Unveiled

The Summer season is excruciatingly stressful for me, despite my lack of academic engagement, for one reason and one only: Swimsuits.

This past Saturday was the debut of my summer body, and it was nerve-wracking. I shimmied into my high-waisted, Marilyn Monroe-style bathing suit, sucked my gut as close to my spine as I could, and forced myself to take a peek in the mirror.

That peek turned into a 15-minute inspection, and, as always, I did not measure up to my self-imposed expectations. I had been attending the gym for an hour and a half EVERY DAY since school got out. My diet consisted of purely fruits and vegetables and an occasional square of dark chocolate, and yet, despite all of this effort, there I stood, desperately trying to gather the courage to emerge from my bedroom in my bathing suit.

Before the tears of frustration were allowed to flow down my freshly-sunscreened face, I ripped myself from my own merciless gaze, grabbed my beach towel, and left my bedroom.

I timidly rushed down the stairs, acutely aware of my thighs jiggling with every step. Before heading out the door to head to my community swimming pool, I bumped into my sister. She looked me up and down, sighed, and said, “you look good.”

“You look good.”

Guys. You have no idea how much influence that subtle, simple comment had on my self esteem that day. I was actually able to enjoy getting slightly sun burned as I draped myself over a pool chair. I wasn’t worried about what other people were thinking about my pasty white, chubby thighs. I wasn’t worried about much at all, actually. I think I might have even been relaxing.

You see, what I realized that day was that not everybody is looking at me. Not everybody is scrutinizing my body and tearing me apart with rude comments about how I should lay off the cheese puffs or do more squats. Odds are, i’m the only one doing that. Most people are just there to swim.

No, I’m not saying I’m finally and suddenly comfortable in my own skin. I’m not saying I will no longer poke at my stomach, cursing myself for not having washboard abs. Because who cares if there’s some extra flab on my tummy when there are ice cream cones to be eaten and vacations to go on and barbecues to attend? What i’m saying is i’m no longer going to let it interfere with my ability to go and do fun things and enjoy them.

So from now on, i’m just here to swim.

M.

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Lessons Learned At A Coffee Shop

I am notorious for my ability to hold in my grievances when I am physically interacting with someone, and then letting my frustration consume me until I am around my kin, whom I feel comfortable ranting my pants off to. Somebody will offend or frustrate me, and in the heat of the moment, I brush it off or even agree with the perpetrator, meanwhile, a flurry of anger swirls within my little self.

Today, my mom and I went for coffee because we are addicts. Also because the best of conversations are had over coffee, and it was raining. My mom left her phone in the car, so we were free of distractions. I saw this as an opportune moment to release some of the anger i’d been stewing over for the past few days regarding someone who shalt not be named because this is the World Wide Web, and I feel like I should probably grow up and address these specific issues with this person in a face-to-face manner like grown-ups are supposed to do.

Anyway, there we were, drinking our overpriced lattes, and me complaining about aforementioned grievances between sips. After about seven minutes of this, I was just getting started, and my mom had that “problem solver” look on her face as I spoke.

Once I finally shut my mouth for a moment, my mother’s parental advising began.

I don’t know how you guys feel about your mamas, but I can say with absolute certainty that my mom is badass and super wise and I need her bad.

First of all, my mom made it blatantly clear that my complaints were in vain. She told me that I am in control of this situation, and that if I can’t express how I feel to this individual, that I have nobody to blame but myself. Then, because I am an anxiety freak who thinks she needs to have everything figured out right now, or kill herself working towards what she thinks she wants, my mom told me to just enjoy.

Now, these little nuggets of advice might seem simple and completely obvious, and perhaps they are, but to me, they are profound words of wisdom. She is absolutely right-I am in complete control of how I allow this situation to affect me. I have a couple of options here: 1) Remove myself from the source of the frustrations or 2) Express my grievances to this individual and see how things go from there. If they don’t go the way I need them to, I resort to option 1 by default.

Mama Tingey solves another one.

I want to dwell a little longer on my mom’s second piece of advice. “Just Enjoy.” My mom may or may not be going through a bit of a crisis right now, but she revealed to me today her plan to get a tattoo on her ankle. (We come from an LDS background, this is a BIG deal.)

She said getting a tattoo is something she’s always wanted to do. That’s the thing, if you don’t actually DO the things you want to do, you will never do them. Duh?

This all may seem a little jumbled, but I couldn’t help but think about my own life. In my previous post, I complained (haha surprise!) about how everyone else was out doing things and living their lives while I remained stagnant. But in reality, the only difference between them and me is the fact that they are out doing the things they want to do, and I am making excuses as to why I cannot do the things I want to do.

My mom is right, as per usual. I am young, things are flexible, and I should just enjoy. I can’t keep on going through life doing only things I tell myself I HAVE to do. I just need to swallow the world’s biggest chill pill and just enjoy.

M.

A Pint of Broken Dreams

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Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of stress-eating, due to finals week, my beginning of two new jobs, and a variety of other stress-inducing factors. Like many other members of team ‘eat your feelings,’ one of my number one go-to foods is, of course, ice cream.

In effort to save my waistline for the upcoming swimsuit season, I decided to purchase some kind of light version of frozen dessert, when I stumbled upon this little gem: Arctic Zero Frozen Desserts-chocolate peanut butter flavor.

I never thought I’d see the day that ice cream would disappoint me. But this imposter surely has.

So now, not only am I 5 dollars poorer, I had disappointment for dessert, and my sweet tooth has not been satisfied.

Readers, I’m telling you this because I love you. If you’re going to indulge, get the full-fat, cookie dough-loaded, peanut butter-drizzled stuff. You deserve it, and You’ll be happier in the long run, I promise.

M.

Chagrin

It has arrived. The inevitable finals week. Unfortunately, my supply of motivation has run dry with the arrival of this dreaded phase in the semester, and my productivity level has dropped significantly. 

Yeah, i’m only a sophomore, and I am fully conscious of the fact that it only gets worse from here. But honestly, i’m not worth a lick of academic work for the remainder of the semester. I’m at the point where I bring my Little Mermaid coloring book to History. (I guess that explains why history 1700 is my lowest grade.) 

I know, really whiney of me. Boo-hoo, poor girl has to endure post-secondary education so she can make a career and establish herself as an independent woman in this world. Which is why I will cease complaining this very instant. 

I don’t really have a point for this post, really I’m just writing because writing brings me solace. (Gatsby.)

Ha kidding. Rather, I am procrastinating writing my 5-page mass communications paper on algorithms. ALGORITHMS. 

I’m still not 100% sure as to what those are. 

But on the plus side, I get 2 Oreo’s per page I finish this evening. Positive reinforcement is a beautiful motivator. 

Here’s to B.S.ing yet another essay so I can get one more credit closer to obtaining this cute little piece of paper that declares my graduation from a collegiate institution.

Happy finals week, kiddos.