mirror, mirror

I have two mirrors in my 250 sq ft apartment.

The one above my kitchen sink is purely ornamental because it’s placed really high (says the short girl). I can’t see myself at all unless I jump in the air, which gives me one second to see if I look decent enough to go out in public.

note to self: never jump on a first date.

I know what you’re thinking: why am I even trying to see myself in this mirror? Well, now I know what I look like when I jump and that I should never jump on a first date.

The other mirror is the bathroom medicine cabinet. I have no idea how my outfits look from the chest down. I don’t know if I’m wearing high-water pants. I don’t know if I’m wearing pants at all. I could drag a chair into the bathroom to see my middle/lower section, but I’m too lazy to do this.

As a result, I haven’t given much thought to how my body looks. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I can always look down, but this angle is very deceiving. And friends are usually too kind to tell you the truth.

Squirrels, however, have no such problem.

"Hey, wutcha been eatin'? How come ya never invite me over? Want all the food to yourself, do ya?"

“Hey, wutcha been eatin’? How come ya never invite me over? Want all the food to yourself, do ya?”

A friend of mine has lots of them in varying sizes – mirrors, not squirrels – in her house. It’s a little alarming to suddenly be able to see your whole self from room to room. I either have to walk really fast or avoid eye contact with myself so that I don’t stop in front of one of them.

I’ve worked hard to accept the things I don’t particularly like about myself; I prefer not to give my inner critic any chances to chime in. As long as I’m healthy and I exercise regularly, it doesn’t matter how my body is morphing. I like to eat cheese. With wine. And charcuterie. I like dessert. I have a crush on David Chang. I think I’ve shared a little too much.

Really, the only thing I’m concerned about is if I remembered to put pants on before I’ve left the house. You’d be surprised how long it takes to realize you’ve forgotten them, especially if you have other things on your mind, like running into a gang of handsy squirrels.

 

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Grateful

Runners’ highs sure are unpredictable. I thought they were gifted to you after a run or maybe during some kind of physical peak, not right as you began running. The High hit me as soon as I stepped foot on the trail. It’s possible that I was feeling extra good. Or maybe it was the caffeine. No matter. The run had me feeling extremely grateful.

I love to run on the trail along the ocean. It’s probably hell on my knees, but I’m not a sprinter or a galloper, nor do I run the entire time, so I feel like I’m not punishing them too much. After I completed my first 10k on New Year’s day, I was grateful to have finished. I didn’t care where I placed or if I lost time to take photos of the course. It simply wasn’t enough for me to take mental pictures – I had to capture this:

New Year's Day - 10k

The view I have on my regular runs is spectacular. I get to see things like this:

Bathing Beauties

and this:

The View

I’m grateful to be able to see and experience all of the above. And not only with my eyes.

I’m grateful to have a voice that is growing stronger and am thankful that I know when not to use that voice (you should hear some of the things that go on in my head that luckily for you, I keep to myself).

I’m grateful for my health and for limbs that keep me going. Once castigated, my legs have told me, Don’t be ashamed of us anymore. Understood. My respect to you, you healthy burritos. And I say that with affection, not in a snarky way, per my usual self.

I’m also grateful for forums like this. For all of the Internet’s overindulgence and creepy-uncle aspects, it also opens up a world where people can connect in the best ways possible. It helps me grow and learn and discover. And in return, I hope I can extend that energy back out into the world.

As I mentioned in a post a year ago, I used to look at runners and think, “Really, now. Why?? Where are you even going?”

Where am I going?

Everywhere, with grateful intention go I…

The Red Dress

I’ve been trying on pretty things lately as part of an attempt to find clothes that make me feel good. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought items that almost fit right, looked passable because hey, it covered what it needed to cover, and because it was on sale. But if I feel uncomfortable, I’m going to look uncomfortable.

With the constant guidance of one of my most fashionista friends, I’ve been trying to stick to the rules I’ve been given and have slowly rebuilt my wardrobe for the past year. Last year, I was opposed to trying on dresses because I was very much wedded to the idea that my bare burritos weren’t meant to be seen in public. But during my trip to Hawaii this year my attitude slowly began to change.

I recently added two dresses to my wardrobe (I only had one before). They’re both striped. I know, I know! But they were too cute to pass up. They need to be hemmed. I think. But how many inches? I will need my friend’s sage advice on this one. PYP is of no help to me. I texted him a picture of me in a dress I tried on a few days ago and he said it needed to be hemmed about mid-thigh. Mid-thigh?? Hahahahahhaaaaa!!! I have never worn a dress that short in my life and told him so, adding that it never crossed my mind to wear a dress that length. He responded with his trademark “lol”, which is how he responds to most things I say.

70's Fashion

See? My dresses were always at a tasteful length, even as a progressive 70’s chick. Although I can’t say that about my friend there next to me, harhar. There’s that fake fur coat I loved so much…I don’t know if this photo was taken before or after the Devil Dog took a bite out of it. Probably before – I still look happy. Oh…and those groovy boots! Today, sadly, many knee-length boots are too long for my short legs and I cannot zip them up past the most generous part of my calves.

The Red Dress

The Red Dress

I’ve never owned a red dress, let alone wear red. But I saw this dress in a little boutique when I was walking downtown the other day. I stopped. And then I heard it: You love me…Don’t try and resist me…I belong to you… I stared at it, listening intently.

One of my rules of thumb is, if I buy it, I have to wear it. I can’t let clothes waste away in my closet, taunting me for my impulsive and/or poor judgment. However, because I don’t buy into the latest trends, it’s possible that I will still be able to wear the dress years from now. My friend was appalled at the price tag. But then she said, “Remember years ago when you said that you wanted to wear a red dress in Paris?” I did, didn’t I…

I loved it. I couldn’t resist. It belongs to me now.

The Red Dress isn’t just any dress. It symbolizes a shift in my thinking and image of myself. It’s about hope and possibility and magic that I can’t define.

Whether it be a person, place, and/or thing, I hope to have many “Red Dresses” in my lifetime.

And because it’s not all about me (sometimes it’s hard to tell), I hope you do, too.

Wax On, Wax Off

Men, you see the title of this post, right? I’m not talking about surfboards or cars or what you are carrying around in your ears. I think you should just move along. There’s nothing of interest for you to read here.

Have you left yet?

Why are you still reading this?

Okay, I guess you need a proper scaring off: tampons, ally mcbeal, reverse vasectomies, i love you, menopause, RuPaul (unless you adore him…then you can stay), pms, do i look fat in these pants?, prison on valentine’s day.

Are they gone now?

Wow, some of those things are really frightening. I almost left this post myself.

This is really not that bad. I just felt a little uncomfortable with the idea of men reading about my thoughts on getting waxed. I’ve never done it before. No, not there! I meant my armpits. I suppose I could have just mentioned this in the beginning and the men would have left based on the topic alone, but you know me (or maybe you don’t want to), I’m a little twisted that way.

I’ve been through more painful things, I’m sure. As least, I think I have. But the thought of it makes me cringe. On the other hand, being 5 o’clock shadow-free is an appealing notion.

See, I’m going to be in New Orleans in a few weeks, and I hear it’s incredibly hot and humid in August. In fact, I just checked. The high is 90, the “low” is 79. Anyways, I would like to have hair-free pits so that I can frantically wave down taxis, pound shots of Tequila, hang on monkey bars, wave up to men on their 9th story balconies, and sit back like a lady with my hands folded behind my head. All things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time while wearing a tank top.

I was encouraged to grow the hair out for at least five days. Doing so gives the wax something to hang on to as it rips the hair out of each hair socket.

I feel a little queasy.

I was warned that the first time would hurt a little because the hairs aren’t used to being treated this way. So now my armpit hairs have feelings? What about mine??

Apparently, the next time I have it done, the hairs won’t put up as much of a fight. They start to get conditioned to the harsh treatment and recognize what’s about to happen: “Oh, right…I’m being evicted. No need for violence. I’ll go more willingly this time.” Feelings and logical thinking? I haven’t been giving those hairs enough credit.

And then I was informed that the longer the hair, the less it will hurt.

Ten days of hair, it is.

I’m getting queasy again.

 

Lions and Tigers and Thighs, Oh My

Ever since I got back from Hawaii, my legs and I have seen the light. These burritos ‘o mine are now wearing running shorts. It’s somewhat liberating to make visible something I had intentionally kept invisible in the past. To let myself be seen. As is.

When I had it – at least I thought I had it at some point – I should have flaunted it. I took my young, firm skin for granted. But I was much more shy back then. Now? Yes, I’m still an introvert at heart, but I don’t look too bad for my age, so part of me wants to flaunt whatever it is I have left while gravity is still my friend. I have ab muscles. I don’t know where they came from, and they might look a little like a wrinkly four-pack of King’s Hawaiian rolls during the rising process, but they’re there. I believe that they’re a product of my intense overthinking. After all, something good should come of overworking my brain in circles. Problem is, I might look good for 48 – we Asians hold together well – but not so good for 38. Get my drift?

[I can’t believe I just outed my real age. Oh, what the hell. I will display my age proudly. I just won’t display photos of it here on my blog. I may be crazy, but I’m not insane. Yet.]

See, I live in a small, coastal town. It doesn’t get warm enough to wear shorts very often, so people don’t see a lot of skin around here. Hawaii? No problem. Young skin, aging skin – what does it matter? Everyone looks like bronzed demi-gods over there. But here? People pull on their t-shirts, light wash jeans, sneakers, and their Patagonia jackets to go out on the town. They might even wear that outfit to the beach.

The sun is out and it is unusually warm. I am tempted to go for a run wearing less clothing than I ever have before. I want to feel free to do this. If I didn’t have to wear my glasses, I would absolutely wear sunglasses. That way, I could feel anonymous. I might mistake a fire hydrant for a dog, but if it makes me more brave, I will trade clear vision for shades. I’m sure I’ll be able to determine whether or not that object coming towards me is a car, right? Maybe I need a sacrificial running buddy.

Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about my thighs anymore.