Peeta and I grow back together. There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children. But his arms are there to comfort me. And eventually his lips. On the night I feel that thing again, the hunger that overtook me on the beach, I know this would have happened anyway. That what I need to survive is not Gale’s fire, kindled with rage and hatred. I have plenty of fire myself. What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again. And only Peeta can give me that.
Don’t tell thin women to eat a cheeseburger. Don’t tell fat women to put down the fork. Don’t tell underweight men to bulk up. Don’t tell women with facial hair to wax, don’t tell uncircumcised men they’re gross, don’t tell muscular women to go easy on the dead-lift, don’t tell dark-skinned women to bleach their vaginas, don’t tell black women to relax their hair, don’t tell flat-chested women to get breast implants, don’t tell “apple-shaped” women what’s “flattering,” don’t tell mothers to hide their stretch marks, and don’t tell people whose toes you don’t approve of not to wear flip-flops. And so on, etc, etc, in every iteration until the mountains crumble to the sea. Basically, just go ahead and CEASE telling other human beings what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do with their bodies unless a) you are their doctor, or b) SOMEBODY GODDAMN ASKED YOU.
Lindy West, Thin Women: I’ve Got Your Back. Could You Get Mine? (via timedoesnotexisthere)
And if you ARE their doctor, don’t assume every little or major problem your overweight or heavier patients come in with is automatically caused by or attributable to their weight. Some excess meat on the bones or fat here and there doesn’t just magically cause all health problems.
And guess what you call a woman who enjoys sex? Nothing but her first name.
[…] Early in my freshman year, my dad asked me if there were lots of Latinos at school. I wanted to say, “Pa, I’m one of the only Latinos in most of my classes. The other brown faces I see mostly are the landscapers’. I think of you when I see them sweating in the morning sun. I remember you were a landscaper when you first came to Illinois in the 1950s. And look, Pa! Now I’m in college!”
But I didn’t.
I just said, “No, Pa. There’s a few Latinos, mostly Puerto Rican, few Mexicans. But all the landscapers are Mexican.”
My dad responded, “¡Salúdelos, m’ijo!”
So when I walked by the Mexican men landscaping each morning, I said, “Buenos días.”
Recently, I realized what my dad really meant. I remembered learning the Mexican, or Latin American, tradition of greeting people when one enters a room. In my Mexican family, my parents taught me to be “bien educado” by greeting people who were in a room already when I entered. The tradition puts the responsibility of the person who arrives to greet those already there. If I didn’t follow the rule as a kid, my parents admonished me with a back handed slap on my back and the not-so-subtle hint: “¡Saluda!”
I caught myself tapping my 8-year-old son’s back the other day when he didn’t greet one of our friends: “Adrian! ¡Saluda!”
However, many of my white colleagues over the years followed a different tradition of ignorance. “Maleducados,” ol’ school Mexican grandmothers would call them.
But this Mexican tradition is not about the greeting—it’s about the acknowledgment. Greeting people when you enter a room is about acknowledging other people’s presence and showing them that you don’t consider yourself superior to them.
When I thought back to the conversation between my dad and me in 1990, I realized that my dad was not ordering me to greet the Mexican landscapers with a “Good morning.”
Instead, my father wanted me to acknowledge them, to always acknowledge people who work with their hands like he had done as a farm worker, a landscaper, a mechanic. My father with a 3rd grade education wanted me to work with my mind but never wanted me to think myself superior because I earned a college degree and others didn’t.
Saluden Muchachxs, saluden.
I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions or unnecessary conversations. If we don’t vibrate on the same frequency there’s just no reason for us to waste our time. I’d rather have no one and wait for substance than to not feel someone and fake the funk.
1. Know that you are still blooming, and this is okay.
2. Write handwritten love notes to the parts of yourself you hate.
3. Find the comfort in holding your own hand.
4. Remember, even clouds cry sometimes.
5. Date yourself. Get to know yourself again.
6. Learn how to be alone without feeling lonely.
7. Do something that scares you every day, no matter how small. Watch your life change.
8. Stop wishing for a vacation and make your life into something you don’t wish to escape from.
9. Recognize that the best artists color outside the lines. You have the same freedom in your life. Break conventions.
10. Go to the florist on the corner and buy yourself some flowers. Spoil yourself. You deserve it.
11. Throw out your premeditated list of qualities for your perfect mate. That special person is not a recipe or equation. Humans are more than that.
12. Share your testimony. Our story is meant to be heard. Find your voice.
13. Wish to be more like rain than snow. Snow is frigid and hardens. Rain is vulnerable and soft.
14. Look at your veins. They are roots, and your limbs are branches. Your body is a strong tree. Don’t you dare cut it down.
15. Strive to have the humility as the sun. It shines brilliantly every day without needing anyone to notice.
16. Flip through old photos and reminisce about the past, but do not live there. Nothing new happens there.
17. Dust off the fingerprints of any past lover left on your skin. You belong only to yourself.
18. Become the person you’d like to fall in love with.
19. Loving yourself again will be like putting on eyeglasses. The blur will fade and you will see yourself for what you truly are: beautiful.
Once you get a taste of sleeping next to someone, sleeping alone in your own bed really sucks.
It seems to me that the years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult – but you are not ready.