Another two pounds lost; I am ecstatic! I am celebrating personal achievement because when it comes to “The Biggest Loser” competition at work, I am far from being in the lead. Rumor has it that someone lost seven pounds, and that another participant completed a four-day fast to boost his or her start. I am not that competitive; winning would be wonderful, but if I lose every week, I will be happy. The competition is more of a motivating tool than anything else. The monetary spoils of victory will have no value when measured against how I look, how I feel, and the confidence I will gain. Although, I might just be saying all of that to make myself feel better about my inevitable loss – only time will tell.
Whenever I mail anything, which is not all that often in this digital age, I am always reminded of that scene in the movie “Grease,” where Marty is sending a letter to her boyfriend in the Marines, so she sprays the exceedingly feminine stationary with her perfume. Personally, I believe that to be a wonderfully romantic idea. Just the other day I found myself in the local post office, sending a copy of my novel to a friend and included a short letter. I penned a heartfelt note using a ballpoint pen filled with royal blue ink onto fashionable stationary, with a black and white paisley boarder around its edges and matching envelopes. As I licked the edge of the envelope flap to seal it, I thought about what a sensual, intimate gesture it would be leave just the tiniest trace of lipstick around an edge; the faintest clue of my physical existence. Naturally, this train of thought led me to the scene from the aforementioned movie, and I wondered if lipstick on the envelope and perfume lightly but noticeably scenting the stationary would work, or if the subtlety of it all would be lost on a man. Do they notice such things? Would the thought and planning that went into such a gesture be used to evaluate it? Does anyone ever truly receive back the effort he or she put into an endeavor? I think it’s a wildly romantic idea; there’s real optimism in the belief that a complete and total return of an emotion exists.
That makes me think of the fictional character Jay Gatsby from the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I just ended reading the book with my sophomore students and it is officially my favorite novel of all time. Its themes and romantic imagery and brutal honesty, with its undeniable cynicism watered down by the an almost untraceable strong hope, reminds me that I am inadequate as a writer (but who isn’t when a novel like The Great Gatsby is the novel against which all others are measured?) and that, like Gatsby, I am terribly lonely and clinging to memories from years ago, formulating schemes based on those ghosts of my pasts and inevitably setting myself up for disappointment and devastation. That is not to say that I am depressed and delusional – just hopelessly romantic, no matter what the cost. Some call this naivety, but I believe there is an honorable and dignified kind of stoicism in still believing in the good of people and the power of love, as trite and cheesy and impossible as it may seem.
I did not intend for this entry to be so “deep” (for lack of a better word), but it is a beautifully and bitterly bright Sunday morning and I am on my second cup of coffee. I feel much like a validated author this morning. I think the cozy, intellectually stylish sweater I am wearing helps, too. All I need are thick-framed glasses and all the time in the world, and I could be the perfect picture of writer. Appearance is half the battle, after all.
Speaking of, the goal of this week’s way to blast my blubber was to “adopt an avatar.” This goal was remarkably effortless to meet because I have been adopting an avatar every day of my life. I never see myself for who or what I am, but for who or what I would love to be: a bohemian, artistic intellectual, with the matching wardrobe and accessories. However, as I become more of a woman and less of a girl, I am tending to gravitate more towards elegance and an understated kind of drama. I have all of these plans, hopes, and dreams about my future. I want to be in love with a completely brilliant, brooding, and eccentric man. I want to be thin with straight, white teeth. I want to be a wildly successful writer. All of these wants (that are almost suffocating desires) are within my reach if I am willing to put in the work. I need to go out more so I can meet new people. I need to call the dentist and schedule an appointment. I need to count my calories, keep a food journal, and exercise. I need to promote my book. These aforementioned needs are most often rationalized away, pushed aside, and delayed in their realization because currently, I am frustratingly lazy and unfortunately unmotivated. I watch too much television. I play too much computer solitaire. I eat too much. I sleep too much. I don’t write enough. I don’t read enough.
If I want to be a bombshell, I should be a bombshell. So, my new avatar that I will use to motivate and inspire me on my way to weight loss and creative success, will simply be known as “Bombshell,” and she looks a little something like:
Whining and seeking pity are wasteful; a waste of time and a waste of words, which are my two most precious resources. I need to be about it. There are no excuses left. I did earn a full-time teaching job. A company did publish my book. My life’s pieces are not going to come together of their own accord and produce a pretty, little picture. I have to engage my own destiny and put the puzzle pieces in their proper positions.
This is not a revelation or a realization; it is only restating common sense. I want to live up to the compliments I receive. The psychology teacher said I looked great, that she could tell I was dieting and exercising, and that it was paying off. I cannot be a fraud; I have to put in the work.
A respected English teacher complimented my writing. She said my voice was strong and entertaining, and that my attention to detail was strong. A math teacher asked me to sign her copy and I was too touched to write anything spectacular. I hope it was what she wanted.
If I want to be a bombshell, then I should be a bombshell.
If you want to be a bombshell, then you should be a bombshell.