I asked myself why I stopped writing last year and the answers were revealing.
Some days, there are just too many ghosts.
It’s difficult to imagine typing out what you’re really thinking when the other half of your brain is imagining her reading what you write and mocking you for being sentimental.
Don’t listen to the haters, she used to say.
I try not to.
Everyone else’s disapproval is not as loud in my head as it was last year, or even the year before, or the year before that.
Don’t mock people who are trying to learn what it feels like to breathe, who have been holding stale air in their lungs for years because if they did anything else, someone would hurt them for it.
Sometimes we just need a break. Sometimes blogging is too vulnerable and we need time and space to heal.
Other people in my life now keep telling me that I need to write a book about my childhood and growing up, about my escape.
Right now, I’m curled up at my desk writing a lot of existential nonsense and sipping noodles.
I remember to drink more water now. I try to eat more vegetables. I take more walks. I have a patio garden outside my apartment.
I have done so many things that I never thought I would. I am still alive, after so many things that I thought would have crushed me.
People are always telling us to stand up for ourselves because no one else will.
This isn’t untrue, it’s just oversimplified.
Nearly all of my behaviors are habits, something I learned how to do. So if I want to become my own advocate, I have to learn it.
When my dad comes to visit and we have lunch, I pause when he tells me to eat more so we won’t have to use a to-go container, or that I should focus on my salad before my mashed potatoes because it’s healthier.
I eat what I want. When I want.
I don’t have to eat what he says or how he says.
Choices are difficult when you grew up with very few. This is ironic because my dad used to joke about not having options in Soviet Russia.
It is okay if my progress is slow on some days. I grow at my own pace, like a plant.
I am not the same species as her.
I am not competing with anyone to see who can become healthier first because healthy is subjective and relative to the human.
Today I am just me. And that is enough.