Get Me To The Emerald City

Musings on life, art, body image, books, belief, and being a geek grrl in a girly-girl world.

“But what will they think of me?”

I set up this blog a couple of weeks back, and I’ve been pondering since then what to actually write as a first post.  There’s stuff I have in my head that can wait for later; but what I want to talk about here and now is the nature of what I’m actually doing.  Blogging itself.

See, I was raised in one of those fairly conservative (OK, very conservative – 1950s values in the 1980s) would-be middle-class British families where there was one overriding rule: You Do Not Wash Your Dirty Linen In Public.  Most of the time, in fact, you didn’t wash your dirty linen in private either.  Or even your clean linen.  Actually exposing anything about your feelings or personality was very much frowned upon.

“You should never write anything down,’ I was solemnly told at the age of ten.  ‘If anyone reads what you’ve written, they’ll think you’re weird.”

Despite this, I’ve always written things down; always kept notebooks or journals of some kind.  Because even if your thoughts are never going to be revealed to anyone, you need that place to work them out.

Blogging, because of its public nature, is a little different, because it’s intended to be out there for all to see.  Even exposing myself, I’m still hiding behind a name which isn’t my real one; I may be discussing some fairly personal stuff here, and I don’t want to expose the identities of certain other people who may be involved in some of this.   Yet, still, there’s that worry: What will they think of me?

The only way to overcome that, I suppose, is to put my cards on the table and come straight out with the dirty linen;  the stuff I’m not ‘supposed’ to discuss.   The stuff that back home, would certainly have gotten me classed as ‘weird’; the stuff that, these days, I know people are most likely to go judgy on me about.

I’m fat.  A UK size 18, to be precise.  I couldn’t tell you how much I weigh as I don’t own any scales.  An ‘in-betweenie’, a small fats as far as the fat community goes, but fat nevertheless.  Since I hold the ‘other F word’ to be a mere physical descriptor which does not imply any of the usual negative baggage that our culture attaches to that word, expect to find me using it in this context.  I don’t diet, and I’m not interested in anyone’s reasons why I ‘should’ diet.

I have intermittent mental health issues: specifically, depression and anxiety.  The depression I’ve been successfully treated for, and it only rears its ugly head every few years; the anxiety is something I have to deal with on an ongoing basis.  It’s also possible, given some of my mental peculiarities going back to childhood, that I may have Asperger syndrome, although I’ve never been formally diagnosed.   I’ve come to the conclusion that I will probably never be able to navigate social situations as well as many of my peers.  Sometimes this worries me, sometimes it doesn’t.

I’m an eclectic pagan.  That’s the best description of my beliefs I can come up with, having been through phases of Buddhism, Wicca and a number of other belief systems and settled on something that’s not exactly any of them.  I don’t mind what anyone else believes as long as they a) don’t try to impose it on me or other people, and b) don’t start thinking they know what I, or other people, believe without having taken the time and trouble to enquire.   This has happened in the past, and is still the reason I don’t keep in touch with certain people.

Anything else?  I’m a pack rat with very little sense of domesticity.  I’m a survivor of emotional and verbal abuse, from various quarters.  I’m divorced, but, I’m pleased to say, happily remarried for twelve years now.  My husband and I have chosen to be child-free.   I’m a feminist, and firmly pro-choice.   I’m straight, but I absolutely support GLBT rights.   I have two tattoos, both of Kurt Cobain (long story).  I like playing around with clothes and makeup, sometimes, but I don’t believe it’s my obligation to attempt to be eye candy for every passing male.   I’ve been badly drunk precisely four times in my life, and hated it.   I’d much rather read a book than go out partying.  (Most of the time.)

And, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe, what ‘they’ think of me (and who is this mysterious ‘they’ anyway?  Anyone that actually matters?) isn’t nearly as important as who I actually am, to myself.    Not that this personal stuff is the kind of thing I’m going to be blogging about all the time.  Just that coming out with it now makes everything else that little bit less scary.

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2 thoughts on ““But what will they think of me?”

  1. I like the “inbetweenie” or small fats designation. I’ve kind of struggled with how to describe myself, and that one fits perfectly. I’m somewhere around a US 12-14. Fat enough to get the constant media message that I’m unhealthy and unattractive, but not so much that I’ve encountered the kind of viciousness I hear from many bloggers. At least not since junior high.

    I joke that I’m a militant agnostic: I don’t know, and you don’t either. Can’t claim to have coined the phrase — spotted it on a Northern Sun button.

    • I forget where around the Fatosphere I first heard it used, but yes, I like it. People vary as to how they’d define it – I think of it as probably the UK 16-22 sort of range (i.e. starting from what is in fact our average dress size, though you wouldn’t think it from the fashion mags, up to the upper limit of what some mainstream stores sell). I try to never lose sight of the fact that I’m speaking from my experience, and that other people can speak better from theirs.

      Militant agnostic – I like your style! 🙂

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