in my head, i want to start running, slim down, get fit, be healthy. and then the voice comes–“you can’t run. what would people think as you galumphed by, with your thick ankles and your stooped shoulders, face beet red from exertion. who do you think you are? you’ll just give up anyway, after looking stupid for a few days. it will all end in humiliation.”
in my head, i want to be cute and perky and stylish, with great skin and hair. and then the voice comes–“you’re as homely as ever, with your too-pink skin tone that no makeup can tame, and your fat cheeks, and that nose that you used to wear the clothes pin on, hoping to make it thinner–too bad that never worked. makeup can’t cover all that you want to hide.”
in my head, i want to be outdoorsy, go hiking, take my dog and my little family on mountain trails, visit all of the places that people come from states away to see, which are very nearly right in my own back yard. and then the voice comes–“seriously? you on a hiking trail? remember the last time, when the dog pulled hard and you fell down the hill? remember that failure. it’s who you are. it’s what you are all about. you are a homebody, a softbody, an out-of-shape office worker. live with it.”
in my head, i want to be sexy, funny, attractive. i want to radiate energy and humor and love. and then the voice comes–“negative nellie is at it again, fighting against her true nature, wanting to get lively. what a joke. you always fall back down in a heap, lower than ever. give it up. the energy expended just to fail isn’t worth it. you’ll always be a wallflower, just like dad said.”
how do i combat the voice? i suppose the first step is just to do something. if i want to run, maybe i’d better just start. but as soon as i have the thought, the embarrassment that is sure to come from failure rises up in my chest and throat, pulling me even farther back into my sedentary life, into depression that i know always lurks close at my heels. maybe i can outrun the depression, if only i just try.
but i am afraid that it will just be one more thing that doesn’t work. just another way to fall.
i read on one of my favorite blogs about the thought that wild animals have no concept of giving up. they simply don’t give up. and then there’s me, feeling like giving up before i even try.
i used to consider myself a wild thing.
but now i’m tired. because it’s all gone wrong so many times before.
and god didn’t give me an answer. and oh, how many times i knocked.