at breaking speed whether I choose to accept these things or not.

THIS is the radical self-acceptance I'm still learning day-to-day.

"Self-acceptance" has become a crusty, catch-all response to most problems our moms tried to fix with: "Put your chin up. You're perfect just the way you are." However in a culture that favors the "appearance" of perfection and standards and accomplishment and super-humanism, self-accepting people have indeed become today's radicals. Unwilling to float along with the current of self-loathing.

Acceptance is a choice I'm learning daily to make.


kessia reyne said...

I realized myself this week that even if my thesis does not get defended and published on time, Jesus is still my Savior. So . . . it's all good.

I don't know if that counts as self-acceptance, but it did a lot of good for my soul. I needed to be reminded that >> it doesn't really matter that much. "Isn't life much more than food? And the body more than clothing?" Jesus asked. And I can hear him asking me, "Isn't happiness more than people-pleasing? Isn't success more than meeting deadlines?" And I'm ever learning that yes, indeed, it is. How wonderful :)