The Weight Issue

I’ve always been a “bigger” girl. Not fat, not skinny, but in between. A little chubby. Thicker.

Have you ever looked at older photos of yourself and thought, “Damn, I wish I was that skinny again!,” and dwelled on it? Maybe for hours?

I’m not afraid to admit that. I’m very guilty for making myself feel like shit over how I used to look or how I think I should be. Smaller stomach, bigger ass, thinner legs, small frame, tanner skin, this, that, the other. And for what? The ultimate disappointment knowing I am not what I wish I was?

I think it all started when I began taking the Depo shot as my form of birth control. It seemed great at the time, but after a month I had gained 75 pounds… a considerable amount! I hated myself for months after– even when I stopped getting the shot, the weight stayed on for some time. The scale has fluctuated ever since, leaving me in a limbo of self-hatred and self-love and every emotion in between.

I thought to myself today, “I really need to get skinnier. I’m becoming too heavy,” and I let it consume every empty thought in my over-worked brain. I began to really feel the consequences off thinking like that… and none of it was pretty. But why? Why does it matter?

Of course, I loved how I looked when I was 150 pounds. I was tinier, and I looked great in photos. The funny part is, I wasn’t happy. That was one of the darkest times in my life. I wanted to fall asleep at night and never wake up. I’m 175 now, and the happiest I’ve been in a long time, even on my so-called “bad” days.

Am I happy with how I look? Not particularly, but I can always change that. I can always lose the weight. I could always work on my health, better myself, ease my mind. I could become whoever I want to be.

But now I’m wise enough to know that it doesn’t make a difference if I’m overweight or underweight… either way I’m still kicking ass and grabbing life by the balls. The best part? I’m happy while doing so.

It can only go up from here.

An Emotional Farewell-

One year ago.

I entered a room full of strangers with a passion to write and social anxiety higher than I’d ever like to exhibit. It was my first college class related to my newly changed major, a step in what I would imagine to be the right direction.

I sat down.

I didn’t know that in the same row, Tommy and Mark would become one half of the quad.

I didn’t know that the quiet, unapologetically polite guy from Wilkes-Barre would become one of my good friends. With an attendance better than the teacher’s, I knew this kid would go far.

I didn’t know the slightly rude, unfiltered asshole from Harding would become someone I could learn to trust and even joke around with. Even on my worst days.

In the second (and laughably, last) row, sat everyone else.

I didn’t know that the quiet girl from Avoca would undoubtedly become one of my best friends, even after she continued on to Wilkes University. Even through all of my worst decisions, she’s still there. I’m there for her too.

I didn’t know that the crazy liberal sitting in the same row would steal a bit of my heart too. Not until later on, but inevitably in happened. The next-future-president sat in that row, and I’m sure glad she did. New or old, friends are all the same.

Later on, when spring began to thaw out winter’s damage, things became even better.

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know Miryan would become a part of my world, but she showed up and never looked back. I respected everyone in that class– they all deserve the world. But Miryan… she deserves the world and then some. I didn’t know she would change my life, even just a little.

I didn’t know Mariel would show up to class and make me laugh every single day. I didn’t know that this girl from my online class would actually mean something to me, of course. But Mariel and her life, her thoughts, and her sass have brought me such bliss.

I didn’t know Caleb’s creativity and lack of knowing what’s next would alter how I view things in my own life, the carefree attitude is so much of what I have been yearning for.

I didn’t know Tarrah’s gentleness and generosity would hold us together, always at the times we needed it the most.

And Paul- I wish I could say I didn’t know Paul’s wittiness would make me roll my eyes ten fold– but we all knew that.

As the semester ends and some of us move on to bigger and better things, I want you to know that you’ve changed my life in more ways than one. A small conversation, a smile, a donut; whatever it may have been, changed my world.

I grew out of my shell at Luzerne into someone I wasn’t even sure could exist, let alone roam free. Each and every individual in this class intertwined together so finely, it’s almost impossible to explain. There will never again be a class as beautiful as this one.

I never want there to be.

With that being said, there will never be another professor that will warm us, inspire us, teach us, or leave us with such a lasting imprint on both our hearts and minds.

Ed Ackerman.

A professor, a friend, but more importantly– our donut dealer.

Good luck to you all.

Much love,

Leah

The strongest part of me- a poem

I want to write about you

And how I unveiled myself,

Apparently to a stranger.

But I don’t want to give you that credit

The satisfaction of your actions.

So I won’t say how it pains me to look at you,

Daily.

I won’t say how I opened up to you, really opened up,

In every sense of the word.

I won’t say how you made me cry

Over and over until my eyes swelled, puffy and grey.

Even if you did all those things

Even if I gave you everything and all I had in return was regret and anguish

And self-hatred

For allowing you to destroy the strongest part of me

Why did you destroy the strongest part of me?

It’s been so long…

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

It’s been so long, I don’t know how old you would be. I could calculate the math, but it would be of no use.

You are not here.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

It’s been so long, I’m not sure what you sounded like. I know you reeked of cigarettes, your eyes weak and tired from the life you made for yourself. That’s about all I know. I don’t remember the way your voice echoed in our home. I don’t remember your laugh or the way you sounded when you were angry. You became angry a lot. I don’t remember. I’m glad I don’t remember.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

It’s been so long, it’s almost as if you existed only in another lifetime. I don’t remember much of you, but I know I loved you. I also know I didn’t really know you. I loved what I thought I knew.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

If you were here, I imagine you would be a warm, supportive father. I imagine you would beam with pride over my very liberal attitude and forward thinking. I imagine you would have changed for the better, for your children. If you were here, I knew you wouldn’t be. We would not get along.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

Your death has given me every reason to fall off the edge of existence, but instead I have grasped on to every reason to hang tight.

Thank you.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

Your demise is the reason for a lot of problems in my life, but I won’t blame you anymore. I won’t curse your name for my trust issues, or for being the start of my ever-lingering depression. I’ll tack the blame on myself. You’ve done enough damage. I am not mad. I will heal.

I want to wish you a happy birthday.

I do not know you. We are the same blood, but we are not the same. It’s been so long, its almost as if I never had a father. A distant memory, fading each and every year into nothingness.

I love you, but I do not know you.

Happy birthday, dad.

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