“If you want to write, write.” This is what the books I’m reading on how to write tell me, so I’m writing. And of course it makes more sense to just do it rather than sit around reading about how to do it. Which brings me to: I’ve spent most of my life reading about doing things than actually doing things… wherein the problem lies, I suppose.
I could type away at this keyboard about plenty of things, like how uncertain I am about the path of my life; how I feel like a failure most of the time; how sometimes I wonder about possibilities, then bring myself back down to earth because, in my current state of mind, possibilities are more like impossibilities. But even though those things are true, I won’t focus my energy on them; they rule so much of my daily life that to devote more sentences to them would be a waste.
So instead, I’ll write about writing.
I’ve always kept a journal, but I stopped writing regularly during college, and it’s only now that I’m remedying that. A few weeks ago, I made a huge show of buying a couple of fine-tipped gel pens and a notebook filled with silky-smooth paper, and ever since, I’ve been writing an entry every day. Sometimes it’s just about what I did that day; other times it’s about my feelings, my ugly, scary, trying-to-be-okay feelings; and occasionally, it’s about my excitement about cooking or baking or buying or making something new. Maybe it’s just my way of getting back to the me I used to be before I (essentially) self-destructed, but whatever the reason for the daily journaling, I’m feeling more alive because of it, and I’m thankful for that.
I read some poems by Linda Pastan today. They got me thinking about writing poems of my own, which got me thinking about writing, period. After reading those poems, I felt a sort of breathless wonderment at how perfectly the words came together, how directly they spoke to my heart, and I thought, “How do they know?” How could these poems capture exactly what I felt, as if they came from my own mind, as if my own hands had written them?
But they didn’t.
But I want that kind of writing to flow from me naturally – I want to write truthfully, and for others to read my work and relate and feel that they could have written those exact same words. That connection is nothing short of magical. And more than anything, I want to inspire that kind of magic.
I ask myself where to begin, and it’s here.
I just downloaded The Belly Fat Cure, and I’m seriously thinking about switching to it at the end of this week. Dukan is working, but I have a feeling that most of what I’ve lost so far is water weight. Besides that (TMI ahead), my already screwed-up GI system is not reacting well to the lack of real fiber. AND proteins are damn expensive… weekly trips to the grocery to stock up on meat and dairy products really add up. On the other hand, The Belly Fat Cure diet also requires pricy items (sugar-free EVERYTHING, stevia, soy flour, almond milk, xylitol), but at least they would last me longer than fresh proteins.
Oh, dieting. I probably should have researched more before starting Dukan, but on the bright side, jumping in so quickly really put me in in the diet mindset. Now it’s just a matter of finding that balance between what actually works and what I can manage to stick to.
I’m making the first of (what I hope to be) a few major life changes by finally doing something about all the weight I gained over the last three years. I started the Dukan diet on the 16th, and I’ve lost 5 pounds so far.
Although Dukan is probably (definitely) a fad diet, I decided to go on it anyway because it has crazy strict rules to keep me on track. I tried Weight Watchers this past spring, and although I lost a few pounds on it, it just wasn’t for me. Last weekend, I read another blog that mentioned Dukan was Kate Middleton’s diet of choice before her wedding. Although I’ll never look like her, she’s pretty good motivation; even if my body will never be that long and lean (I’m short and heavy-boned, an odd combination), I’d at least like to carry myself with that kind of grace and elegance.
The Dukan diet rules in a nutshell…
Attack Phase (first 3-7 days of diet): Pure Protein ONLY, meaning lean proteins + non-fat dairy + 1.5 qt water + 1.5 tbsp oat bran
Cruise Phase (until goal weight is reached): alternate Pure Protein days with Protein and Vegetable days which include non-starchy vegetables; increase oat bran to 2 tbsp
I’m not writing about the last two phases because I won’t be there for another 3 months, boooooo.
A confession: yesterday my dad offered me some delicious Filipino snacks and my mom made pancit, so I cheated for the first time (and a few more times). I ate bites of noodles and sweets and pork throughout the day, and the angels sang in celebration and the world was good again. And I still managed to lose a pound!
So from here on out, I may be doing a weekly cheat day. Apparently the doctor who came up with this diet thinks cheating is like taking a needle to a balloon, but I think that’s bs. I need to allow myself a treat once in a while to stay motivated, so if that’s what prevents me from snapping completely one day and going on an all-out carb and fat binge, so be it.
Okay, diet talk over. Wish me luck :)
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, As far as possible without surrender If you compare yourself with others, Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Be yourself. Take kindly the counsel of the years, Beyond a wholesome discipline, Therefore be at peace with God, With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
As far as possible without surrender
If you compare yourself with others,
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
Therefore be at peace with God,
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
True to its name, my Banoffee Mess was, indeed, a mess. Delicious, though. And only three ingredients! I cheated by buying a graham-cracker crust… whatev, whatev, I do what I want, etc.
So first, I’d like to apologize to Maham for posting a dessert with bananas. I know you’re over your phobia, but I’m not sure you’re so over it that you would enjoy a dessert that contains three of them, but not in one slice, of course.
By the way, I’m not posting as much here because I recently began a new journal, and shocker, I’ve been really good about writing in it every day. I’ve transferred my nail polish obsession to pens and paper (hence my asking Vanessa to go to a store for gel pens that would cost too damn much to ship… apology numero dos, sorry I’m manipulative!), and I’ve found that I like having an outlet that allows me to both test new pens and write down my unadulterated thoughts.
Third apology is to Tina. Mainly because I apologized to the two other friends who might read this aside from you and I don’t like leaving people out, but also because when we went to Five Guys, I became kind of a Debbie Downer about life. Life is actually pretty good, and while I’m still not Reality’s #1 Fan, I’m in a good place at the moment, and I’m proud that I can write that without a trace of “Well, how long is this gonna last?” cynicism. All right, maybe a very tiny sprinkling…
Last apology is to the four ants I just killed. And to nature, because I feel bad ending the lives of innocent, albeit very annoying and straight-up gross, creatures. Sorry, but I can’t have ants anywhere near the bathroom, that just ain’t right.
Anyway, I have to leave super early tomorrow morning to get to class (hour-and-a-half drive, curse you!), so good night =]
My mood today seems to have taken on that of the weather - overcast and dreary. To clarify, I’m more pensive than sad… that’s nothing new, but days like these, I’m even more attuned to my melancholic lethargy.
Around 3:00AM, I woke up from a dream involving someone from my past. I think my subconscious had settled on him because my sister had joked to me earlier about meeting men in Ireland and rattled off potential names, including his. Anyway, the dream was hilarious but pathetic, and I woke up feeling unsettled. I know dreams don’t reopen the past, but however brief, they can bring about twinges of regret and, in my case, humiliation. The mind is a funny, painful thing.