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Thursday, 5 January 2012

Tossing The Scale

For a long time in my life, my emotions were largely governed by that evil creature we call The Scale. I’ve always had a kind of love hate relationship with those digital devices... Down 2 kg’s, LOVE The Scale. Up a kg HATE The Scale. After my teen years and some very tumultuous relationships with food, my weight and my body image I decided to end things with The Scale. It was hard to say goodbye to the thing that shared some ecstatic and some dark times with me but it had to be done. I guess we both knew that we were in a toxic relationship and that it was just time to move on.

I’ve come to realize (still realizing a little more everyday) that more important as to what your number or weight is, is the balance you have. Balance in life, relationships, love, work and play. I’ve accepted that I am ok with being a size 14 if it means I can indulge in a few cocktails or rustic pastas every now and then. Sometimes sleeping in on a Saturday next to My Oke or lazing on the couch watching Parks and Recreation at Eds new place is so much better than slogging it in the gym... for me. Like I said it’s all about balance.

Of course I would do anything to have the skinny body I had when I was 18 but what kills me is that even when I was my thinnest I was never happy with my body. I was always chasing that last 5kgs or a smaller size jean. Now I am slowly slinking into the skin I’m in and learning to appreciate every delicious curve it has to offer. One of my favourite quotes is by Henry Van Dyke: “Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” It’s stuck with me since I read it almost 10 years ago and around this time last year is another occasion where it has really rung true to me.

I got a call from an old friend I used to study acting and performance with. He was working at a casting agency and got a brief for an advert that he thought I would really suit. “Voluptuous, bold, sexy, outgoing female lead” I hadn’t ever been to a casting before because... well after studying I mainly focused on getting my business off the ground. I had to have different priorities back then and very little of my attention was attached to my personal acting goals. Besides TV and movie actresses were people that had to be very comfortable and most familiar with The Scale. I decided to go to the casting because... why not? I can’t think of any adventures in life that started with the word “No.”

So, readers, you’re probably expecting this long story about how I didn’t get the part and that life is about balancing successes and failures, winning is the aim but it’s only a game. Blah blah blah... But you’d be wrong because, I got it.

What a great feeling. Not only that fuzzy kind of self indulgent bit about having my 15 seconds of fame. I kind of realized that the things we are given; our natural talent, charisma and beauty are our best assets. And the way we tend to fight these things and try to mould ourselves into a carbon cookie cut copy of some impossible image is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. What we should really be doing is using the fantastic things we’ve already got and enjoying them, maybe even celebrating them.
I think the same goes for relationships and most aspects of our very layered, intricately woven lives. It sounds silly but maybe there is something freeing about acknowledging the shit you like about yourself and the shit you don’t and accepting the balance in it.

My Oke and I had one of those mammoth fights last week. You know the kind I am talking about... It’s usually sparked by something really small and stupid and the next thing you know you are both uncontrollably verbal vomiting out all the things you don’t like about each other. At the end of it, you don’t even remember what started the debarkle in the first place. I hate these kinds of fights because you always walk away with a kind of resonance that even though things are resolved they may not always be ok.
Like most woman, I called my bestie Theresa so we could analyse the mammoth fight sentence by sentence over a soy latte and try to somehow trace it back to our childhoods. That’s what woman do, we pick and scratch at our boyfriends psychologies... trying to find a reason or justification why they are acting like assholes, so we can forgive them and love them again. Theresa is an amazing listener and a better friend than I could ever be, it also helps that she is doing her masters in psychology and has some fantastic insights into the human mind. Most woman just have “Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus” I have Theresa and somehow we just get each other. She told me something over our third latte that really gave me a lot of perspective. She said to me that the things we fight about with the people we really love, the things that really irk us and anger us about someone really close to us usually stem from some deep seated issue that we truly dislike about ourselves.

So really it’s all a mushed up frenzy of my bullshit vs his bullshit and there is something sort of liberating about seeing the balance in that. I wish it was easy to say to My Oke and any oke for that matter, “Look let’s be honest, 50% of this is just you feeling insecure and threatened. And the other 50% is me feeling insecure and out of control. So instead of projecting it onto each other why don’t we just acknowledge that a huge portion of this fight is really stuff we hate about ourselves?” I’m just imagining the look of man terror on My Oke's face at such an intense large helping of female emotional introspection. My mouth is moving but it’s like I’m speaking Cantonese. That would send even the most sensitive of Martians to the man cave to play Frets on Fire and Resident Evil 4 for weeks.

It’s hard to really balance it all... Trying to win the war against your body, having patience to work on a love you want to last, celebrating “youness” in the face of diversity and societies impossible demands, proteins vs carbs, budget proposals vs marriage proposals. Being able to toss The Scale and measure yourself up against your biggest competitor, your worst critic, your scariest demon... you and still say I’m fucking fantastic. All 77.5 kg's of me. 

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