My brother, Jason D. Page, the Light Painter. His documentary was just released and I am super proud of him and his hard work, dedication and amazing talent…. here are some links I hope you will enjoy. I have been working with him doing marketing/public relations and event planning. It’s been great!!
I apologize. I have been very neglectful, I have had ALOT going on. I had to move rather suddenly. I knew the possibility of starting over yet again was there, just didn’t know it was going to come so soon. It turns out that my landlord decided to stop paying the mortgage on my property long ago and let the house go into foreclosure. I came home to find a 3 day notice to vacate on my front door. So needless to say, I have been busy. This time was slightly more bearable as I did have a place to go and both children are already gone. What was disconcerting however was having to give up all of my things yet again. I spent 38 years accumulating and letting go of things I have loved. I had a mini-meltdown and basically threw most everything I owned away. The thought of strangers picking through my cherished things and haggling me over a dollar seemed like penance. I feel I have paid all the dues I owed by now. So I had a mini melt down, threw almost everything away and decided to try to sell of the larger pieces of furniture. It was pretty unsuccessful mostly because of my lack of enthusiasm and attitude that I just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t have my major meltdown til I packed up the last of the food to take to my mother’s house. Then I cried and cried. I’m 38, starting over yet again and tired. I am so god damn tired. I’m tired of uprooting my life, putting on my happy face and starting again. I’m just tired. I am settled in now so I promise to continue my journey and thank you for your patience as I pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on.
I have always used my own body as a way to reflect what was going on internally. My eating disorder started as a way to control internally what I was unable to control externally. My parents divorce, my abusive step-father, running away, being homeless, being institutionalized. I had no other form of expression, or at least I didn’t feel like I had other options of expression. Dance was more for me as a release than as communication. It is difficult enough to grow up in a society that idolizes and puts on the cover of every magazine, every billboard and every commercial size 0 models who are 6 feet tall. That in and of itself is hard enough, but add to that an eating disorder and then multiple surgeries, where underneath your “normal” exterior of clothing lies a battle ground for cancer, a road map of scars showing what your insides have been through. I would LOVE to sit here and tell you my scars are a testament to everything I have been through, that I am proud and that I am a survivor. I would love to tell you that that is enough, but it isn’t. I am a VAIN SURVIVOR. I want to look as normal as possible. I want to be the very best version of myself. I hate that I am carved from head to toe and not only have to compete in a world of unrealistic expectations with clothes on, but it’s a whole other story to do that as a single woman with clothes OFF. I am a vain survivor and I am not apologizing for it.
I’m making better choices. Today over yesterday, yesterday over the day before. I faltered, I fell, you know this, I admitted it last week. I wrote about my experience at Snap!, it helped fuel my desire to be a better me. I didn’t sleep much at all last night, did alot of reflecting about the past weekend, decided not to use Monday as a starting point because that is so cliche and typical. I decided to use my anger from last week as a starting point. I’m making choices one breath at a time because that is all I am willing to commit to at the moment. I am comparing it to alcoholism. Eating disorders consume thoughts, distort reality, rob you of your ability to enjoy the here and now. A common misconception about them is that you have to look like a skeleton to be afflicted with them. I used to. I used to be skin and bones, now I’m more fluff and bones, but whittling that down to be muscle and fuel for life. I am trying to view my body as a vessel for experiencing life, rather than as a tool for punishment and reward. It’s a hard habit to break. It’s easy, accessible and only hurts me. I am in no danger of hurting anyone else directly with my self inflicted punishments or rewards. One grocery shop at a time. Today instead of taking the easy way out and purchasing something quick and easy, eating it, hating myself, abusing either diet pills, water pills, laxatives and the gym, I chose to go to the grocery store and enjoy the shopping experience. I bought peppers, red, yellow and green. I bought tomatoes and cucumbers, lettuce and celery, all organic and decided to take the time to wash, rinse, cut and arrange them in such a way that I would appreciate the effort it took to prepare it. I won’t feel guilt consuming it. There will be no need for disappointment this day. Today I am making good choices….at least so far.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of Snap! Orlando. My brother, Jason D. Page was a featured artist there and was doing live light painting portraits. I stressed for days leading up to the event, not because we would be working long grueling hours or that he would be under scrutiny from the art community and was hoping to be successful and well received. I stressed because I don’t look the way I want to right now. I stressed over what to wear. I hated everything in my closet and trust me I live alone and occupy three rooms full of clothes, every size ranging from 2 to 16. I have run the gamete of sizes over the years through my thinnest times and my biggest times. I am in between times at the moment. I hated myself. I cursed myself and judged everything about me. This event had NOTHING to do with me….but none the less, in the mind of someone who has struggled with body image and eating disorders her whole life, it consumed me. Well… two amazing things happened while at Snap!. First and foremost, it was a huge success. The venue was amazing, the artists generous with both their talent and their time. The volunteers who kept things going from start to finish couldn’t have been nicer and my brother’s work was very well received. Second, although I stressed tremendously, to the point that I didn’t even want to go because of my own appearance and fears that I would be under scrutiny, judged for not being thin enough, I lost myself to the experience and enjoyed being me. I started interacting with the people coming up to view my brother’s work and participate in The Light Experience and completely lost track of what I looked like. I watched women, much larger in size than myself, beaming with confidence and acceptance of themselves, seeing themselves reflected in my brother’s work, smiling and happy. For the first time I looked at the models that were there for the fashion/photo interactive piece and didn’t compare myself or hate myself upon seeing them. I saw art. I saw beauty. I saw potential. I didn’t even realize it had happened until the end of the second night, after talking with this incredible woman I met the night before. She had this uber sense of style and self awareness that somehow managed to come across as down to earth and approachable. It was refreshing and fun. We laughed, joked and managed to share some details of our lives in those few moments that are reserved for those close friends that guard your secrets. I lost myself to the experience and instead of hating myself for not looking a certain way, I saw art. I saw beauty and I saw hope.
Thank you Orange! 🙂