I wrote a review of the book Green Girl, where I talked about the impossible standards that girls and women are expected to achieve. When I wrote about that, I’d been distant from it. I thought I was mostly over the idea that I must meet the societal standards of femaleness to be considered acceptable. I have come so far in self-acceptance.
Then, while I was meditating, fear rose up from my belly and into my chest. I’m afraid that I can’t get enough stuff done. The bar for “enough” is set impossibly high. Well, impossible for me. I still believe that I can’t be acceptable unless I achieve some level of success and looking a certain way while doing it.
I spent more time than usual meditating today. I needed it because I’ve been panicking a lot over my inability to get enough stuff done. I don’t have any set schedule or daily routine. I do things when I feel like they need to be done, but everything feels like it needs to be done. It’s impossible to do one thing without sacrificing another. I might achieve one goal, but rather than feel triumphant, I get irritating with myself for not having accomplished a different goal.
I haven’t been giving myself enough time to rest. I know this, but I also have this anxiety eating away at me that tells me that I must keep striving.
Speaking of which, I have been exercising more, lately, but it’s not to manipulate the shape of my body, I swear. I can’t function well if I’m not getting physical activity. I went running yesterday. Those aren’t tan lines on my ankles. They are dirt lines.
Running is my way of escaping the world. When I’m running, I only use my phone to track my progress and listen to music. The constant movement makes me feel like I’m escaping.
It is as though I am running away from the things that trap me in my life. I’m putting them all behind me. Of course, eventually, I turn back and go toward home—towards the things that stress me out. Once I get home, I drink water and then shower. I log my run into my app. I post about it in my fitness accountability group (don’t we all have one?) and then fall right back into the life I’d pretended that I could outrun.
Last week, I’d decided that I needed more joy in my life. I moved in that direction a little bit, but as soon as I was able, I went right back to wanting productivity out of myself. I am addicted to the idea that it is possible to become an infinitely desirable thing. I believe that I can somehow have a life and a body that is beyond criticism. We all know that it is impossible. No one is beyond criticism. Why do we keep demanding that from ourselves?