Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:26pm
The first three weeks of being in Puerto Viejo have been some of the most difficult. After I took away work and school, dramatic relationships and all the external bullshit I fill my life up with that I tell myself I need to make me feel better (i.e. getting my nails/eyebrows done every two weeks like clockwork, online shopping, etc.) after I let go of it all I sit here and I’m left with myself. I’m in a place where all I can do is really look at myself and all i want to do is jump out of my skin and run! I never noticed how much I distracted myself from myself until now. There are no excuses any more I’m here to work on me and fuck! It’s really hard.
Tuesday June 17, 2014 5:56pm
Today I begged God to cleanse me of all the negative degrading things I have believed about myself my whole life and continue to tell myself everyday, all day.
We decided to ride our bikes to a beach about 9 kilometers away which is almost 6 miles. About a mile before we get to our destination I was getting mad because Dani kept saying we were almost there and we weren’t. I was getting mad because I hate it when people lie to me thinking it will help me push forward. Just be honest with me so I can decipher in my mind if I can push forward and typically I can. About a mile before our destination my legs gave out and my bike fell to the side almost taking me to the ground but I caught my footing. The sun is blaring above us mind you and sweat is streaming down my face and through my clothes. I look up and Dani and Joseph are riding like this is nothing. It made me feel like such a failure. “I suck. I’m fat and I suck and I can’t bike like they can bike and now I’m behind and I’m frustrated and I suck. I’m a lazy fat bitch that needs to stop eating forever. “ This is the type of stuff that runs through my mind everyday all day. Being here though it is especially worse because I am so hyper aware of my body more than anywhere else (well except for when I visited Vietnam and locals took pictures of me like I was a national monument but that’s a story for another day). Everyone here is fit and beautiful and I am not that. Yes I think I’m beautiful but it doesn’t beat fit AND beautiful and some days I don’t even think I’m beautiful. Everyday I step out of the house I feel humiliation for being fat and most of the humiliation comes from my own mind.
Obviously I’m absolutely abusive to myself. Unfortunately I have believed all the body shaming the world has thrown at me for 28 years and I don’t know how to turn it off. I used to correlate being stupid with being fat telling myself I didn’t get good grades because I was fat (I got a 92 instead of a 98 for example). I don’t think that any more but the anxiety is still there. During my masters program I got an A in a class I didn’t expect to get an A in and I told myself “ well it was probably a low A.” I find ways to lessen my accomplishments. I have constant anxiety about being perfect at everything I do therefore being fat is a 24 hour anxiety about not being fit.
Back to the story, I have to walk the rest of the way because my bike is fucked up my legs are wobbly and I’m frustrated and disappointed in myself. The negative thoughts won’t leave my head… “if I were thin, life would be so much easier…” I began to compare myself to Dani and I think “she’s beautiful and sexy and healthy I bet it would be easier to be her, a beautiful Black womyn, than be my fat self…” I realize what I’ve just thought and I began to cry in the water. How could I be so mean to myself? What happened to me in my life that has made me so fucking unhappy with myself that I’m now comparing struggles? It’s trying to figure out the why that is constantly eating away at me and prevents me from moving forward.
On the way home we get caught in what felt like a never-ending rainstorm so after some fish tacos and shots we decide to put our phones in a plastic bag and go home on our bikes in the pouring rain. Those 20 minutes were the best 20 minutes I had felt since I got to Puerto Viejo. This whole time I’m feeling sweaty, sticky, smelly, itchy, ugly, fat, not enough but in this moment all I heard and felt was rain. Hard hitting rain like a firm hand on your back and my tears began to stream down my face with the rain as I prayed to God for cleansing. Cleansing of my mind. I asked God to wash away all the angry and hateful things I kept believing and saying to myself for so long. “Cura me!” I screamed. I asked for my negative thoughts to be replaced with power, strength, and love from my ancestors. Over and over again I repeated this until I reached the door.