Thursday, August 25, 2011


"A swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever."
~ from Grosse Pointe Blank

I'm having one of those afternoons.

Something fantastic happened. My significant web stalking capabilities have been running into a road block with regard to finding one particular friend from high school. At my last high school (there were 3, long story), I had 2 best friends, one in my grade and one 2 years below me. We three were inseparable in 1987; and then one of us graduated and moved on to college. I took an extra year of high school (another long story, not really my choice), so the other friend and I stayed close. I went to college nearby the year after that; she graduated a year later, and moved to Alabama to continue her studies. We exchanged the occasional Christmas card or catch-up letter, but we were both lousy at writing. She married, stayed in Alabama; I bounced around Florida...and thanks to our inability to maintain correspondence, we lost touch, which I always hated, because she's this really sweet, positive person, someone who's bubbly, but not annoying, a really good listener...the girl's a 5'4" hug!

With social media being such the norm nowadays, I figured it'd be easy to find her again, but for reasons I couldn't fathom, I was having trouble pinning her down. Y'all know I make no excuses for being the occasional Web FB friend from age 5 can attest to that. I figured she was taking time off from work to have children, which was why I couldn't find her name at her old schools (she worked her way from teacher to assistant principal, to psychologist/guidance counselor). Suffice it to say, I thought to put her maiden name in the search on FB today (I've tried this before, but it's never worked), and after being out of touch for years, I found her again!

Even more interesting though, is the motivational response that I'm getting from looking at her pictures. She had gained some weight in high school, but in her junior year, she made the decision to eat healthy, drink water, and get more active. I cheered her on as she dropped pounds and embraced seltzer water and rice cakes, but turned my nose up at doing anything like that myself. In point of fact, I didn't need to back then; I was 5'8" and weighed maybe 150, which for my frame is fine. However, the healthy habits obviously could have helped me. Fast forward 23 years: I'm 125 pounds overweight, and she looks fantastic; she obviously still embraces a healthy lifestyle and it shows on her trim frame and pretty face.

Something shifted into focus, seeing her. Why have I abused myself as long as I have? Granted, in my case, we're dealing with some seriously long-standing habits, and some switching of bad habits for other bad ones. (Do I eat because I don't cut myself anymore? Do I eat out of fear that Les will leave me suddenly, like Dad? etcetcyadayada....) Also the fact that my brain chemistry ain't normal will always factor in. But how much of that is an excuse? How much of that could be shaped positively with a little gritted teeth and elbow grease on my part?

They could write an academic thesis on how the unconditional love I receive from Les has allowed me to let myself go, that it's freed me to be myself. Except myself is unhealthy and looks like hell. I want to live to be 102, I'm terrified that Dad's condition is genetic, and I'm a heart attack waiting to happen.

I think I'm done being stupid.

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