it is snowing and I am trying to love myself
It is snowing and I cannot feel my hands.
My hands are always cold—poor circulation, a symptom of being tall, of tall stature. I am a front row person, but I never sit at the front of the classroom out of fear of blocking someone else's view, of inconveniencing others, of condemnation. I am very tall and my hands are so cold, I am a tree in winter with brittle branches and twigs ready to snap, ready to break.
I am not ready to break, I am bent and twisted, the scoliosis twists my spine, wringing me out until I can only see behind me, like an owl frozen in time. I can only see behind me and I am peering into a past that is eerily familiar. They say that hindsight is 20/20, but my vision has always been awful and everything is blurry. There are shapes and the shapes are moving, moving; nothing ever stays stagnant, nothing ever remains, nothing persists, everything changes and changes and changes until it is not what it was before, but rather something new, the amalgamation of experience and addition and subtraction and refinement.
I am afraid of change. I am afraid of the unknown, of shifts to my routine, my routine that gives structure to my life. Without my traditions, my rituals, my routine, I stumble, I fall. I wish I weren't so deeply troubled by insignificant interruptions, but it is not Christmas and I don't believe in Santa Claus anyway; I wish I weren't so fragile, but there are no shooting stars in the sky for me to wish on—everything is cloudy, everything is misty. I think, maybe, that I can wish on myself. I am myself, aren't I? Aren't I?
I am myself and I am tall and my hands are very cold, but I love them anyway.
My hands are cold and they move slowly, but I am patient, I have patience. I have patience with my hands, why can't I have patience with myself? With myself? With who I am—who am I? I can give you the boxes I package my identity in, I can deliver little gifts and presents that contain the chopped up fragments of who I am. I can tell you my Myers-Briggs type, I can tell you my Enneagram type, my astrology sign, my college majors, my research interests, my favorite color, my results from Buzzfeed personality quizzes. That's not quite me though, is it? That's not quite me. If you want the sketch, take the boxes, but if you want the entire painting, you'll need to wait and watch.
I am myself and I am tall and my hands are very cold and my spine is twisted and I am peering into the past.
It's awfully inconvenient to walk forward when you're stuck looking behind you, but my routine is deeply ingrained into my body, so I take my steps confidently, I take my steps cautiously. I am a cautious person, I am an anxious person.
I need routine and that is okay, that is okay because I am okay, and if I am not okay, I will be okay. I will be okay and that is enough. That is enough. I am enough.
It is snowing in April and my hands are very cold. I wrap them around my body, clutching myself closely, giving myself a hug I know I need. My hands are very cold and they aren't always precise, but they are my hands, and I love them for what they are, not what they should be. I love myself for what I am, not what I should be—or at least, that's what I want, I want that to be true. I want to love myself again, and really, I'm trying. I've made so much progress, I've come so far. I think there's self-love in my future; I trust my body to know where to go even though I am stuck looking behind me.
I am stuck looking behind me because my spine is twisted and because I am addicted to the charm of nostalgia. Nostalgia and I are in a complicated relationship; there's no romance between us, but sometimes she smothers me with sadness over a past that never was and I like the emotional asphyxiation, but I don't think that's very healthy, is it? I don't think that's very healthy at all.
I am afraid of change and I need routine and I get so horribly sad when my routine gets disrupted. I am the epitome of a creature of habit, and I live joyfully. I live joyfully on my well-worn tracks, I live joyfully knowing what to expect and seeing it come to fruition. My first year of university, I ate the same things ever single day: breakfast was a bowl of raisin bran with whole milk, coffee with french vanilla cream, some fruit, and Emergen-C or orange juice; lunch was a small chocolate chip granola bar paired with a tiny cup of espresso; dinner was a spinach tortilla wrap with lettuce, grilled chicken, two tomatoes, and ranch dressing, plus french fries and a chocolate chip cookie. I ate the same things every day and I did the same things every day and I was a creature of habit, and I was happy, I was stable.
The world is so awfully unpredictable, and I can't see what's happening in front of me because my head is stuck facing backward into my past. It's okay, I'm okay. Maybe I should visit a chiropractor?
For now, I am working on acceptance. I am working on accepting that I need routine but that my routine will get disrupted inevitably. I am working on finding comfort with chaos. I am working on strengthening the walls of my mind so that I can find comfort in turbulent times. I am working on loving myself—really, I am! I'm working on loving myself. I'm making progress. I love my hands, I really do.
My hands are cold and they're not always perfect but they do what I need them to do.
It is snowing in April and my hands are very cold and I am trying to love myself, I really am.
It is snowing in April and I think that everything is going to be okay.