Letters from the Hedge: March 30, 2015

Wow, it’s been a really long time since my last letter.  Senior year is busy, but so much fun!  This will be a short post, since I have a lot of things to do this week!

Last Thursday, I went to eat dinner alone at another of the serveries.  I saw one of my acquaintances as I was walking up the steps, but he didn’t wave to me, say hello, or in any way acknowledge that I was there.  I felt too awkward to say something (I always do,) so I simply walked by.  I was upset for a while after that, because I remembered that he never really says hello to me, even though we text one another sometimes and were in the same class last spring.  I felt so unworthy of his friendship, of anyone’s friendship.  It’s been a common theme throughout my college years that I get really attached to people who don’t seem to feel the same way towards me.  And at the same time I knew I was being unfair to him, and to my other friends who act similarly towards me, because we all go to college and we are all so busy.

Last Saturday was my last Beer Bike (a campus-wide, all-day party) and I was sort of dreading it as I fell asleep on Friday night, because I don’t like socializing all that much.  As it turned out, some of my quad-mates and I hung out for almost the entire day!  We even got matching face paint.  I felt so much love and solidarity as I walked with them to the bike track.  My best friends during my time in college are really the ones who were there all along, who I’ve taken for granted far too many times.

I’ve been having a particularly bad time with my body image this semester, because I am taking ballet and it’s hard seeing my imperfect body squeezed into leggings twice a week.  I lost quite a bit of weight (for me) at the beginning of the semester, but no one noticed it or commented on it, which made me feel bad for no reason I can explain.  And, of course, when people ignore me like my friend did on Thursday, I tend to think, If only I were a little bit thinner, a little bit prettier.  It is a dangerous cycle to fall into, and there have been times this semester when I’ve felt myself balancing right on the edge of falling in.

I’m starting to feel better, though.  I love my body, even with its wide butt and bony chest.  I accidentally hurt myself at work a few weeks ago, and as the wound has been healing I’ve occasionally looked at it and thought, My body loves me so much.  It wants to keep me alive.  It is so strong, it can adjust to sleep deprivation, or alcohol consumption, or weight gain and loss (all of these, of course, within reason.)

I don’t know if loving myself will ever come easily, or if I can ever love other people selflessly and with patience.  It’s a worthwhile struggle, though, I think.  And what ever would I do if being a good person were easy?


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