Thursday, April 22, 2010

Low-Fat Cheese and Scraped Knees

Low-fat cheese is so massively disappointing. Nothing scares you off from eating healthy like something that melts into a fine crust onto your tortilla chips and requires overnight soaking to get off of your plate. Last night, I came home in a hunger tizzy, having worked an 8-hour day at the lab plus 6 hours at my new part time job serving at a restaurant downtown. I piled some chips on a plate, sprinkled some low-fat cheese on the top, popped it in the microwave, and 45 seconds later, voila: tortilla chips trapped under a fine tent of cheese glue. Not what I had hoped for, as you can probably imagine. Considering it was 11:30 at night and I hadn't eaten in 7 hours, however, I could've cared less. But it seemed a fitting end to what had been at the very least a clumsy 36 hours.

I've never been what you might call a "pristine lady." My shirt is typically wrinkled to some degree, my hair is constantly in a state of rebellion against my straightener, and at any given time I have a number of bruises all over my limbs from various unintended meetings with corners (current bruise count: 5). At my serving job last night, this lack of grace seemed particularly noticeable. All of the other women who work there seem to have a level of poise and/or girlishness that I simply did not adopt along my path to womanhood. So last night, as I fumbled with the trays and tripped down the steps as I prepared to close the patio (which resulted in what is now bruise #5), I couldn't help but feel a bit like a black sheep.

There has been some drop in my level of self-assuredness in these 11 months since graduating. I never felt fearless in college by any means, but I did feel like the cocoon of support I had around me kept me from caring about what other people thought and allowed me to develop the overall idea of who I was. Ideas put into practice always waiver, however, and I now feel that this post-college chapter is the truest testament to turning ideas into action: not just knowing what it takes to fly, but actually flying. It's all up to me now, foibles and all, and it seems sometimes to be more difficult to accept my own idiosyncrasies as I'm flying than the flying itself.

So I do what I always do: try to brush it off. Remind myself that no one is perfect, and where one person has poise, they may lack something else. But it's been tough, I can't lie. I don't think it's necessarily something that goes away, but like anything else you have personal qualms with (nose, hips, arms, whatever), is something you grow to accept over time as simply a part of who you are.

Hopefully "who I am" doesn't involve spilling hot coffee and/or a Nutella banana crepe onto someone's lap....

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