Hawaii has pigeons too

I just landed in paradise and I feel like an idiot.

20 minutes after a 10 hour flight, I am talking to an incredibly confused customer service person and then buying another plane ticket. And I don’t even care. I just want the interaction to end and I feel so stupid I could die.

This is how I felt the last time I left Hawaii too. That time, I hadn’t brought the right credit card and I was not used to staying in fancy hotels. So I didn’t know that I couldn’t just “find a way to make it work.” Cut to me telling a concierge that I don’t have enough money to pay for my stay at the nicest hotel I’ve ever set foot in. That was fun.

Cut to 5 minutes later, me crying in a lovely courtyard garden and trying to figure out how to get into a lyft without anyone seeing me. I can safely say that this was one of the worst moments of my life up until that point. It was 2019 after all.

And here I am sitting at the airport in paradise, telling you about a horribly embarrassing thing that happened to me 2 years ago.

Well you know what I’m back now. And a fucking pigeon just flew in front of me. Hawaii has pigeons. Because New Yorkers probably brought them with us because we are gross.

I’m back. I made it back here after a freaking pandemic. I’m going to stare that horrible embarrassment and feel it and deal with it. And then I’m going to move on with my life.

Maybe after all that I can sit in the sun on a beach and not feel bad. Maybe I can even (gasp) relax.

staring at my body shame

CW: mentions of eating disorders

My mom does not have an eating disorder, but she actively works to not enjoy food. Today she shamed herself over eating too much of something that was essentially salt-flavored air. Yesterday (and again today) she told me, “big news, I ate a sandwich!” The sandwich was just an English muffin with slices of turkey on it.

My mom is also a stick of a person. She has always been petite and effortlessly thin. When she gained weight after my sister and I went to college, this sparked a panic so great in her that it began a cycle of both my parents endlessly going onto and off of Weight Watchers. Now my (incredibly tall) dad regularly skips lunch on purpose and just has a hardboiled egg for breakfast.

I am not an effortlessly thin person. I am very tall like my dad and I take up space whether I want to or not. I have gone through bouts of disordered eating, some of which were more “successful” than others. During the “successful” ones, I felt miserable and dizzy and I had no idea what my body even looked like.

When my mom complains about the veggie sticks she ate too much of, I start seeing my own face, arms, body as a failure. And that makes me feel uncomfortable in my own body, which makes me suddenly feel like I am drowning in wave after wave after wave of shame. Shame I feel like I can’t talk about, as if that too would be admitting some kind of deep personal failure.

I am so. Fucking. Tired. Of feeling like that.

I refuse. I am not going back to starving myself or going to sleep while hungry.

I refuse to let my mom’s baggage about food make me feel terrible when I actually enjoy something. Or if I, god forbid, have days where I feel bloated. Because I have a beautiful body that fluctuates because it is a miracle.

I don’t want to obsess if, god forbid, I eat macaroni and cheese and fucking enjoy it. Or if I am watching a movie with a friend who loves me exactly as I am and we order pizza.

I want to feel good in my body. I want to give my body exactly what it needs to move and love and thrive. It is so strong and it is beautiful. And I do move it regularly. I marvel as it gets stronger, feels better.

I don’t want to put arbitrary timelines on myself for when I need to lose the weight by. I just want to feel good and beautiful and free in the fucking glorious and stunning body that I have, that loves and feels so deeply and is perfect.

And so it is.