You ever have one of those moments were you blink and it's 2 months later? I've been so busy lately, I keep loosing track of the time! I'm super pumped this morning though. After gaining back 7 of the 9 pounds I lost, I lost 5 again and am back on track! I've also revitalized The Sticker Revolution Facebook group and am ready to hit the ground running. It feels good to make good choices and I really want to keep up the momentum. Currently, I'm behind on my goal for the virtual race I'm walking. This one is through Romania, and I'm going to have to step up the pace if I want to finish it in 30 days (on par with my original goal).
On another note, I met up with some of my best pals for a book club meeting yesterday. We had a picnic lunch in the park and went for a walk. I can't tell you how much I didn't want to finish this story. It was so hard to read, and my difficulty had nothing to do with the way it was written. It was an amazing story, but reading it was like walking over hot coals naked carrying a rabid porcupine. Eleanor Opliphant Is Completely Fine made me grapple with some issues that I hadn't been ready to address. On the surface, I'm nothing like the main character. She's rude, abrasive, and completely emotionally detached. At first, I thought I was having so much trouble because of her personality and it took me till almost the end to realize, even though Eleanor and I are completely different people, the way we talk to ourselves is exactly the same.
She believes, at the core of her being, that she is a garbage person - unworthy of love and human connection. On the regular she has conversations with her mom, who reaffirms these beliefs. This colors every single choice she makes in her life. Every interaction, every thought, every decision is tainted by this fundamental belief. At one point, her new (and only) friend Raymond tells her that she deserves nice things and she thinks, "Do I? Do I deserve nice things?" That thought instantly resonated with me.
I realized that no matter how close I am with someone, no matter how long I have know them, no matter how deep our connection, I never trust that the connection is real. After all, am I not a garbage person? Am I not always in danger of loosing the ones I love because, at some point, they will grow weary of the stink? Even as I write this, I realize how some people will take it. I understand that it's not a "normal" or "healthy" perspective. Reading Eleanor's journey, hearing some one else think my thoughts, was surreal and unsettling.
I found myself replaying her scenarios over and over in my head. At one point, she reflects on the fact that no one would miss her if she were gone - that she has made no lasting mark on the world. I thought about this. Would anyone miss me if I were gone? Sure. I know people love me. But have I really made an imprint on anyone's life? Have I really changed anything, or made the world a better place? In all the years I've know some of my best friends, have I really left an imprint that wouldn't just bounce back like memory foam?
I can see the look on some people's faces right now. In the park yesterday, discussing the book, I shared all these feelings with my friends. No one seemed surprised how deeply I related, or that I'd been having these thoughts. They've all been there for one of my breakdowns. But the most amazing thing, the one that got me in all the feels, was when my friend embraced me and said, "We'll be your Raymond."
In a world full of uncertainty, tainted by the filter of anxiety and neurosis, we all need a Raymond. Someone who sees us for who we are when we just can't. Someone who doesn't care how much vomit is stuck in our hair. They see us and they treat us with all the love and kindness we deserve knowing that someday, we will finally see it in ourselves.
I'm a blogger and educator breaking through stigmas and helping women find their voice.