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Happy and she knows it
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
I've been pretty happy recently (alert the media!) and I'm not exactly sure why. But I'm liking this feeling.
I don't know if it's because I've reached a point in life where I don't give a shit anymore, or that I know what I DON'T want, or if it's because of some recent weight loss. Maybe it's because I've got some direction in my life for a change. A purpose. A goal. Who knows?
But it's about #*@# time. The last ten years have been horrible. The decade has flown by, but at the same time, the crap dragged on and on. Since my mother died in 2004, that has marked a period of my life known as “before and after.” The “before” was great, particularly the 1990s. Despite financial problems, life seemed pretty sweet, at least from this angle it did. Then, the “after.” After my mother died, I was alone in the world. My brother was being an absolute shit. I went to Canada to escape for a while and fell in love with Toronto. I hatched a plan that would get me there in five years.
Obviously, it didn't work. It's 2014, and I'm still here in Fort Wayne. I'm still financially ruined. I'm still in love with Toronto. I feel disconnected from a lot of things (and people) yet at the same time, the crap from last summer and fall has stopped, at least temporarily. I'm sure some shit will hit the fan eventually, and I'll be in a continual crisis for a month or two. I'll bitch and moan about it.
But now, I'm going to enjoy this ride while it lasts. I'm down twenty pounds. It's the thinnest I've been in years. I thought the only way I could lose weight was by battling pneumonia, some other infection, or scarfing down Aleve (All day strong. All day long.) while gritting my teeth through menstrual cramps. (Or by throwing up. I've heard that works, too.) I've found that even though I crave junk food I'd best be close to a toilet after going on an orgy of potato chips and Coke, or some other grease fest. I'm sure that my surgery last year has something to do with my bowels unleashing themselves after I've indulged in some huge feast of steak, French fries, fried shrimp, salad, and rolls (not fried) all washed down with plenty of Coke. Or maybe I just can't eat that stuff anymore because I've reached a “certain age.” I hear people my age and younger complain they are “too old” to be doing whatever. My peers can't stay up after midnight. As I write this, it's nearly fifteen after twelve on a Monday morning. If I didn't have to be at work by nine, I'd stay up until three and probably sleep until noon or so. Maybe later. I blame the insomnia on ongoing financial worries, possible terrorism attacks, possible visits from my brother, having to deal with crazy/stupid customers at one of my four part time jobs, global warming, cancer, hormones (the lack of them) and other nameless disasters.
Bottom line, I'm tired of being afraid. Tired of struggling. And tired of feeling that life isn't going to be good again. Maybe it will. Maybe it won't. But right now, despite a mold problem in the master bedroom, faulty plumbing, a car that's old enough to drive, another car, which isn't running, but is almost old enough to drink, never enough money, ancient eyeglasses, and underwear that looks like Swiss cheese, I'm feeling better and younger than I have in years. My hair is looking good, my pants are loose, my legs feel light, I can jog an hour without stopping and I can live on nothing but homemade juice, water, chocolate milk and hot chocolate for a week and still function. If my parents were around, I'd say I feel like a kid again. Shit, I DO feel like a kid again! Happy, and optimistic (somewhat) about the future, and feeling like I don't give a damn. Because worrying wastes so much energy that I could be devoting to reading, writing, watching Sex and the City on DVD, doing my hair, walking my dog, exercising, or whatever else sounds like fun.
Maybe it's a midlife crisis, but in reverse. Instead of feeling scared, I'm flipping the switch. I can't afford a convertible, so I'm going to have to pretend my Dodge Neon is a sweet ride, despite that dent in the back. I'll crank up some of my favorite music from the 1970s, and bob my head to “Pick Up the Pieces” by the Average White Band. Shoot, I might even lose enough weight to wear some trendy clothes from Aeropostale or maybe Hollister (bought at the thrifts of course, I can't afford that stuff and my parents can't buy it for me either, because they're DEAD).
But one thing for sure: I'll never get a tattoo. What I'm experiencing might be middle-aged crazy, but I'll take my surgical scars over ink anyday. Sure, someone stuck a needle into you several times, but I've been sliced OPEN. Totally hardcore, baby.