Good Credit

As humans, we give ourselves a horrible rep.  Every time we turn on the news, there seems to be more evidence supporting the “humans are inherently evil” argument.  And there is no credible way to deny that there are some truly awful people in the world doing some truly awful things.  There are so many lists of terrible statistics that anyone would start to feel discouraged about the state of our species.

But then again, we tend to forget the hundreds, thousands, millions and sometimes billions of dollars that get sent around the world in situations where people are in desperate need of aid.  For every major world disaster, not only do governments step in and offer money, but charities crop up and people show up: volunteers, military forces, church groups, peace corps, just tons and tons of people coming together.  Sometimes these people fly halfway around the world just to hand out bottled water after terrible earthquakes or storms.

Let’s not forget the huge number of people who have, over the years, delved deep into inhospitable or unknown regions to bring food, hope and medical attention to communities unknown to most of the world.

I bet that if someone were to add up all the money given to any charities or tithed to any churches, that number would be absolutely staggering.

It doesn’t matter why we do it: if we do it in the name of our god or gods, if we do it in the hopes of bettering humanity or giving our children a brighter, safer world.  It doesn’t matter if we do it because it’s how we were raised, or because we are outraged at the current state of things.  The fact of the matter is, humans do huge amounts of good every day, for a hundred thousand different reasons.  We deal in hope as well as destruction, in love as well as hate.  You cannot simply say human nature is “good” or “bad.”  It’s human nature.  Personally, however, I see plenty of reason to be hopeful.

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Dear Guy Who Cheated, I Broke Us Too

Dear “Guy,”

Let me tell you why cheating is viewed as such a destructive thing by most women.  I know you don’t completely understand what ‘the big deal’ is.  After all, you told me yourself: she didn’t mean anything to you.  You were just drunk and it just…happened.

And for you it’s probably not a big deal.  You fucked up, you know it, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t love me.  You do, and you’re sorry, and it won’t happen again, so why can’t I just forgive and forget?

Well, I tried.  I did.  I tried to forget about it as the months went on and nothing remotely like that happened again.  I tried not to feel nervous and self-conscious every time you were out of town and would go out for drinks with coworkers, or every time we were around beautiful, charming girls that made you laugh.  I tried to forget the mental image of you and her, and for the most part I did.  Sometimes it would flash across my mind, and I would feel that sting again, but we went on together because I knew you did love me.

But here’s why our relationship was never the same.  It wasn’t the physical act.  That was bad enough, but time marches on quickly.  Our relationship was never the same because with that one slip up, you told me that all the times I very privately wondered if I was pretty enough, or sexy enough, or interesting enough for you…that I was right to doubt.  You told me that never touching your phone, that never asking too many questions, that loving you and supporting you didn’t make up for not being there when you were drunk and horny.  You told me that I was right to worry about if I was satisfying you sexually, even if you constantly reassured me that I satisfied you emotionally.

You would tell me this is stupid, of course.  You probably would think that it’s the stupidest thing you ever heard.  But I had insecurities which I tried not to give into, and you went ahead and reaffirmed every doubt I ever had about myself in our relationship.  And that’s the part that really hurt.  I forgave you, but I never, ever felt like I was enough for you again.

So that’s it, “Guy.”  That’s what happened after you cheated.  Maybe you’ll never understand it, and I certainly know you didn’t mean to.  But my confidence in myself as an awesome, loving girlfriend to you was never there again.  So in the end, it was both of us that damaged the relationship.

I just thought you should know.

-Me

Honest Guilt

I’m a big girl.  I try to be okay with it, because apparently I don’t hate it enough to make the huge life-changes I would need to make in order for me not to be a big girl.  For me, it would be more than working out on a regular basis ( although that does make a big difference ).  My body needs more help than that, and I know — I worked out like crazy for a couple years.  For me, it would mean making huge changes to my diet.  And to be frank, I don’t want to do that.  Yet.

But there’s something new I’m discovering about my perception about myself.

I hate to eat.

I love food.  I really do. I like cooking it, I enjoy amazing meals just like everyone else.  But more and more often these days, I feel guilty every time I open my mouth.  I know where the guilt comes from: it comes from knowing what I could do, what I should do to be healthy…and then not doing it.

I know I’m supposed to love my body.  I know it’s within my power to change it if I really don’t.  I’ve been told all the do’s and dont’s of eating, exercising, and body image, told them over and over until I could probably hold a very educated dialogue with health professionals.

Women are told so much about how to feel about themselves, about how to take care of their bodies.  But in my case, it simply comes down to two factors: a stubborn laziness and a reluctance to change my diet and cut out some of the things that I really love.

I don’t have an out-of-control weight problem, but I do suffer from self-esteem issues.  I am beginning to make changes to keep myself under control.  But I want to be honest with those other girls out there like me, the ones who feel a little like a bad person every time they eat something other than an apple: I know how you feel.  We’ve got to get past that — the guilt, the poor body image, and the laziness.  It’s hard…all three of those things require changes to the way we think.  I know, I understand, I’m going to try harder too.

If we want to slim down, we know how to do it.  There is so much information about healthy living out there, adapted for almost every lifestyle.  And if we want to be happy with our bodies as they are, than we need to embrace ourselves, truly focus on things that we love about our bodies.  I usually start with my eyes.

But no matter what, it is time to let go of that guilt.

I am really interested in hearing stories from other women who might be reading this, but please be sensitive and encouraging.  I know I don’t always make the best food choices: I’m a rational adult and I’ve heard it, just like a smoker as heard all the reasons why they shouldn’t smoke.  I’m trying to change.  But I am hoping to hear stories about courage and health.