I’m a 20-something woman from the East Coast on the verge of graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture in May. I have no idea where I’m going with my life (how refreshing, a 20-something with no direction) which gives me a ton of freedom to dream about moving to London and opening a bakery.
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I’ve spent every minute of my life since my teen years in a constant battle with my body – hence the “never-ending struggle bus”. Due to a combination of genetics, physical activity (or lack thereof), and diet, I’m now at a crossroads where I either learn to take care of myself (in more ways than one), or become someone other than the ideal version of myself.
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Why such a struggle though? Because I’m intelligent and I enjoy being intelligent. I’m not a girl who neglects class to go to the gym or pretends that kale tastes good. Because I believe in powerful women who transcend the limitations society places on them because of appearance, gender, race, religion, or sexuality. Because in my heart of hearts, I don’t think I need to change my appearance. I may not always love how I look, but I freaking love food. I love sitting in my bed for 13 straight hours watching Netflix. I love judging people who are slaves to their gym routine. If I could separate myself from the image I inadvertently present to the rest of the world, I would be completely content.
But I can’t, and therein lies the struggle. The world will continue to judge me for being a large, short, outspoken, non-Christian, non-white woman for the foreseeable future (prove me wrong, world!), and so I have some concessions to make. If left to myself, I don’t care that I’m clinically overweight or that potato chips are my Achilles heel. But these things are ruining my health. And worse, I may be representing myself as someone who doesn’t value her body as a temple – as a woman proud of my femininity, I need to. For women to gain respect in the world, we need to first respect ourselves. If I can’t even keep myself healthy, I’m not worthy of my own respect.
Another tidbit to know about me: You know how everyone has that little voice in their head? Sometimes it’s your conscience, sometimes it’s a facsimile of your mother? Mine, oddly enough, takes on the form of myself in 20 years. Anytime I make a decision, that little voice asks me: what will your future kids think about this? Your husband? Your family? You? How will you look back on this crazy thing that you’ve done?
Weird, huh? Well that’s what guides me most of the time. It keeps me from getting drunk at parties or wearing trashy clothing. And it’s what’s telling me now that if I don’t get my ass in gear and become a healthier, more confident, more balanced version of myself, my future self may not even be around to reprimand me.
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So that’s me in a nutshell (not really, but hopefully over the next year, you’ll get to know a lot more about me). Visit the About This Project page to see what my plans are for this year. And please feel free to add comments/advice/words of encouragement!