Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Do You Have What It Takes To Be Extraordinary?

I used to believe that I did.

I want to believe that I do.

(Warning: this is a long post that's only partially about weight. I need to write this for me. I don't expect y'all to read it.)

I want to be extraordinary.
That used to be something that I worked for every single day of my life.
Rather than sit around wondering what happened, I'm going to get that back.

I've always had these grand ideas of what "success" means for me.
In high school, Success revolved around the ability to be the top of my class, top in my dance studio, and top in any extra-curriculars.
My image of Future Success was the ability to pursue both dance and physics. To one day get a PhD in theoretical physics, but to continue dance as... a hobby? I'm not sure what I thought.
Sophomore year of college I tried to double major in dance and physics, almost flunked out of physics classes as a result. Dropped that shit. Am now a dance and sociology/anthropology double major.
...I don't respect the soc/anthro major. I just don't. I don't think it's useful, I don't think the people in it are particularly intelligent (though, let me brag for a minute, I go to a damn good school. There are no DUMB people at my school. But. Y'know.) and I've lost a lot of respect for myself by being a part of this major.
It gets better because I'm able to combine soc/anthro and dance and basically have made a little performance studies major for myself, so I don't hate myself quite as much because performance studies, while not particularly useful is something that I find incredibly interesting and can talk about for hours on end and, hey, who doesn't want to become an academic?
(Confession: I always wanted to be a scholar. I wanted to have a study with a large mahogany desk, a plush green velvet chair, and walls covered in bookshelves. I would always have a large mug of tea, and a nice tobacco pipe, and a jacket with elbow patches. I would drink scotch. I have since discovered that I'm not overly fond of scotch, but the rest still stands.)

Somehow, in letting go of the physics major, my idea of Success became more all-encompassing.
Now, Success is:
Having my choreography performed outside of an academic setting
Dancing outside of an academic setting
Eventually owning my own dance company
Publishing a fiction book
Publishing an academic/scholarly work
Becoming pentalingual
Being 117 pounds (or lower. This number has been 117, 113, 109, 107, 105, 103, and 98 at different points in time. Right now it's 117.)

Separate from the goals that I want to achieve, I have an idea of what Success looks like. The sort of secondary things that let me be successful, but aren't the goal.
Success involves lots of travel mugs of coffee. Success involves cardigans and glasses as I work through piles of books and papers. Success involves a relationship with somebody else just as busy as I am; it involves seeing them a few times a week and being proud of them and their accomplishments and them being proud of me and my accomplishments. Success involves Friday nights of "finally, a moment to relax." Success involves sleepless nights. Success involves getting up early to write, or read, or edit text/music/video.
I have pictured scenes of my Successful Self over and over again. Sometimes they involve other people; often I'm by myself. They involve tea, coffee, alcohol, books, laptops. Never, not once, has any version of my Successful Self eaten.
Never, not once, has any version of my Successful Self worried about her weight.
Never, not once, has any version of my Successful Self been ashamed of her body.
Never, not once, has any version of my Successful Self been this fat.

I need to be Successful. Not just successful, but Successful. I need to achieve what I have set out to achieve. I need to be extraordinary.

I need to actually work on my writing, not just say that it's something I'll do.
I need to actually work on my choreography, not just think about it.
I need to actually become 117 pounds, not just say that I want that.

Yesterday was the last day of being Unsuccessful.
From this moment forward, everything I do will be in pursuit of Success.
I owe myself that much.


  1. oh dear how i know what you mean.
    i dropped physics as my second major too and i hated myself for it for the longest time. i took up econ instead, and it was a joke i felt like people were dumb too.
    i picture my Success too. working my ass off, being productive as hell, just being proud and happy. and of course, thin and food free.
    you're very much right about starting now. please do it. you deserve it.
    i need to do it too. maybe if i see you doing it, i'll get off my fat ass and join you. but of course my lovely, don't do it for me. do it for you.

  2. This was a great post hun. It really gives a picture of how you see your Successful Self. I know you can become the person you want to be. You deserve it.

  3. This post is amazing and I can absolutely relate. I guess I have an image of my Successful Self too, but I feel further from it than ever lately.
    I hope you can achieve all that you want to dear <3
    Alice xx

  4. everyone has what it takes to be extraordinary. because they are human so they are capable.
    that's beautiful. the image of the scholar.
    confession: i always wanted to be a writer. i wanted to wake up without anyone in my house, sitting down to write and only be reluctantly torn away for food and meals.
    i wanted to be so immersed into the world that /I/ was creating that i couldn't bear to do anything else. i wouldn't cook and live off pizzas and diet soda because it'll get into the way of my writing. the pizza man would know me as the creepy lady with the annoying cats that never stops writing for one goddamned second of the day.
    it's 117 pounds for me too right now. it shifts from 135 to 117 to sometimes 107.
    that's beautiful.
    and yes. you do.
    i feel like my dreams are dashed away because now i feel like i can't write.

    -Sam Lupin