Tag Archives: loving yourself

Respect Yourself

I’m tired of women who get into a relationship, lose all of themselves in the man, the relationship ends in a matter of weeks, they come apart at the seams, and it’s “Oh, I’ll never love again.”

Please.

Get serious.

And to moan and piss and whine like this publicly, on social media sites?

Please.

Get serious.

I’m not lying and saying I’ve never done that.

I have, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s been a few years since. I don’t respect myself for having been that way, but at least I know it was because birth control fucked up my estrogen. Even then I knew it was shameful, the way I was coming apart over this guy I knew didn’t really deserve me or my heartache, not now, not after all I’d come to learn about him.

It’s a few years later and I know now that, this dude I came apart for, I wouldn’t even date today. I’d be friends. I probably wouldn’t get turned on by him, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be having the delusions of marriage I entertained then, but maybe it’s because I saw how he became in times that got bad.

All of us are pretty undesirable when our lives go off the deep end. We’re not ourselves. That makes sense, it should be apparent to others.

Times get bad. Hurts happen. Sadness is inevitable. Anger bubbles up.

These are human elements and we’re at home with each of them.

But I draw the line at tolerating victims. I draw the line at anyone who thinks shit keeps landing on them on purpose and that they have nothing they can do about it.

In the last decade, the amount of shit that’s come my way — man, if I thought someone had it in for me and it was happening to me intentionally, I’d just cry. And I’ve kept my head on reasonably straight about this throughout more than one depression.

Just an example: This back injury that debilitated me for a year? Rehabbing it repaired most of my other long-ailing injuries, and taught me that I finally understood how to eat properly to maintain my weight, and gave me insight into really seeing what living a long-term compromised life did to others, and I think the whole horrible year made me a FAR better person.

Almost every negative that has found me — including my mother’s death — has resulted in incredible personal growth and insight.

Am I tired of the endless struggle? Fucking right I am. But am I feeling like a victim? NO.

I’m feeling like someone who’s woken up and realized all the fighting I’ve been doing just to survive has been completely misplaced — those energies can be better spent, my attitudes & goals can be refocused.

If anyone can do it, I can, and don’t you even think I don’t know it.

I know I’ve overcome incredible odds, but the odds I’ve overcome are the kind that HURT the bank account and HURT the bottom line, not help them. To the outside, I’m some underachiever getting by in an expensive town with a job that doesn’t nearly compensate me for my skills and talents, working too little to really get anywhere, with a stubbornness about “selling out” to get by.

TO ME, though, I’m an incredibly resilient person who’s been kicked somewhere new by life almost every 6 months for 10 years, but I still keep improving, I still get better, I develop more empathy not apathy, and I grow from every single thing that hits me.

I don’t need to be a social butterfly or the talk of the town. I don’t need a fancy car or pretty things. Like Atwood says, as a woman, I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

What do I need?

I need to respect myself and know I’m doing what a girl’s gotta do. That’s it.

I got that. I’m down widdat. On it like Oprah on a ham, baby.

I still like the directions I’m going in. I wish I could have more — I wish I had a man on this beautifully full plate of mine, someone to sink my teeth into and a relationship to take shelter in on weekends, but space to enjoy during the week. I wish I had the energy and money for friends and good times.

But money and love, they’re out there, and I’m getting to them. They’re usually the icing on your life cake, and patience is needed.

I know, deep down inside, that I’m changing at a clip I can’t believe. The last thing I need is to get into a relationship with someone who’s where they want to be while I’m going a mile a minute. I need some stability and some comfort with where I am before I think I can choose rightly as far as man-things go. The more of this “self” I enjoy discovering, the more I’ll have to offer in a month or two or three, as my newly changing realities take firmer hold.

A month or two? Yeah, I’m not biting at hooks TODAY but I’m looking as of now. Why not? What’s the worse that can happen? I love a little, get left a little, hurt a little? Okay. So be it. I’ll try.

Because I know, who I am has nothing to do with a man. My attitude, my goals, my abilities, my dreams, they’re all me. Would I like to share them? Sure. But no one’s co-opting them or taking over the driver’s seat. Not now, and hopefully never again.

I think, biologically & anthropologically, something in women hardwires us to pairbond for security and protection.

But what happens in 2010 when a girl’s forced, through economic & social realities, to survive on her own? To get her own security taken care of? To protect her how interests?

Then what’s she looking for in a man? What’s she need now?

Does anthropological history and biological predisposition still kick in? Or does a different quality of pairbonding happen? “I’m the queen, I’ll let you rule in my kingdom alongside me. You, your chair is there. Don’t even think about sitting in mine.”

I don’t know.

But I know I look at men differently now than I did four to five years ago.

And I know I’ve proven I’m a survivor of the kinds of things that most people would rather not test themselves through.

So, a girl’s got to wonder.

What am I really looking for, and what’s it going to take to get it delivered? (Grin.) I really don’t know. I really don’t care. ‘Cos I know I’m gonna find out. Don’t know how, but I’m gonna. So are you.

And if, or when, it goes south, since there’s 95% chance of that when every relationship starts, well, I’ll try to hold myself with a little decorum, because I’ll be pretty confident in the knowledge I’ve overcome bigger things than a boy.

Hanging Up on Hang-ups

Funny how we get so hung up on our hang-ups we sometimes don’t even notice when they’ve disappeared.*

I was fucking floored Thursday night when I realized the varicose veins I’d been loathing for the last year had suddenly vanished in the last couple months, thanks to my awesome new fitness regime. Poof, gone.

Ironically, I’d already bought some spring clothes last month — and no shorts shorter than knee-length. For what mighta been something that didn’t even need hiding. Silly, silly.

It makes me wonder how often we get stuck in our insecurities, fears, loathings, all out of habit, rather than reality. Is it as bad as we fear? Are we merely choosing to dwell in shadows rather than turn the light on and see what we’re really judging? Continue reading

From Poutine to Self-Love, Baby!

I should not be writing.

Another probably painfully tiring day awaits me tomorrow, before what is liable to be a mockery of a weekend, on which I believe I need to work Sunday, but the verdict is not yet in. (No, not real work. Taking a bunch of kids to a space museum. Yeah, who’s your sex goddess NOW, huh?)

I should not be writing, but I am.

You see, I took a terribly sinful break earlier today on what has been a gruelling couple headtrip days, and I acquiesced to the evil that lurks within: I submitted to my craving for poutine. If you’ve never had poutine, then you’re probably not Canadian. A pity for you, you poor fuckers. You’ll hear about it, and you’ll think, “Ew, ick!” but really, that’s just your ignorance talking, or perhaps it’s the silly little granola-loving freak you nurture deep within. Either way, it’s all about the fat. Mm, fat!

Poutine’s french fries smothered in cheese curd and gravy. In other words, it’s potatoes that died tremendously worthwhile deaths. And I salute them! So do my lovehandles. But I do digress.

There, there was a paper lying about. I shouldn’t be so brash as to call the Province a newspaper, because it’s hardly a good newspaper at all. It’s a tabloid. It’s the McDonald’s of news for people who are news-tritiously challenged. Or chronologically challenged, and I was the latter. Oh, and apparently the former. How convenient.

Dammit, again with the digressions!

Lemme get to my fucking point, shall I? They had a story today about seven Vancouver chicks (you go, girls) who’ve opted to get married to themselves.

Yep.

They’ve all got the gowns and they’re doing a public ceremony down on Vancouver’s Jericho Beach, and when it comes to the “Do you take this…” part of the ceremony, I think it’s going to be changed to, “Do you take yourself, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, until your dying days?” or something like that.

I wanted to fucking stand and cheer then and there.

It ain’t some feminazi gig or anything, boys, so don’t get your panties in a bunch. It’s about saying, “Hey, I don’t need no man for happiness. I can provide that to myself.” None of us really needs anyone… it’s just nice to have them.

Like Margaret Atwood once said, “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” I happen to believe that goes both ways, but too many women are too fucking obsessed with getting a ring on the finger and being validated by having some studmuffin by her side. It’s a sad state of things, and I would have thought we’d be farther along by now, but here we are: same shit, different story.

I made a brief comment about the “How to Get the Guy” show the other night, a show that still pisses me off on premise, even though the things it’s saying are sort of on the money. Yes, good ways to get a guy. Just bad ways to keep them.

If you’re not yourself when you snag a guy, it’s gonna be pretty fucking hard to keep yourself in that hyper-perfect state. And when you’re not that woman anymore, is he still going to be interested? Or are you just the dating equivalent of spam – building up an average product into something extraordinary, only to have it fall flat? Only you can know.

These chicks, they have the right idea. They might be being weird about it and taking it a bit far, but hey. Whatever gets you through the night, baby. You want to embrace yourself, love yourself, and make a commitment to yourself, then I say more power to you.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week, wondering what all my stress and frustration about this job search is coming off as for the masses. I mean, you all look to me for whatever the hell it is you want to find here on these pages – mantras about your body type, tips on hand-jobs, profundity on being single, scathing commentary on whatever the hell the flavour of my day is… Honestly, I have NO idea what you’re here for, but I’m thrilled you tumble onto my doorstep, and I thank you for it.

But here I am, in all my flawed glory: Stuck in a financial conundrum that I know will end, but I’m terrified won’t end on schedule, my fears and my horrors hanging out for all to see, and the fact that I’m brutally, completely human. I’m as fucked up as anyone, man. I don’t have it all together, and I probably never will. Do any of us? No, probably not. We just play the roles well.

It’s that old, “I’m not a doctor; I just play one on TV” schtick. I ain’t no guru, baby, I just play one on the ‘net. I hurt, I get vulnerable, and, baby, I get scaredy-scared some days.

In the face of all that, I found myself there on Commercial Drive, strolling around in the mid-afternoon sun, a few minutes to kill, when my cellphone rang. Yes, yet another job interview call. (I’ve sent resumes around for just under two weeks, and by Monday’s end I’ll have had eight interviews, all for “real” jobs, so let that tell you what it will.) The funny thing was, this was an agency, and I responded to an ad of theirs earlier this week. I got The Big Rejection Letter. And there she was, calling me now, about an ad I responded to earlier today, knowing full well they’d already rejected me once this week.

She goes, “Your name sounds familiar!”

“It should, I applied earlier this week and got The Big Rejection Letter. But I’m stubborn, and it sounds like a great job for me.”

“Well, it’s a new posting, and I’m glad you’re persistent! I’d like to have a chat with you and see if you’re a good fit for our client!”

I got off the phone (the appointment’s at 9:00am, for an advertising co., one of two interviews tomorrow) and felt SO FUCKING SMUG.

The thing is, keeping your head together and being strong and loving yourself in the face of adversity’s the hardest thing in the world to do. When you’re single, it’s even harder. And that’s why I love hearing about women like this, the ones who say, “You know what? Fuck convention. This is about me.”

Oscar Wilde said my all-time fave quote that I keep citing here and should finally just put in my fucking sidebar, that loving yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. It’s times like these when I need to consciously try to love myself. It doesn’t come with ease. It’s work. Every damned day right now, it’s work. Every employer I talk to, every resume I send, my first thing I tell myself is, “I fucking ROCK. I can DO this.”

I don’t really believe it… but I play a guru on the ‘net, you know, so it’s convincing.

Beyond Fat Girls

Labbie wrote a piece about weight and self-image recently. I enjoyed it. Then, later the same morning, I was watching my previously-taped episode of “Rescue Me” in which firefighters, Probie Mike and Sean, are making their way up the stairs to the flame-filled fifth floor, talking about a recent date, which ended in the Probie getting laid with this apparently model-thin chick.

“It was like her hips were cutting into me,” he said, continuing, “I’m afraid to get on top of her. It’s like I hear this cracking sound or something.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’m part of the bonus-lover plan. Yeah, I’m carrying extra, for sure. I’m told “I wear it well” and for the first time, I believe them, most of the time. But I do know I’m cute, at the very least. I’ve got punky short light hair and green eyes with a sly grin, and I’m pretty comfortable with myself when I put an effort into lookin’ like a cutie. And hey, I even get a little approval streetside.

I’ve written before about overcoming insecurities in order to love yourself for who you are. It’s been a long road for me. I was always very sexual, but I never really believed it about myself until the past three or so years. This year, though, has been the year of the my greatest emergence. I am what I am now, and I know it. The journey has been a long and interesting one, the journey of becoming sexual, not just seeming sexual. It’s fabulous.

My weight always held me back. I always tried to say the right things. I always tried to toe the line and be the proper chick, so I wouldn’t offend too many people. I played it safe. One day, I realized that I felt like a fake, and I started saying exactly what was on my mind. I stopped appeasing everyone. I slowly started to work on my self-image. Simple things, like trying a new kind of clothing, pushing myself in physical exercise, losing a little of the weight, talking to someone seemingly out of my league. There are days I forget how to be the Better Steff, days I forget about being the strong, proud, sassy chick I know I am. It happens. But it always passes, too. I suspect, however, that there’s something universal about that.

The biggest part of my transformation came from finally accepting myself for what I am, but more importantly, realizing that my faults and weaknesses weren’t nearly as sizeable as I had feared. I learned to look at myself as someone on the street might; if I met that woman, how would I judge her? Not nearly so harshly, I thought.

In finally being open enough to talk about my body image with the guys I have seen or considered in that way, I realized that the men I’d found seemed to nurture a very different impression about weight on a woman. They felt exactly as Mike the Probie would — that a woman with a few extra pounds was someone you could play a little more roughly with, someone you didn’t have to worry about harming if things might escalate a bit between you.

Soon, I realized something great: The thing that I always thought held me back in the bedroom was the thing bringing me exactly the kind of physicality I enjoyed — sometimes rough, always unrestrained.

It’s interesting how perspective can alter your enjoyment of something, but there’s an incredible shift that occurs when you really begin to embrace yourself in your lover’s presence.

I think this is part of the dilemma that lays behind the number one complaint I hear from women — their inability to orgasm at all, or the difficulties faced when eventually achieving one. We’re so wrapped up in our body images, trapped in our insecurities, concerned with public perception, and inundated with the pressure to come, that we just can’t enjoy sex. It takes years for women to get past this shit, and I personally believe that it’s why we do not peak sexually until the average age of 32.

I happen to now be 32. If any of my friends had known the kind of sex I was already having in my early 20s, their perception of me would have been wildly different. In that regard, I was definitely advanced for my age.

I began having bondage with sex at the relatively young age of 19. I had sex in very, very public places the first time at the age of 18. By the age of 21, I had no qualms having sex in a semi-public private room where anyone could walk in without warning (but I’m secretly glad they never did). Voyeurism, for me, was a two-way street, and I liked to travel on it. All that said, though, and I still never really embraced my sexuality until this year, my 32nd.

Sex, for me now, is better than it has ever been — and not because of my lovers, but because of the roles I’m willing to play, the brazenness I bring to the bedroom, because of my changed perspective. My god, had I even begun to suspect it would be like this, I’d have ditched those insecurities years ago.

The rewards of youth aren’t nearly as great as we’ve all been led to believe. Sex improves with age, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars the pharmaceutical industry spends to make you believe otherwise. Sex isn’t just about hard cocks and screaming orgasms. It’s the one language that transcends geography. It’s an otherworldy experience you can share where you need nothing but skin and sweat and stamina. We’re so hung up on needing to be hard, needing to come, that we’ve forgotten everything that happens in between — the places in which our mouths can linger and toy; the dexterity and flexibility of the hand; the thrill of warm, sweaty skin against our own; the scores of peaks and valleys found in that symphony of gasps and moans.

With age and maturity and realism, we’re able to begin letting go of those hang-ups. When we allow ourselves the freedom of being beautiful to that one person, we find ourselves experiencing things we never thought we’d feel. And that, that’s the ultimate goal to have in any sexual relationship: the absolute ability to lose all apprehensions and fear, the evolution of trust and willingness.

If only it were that easy. It’s hard. Very. But the reward is worth the struggle. Oh, so very.

The Joys of Masturbation

Without getting into it, “things” are confusing. The sex I thought would be regular thus far isn’t. Geography’s a bitch. So’s reality. It is what it is, baby. But that’s all right.

I can always count on myself.

So, without adieu, the reasons I love to masturbate — some of the many, many reasons:

___________________

  • I never have to schedule a visit. I always know when my hand is free.
  • Rolling over and sleeping is exactly the right move, every time. Unless you’re surf’n’satisfyin’ on the tube/’net.
  • No concern about who gets the wet spot. I do. (In theory.)
  • Doing laundry isn’t an automatic repercussion of experiencing the Big O.
  • I can always meet my own expectations.
  • Enthusiasm is a given.
  • I don’t have to dress up in order to get off.
  • The ultimate quickie: Satisfaction with a minute or so of effort.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s portable.
  • It’s fun.
  • When I can’t afford to pay for a massage, I can masturbate. Often.
  • Keeps me in touch with myself.
  • Reminds me that Catholic Church, for me, is like home: I can never go back. Sin is simply too damned fun, and remembering them all for confession would be far too labourious.
  • It’s a healthy outlet for all my repressed societal angst.
  • Nostalgia: The many, many times I’ve revisited that very same Happy Place, and every time I smiled.
  • It’s better than watching golf on a Sunday morning.
  • Stress management. They claim one orgasm has the neurological benefits of 10 Valiums. And cheaper.
  • Because my carpal tunnel syndrome hasn’t crippled me yet.
  • Because I can.
  • Because I get to play with toys.
  • Because.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but that would involve investing more time, and I could be masturbating instead. Priorities, right?