On realizing I was Skinny

Content/trigger warning: This post may be difficult or triggering to read it if you are struggling with your relationship with food or your body and contains mentions of disordered eating.

I grew up skinny, most of my family did. But I didn’t know how abnormal it was for me to be so skinny until a specific moment in the 5th grade. I loved my 5th grade teacher, but I still remember — 2 decades later — being at an ice cream social with teachers and classmates and hearing her tell me:

I wish I could eat that much ice cream and stay as skinny as you!

I remember feeling immediately embarrassed that I was eating so much ice cream, especially because I was apparently so skinny that no one expected me to eat this much ice cream. This moment also contributed to an unhealthy mentality I think I adopted later, wherein I felt a need to prove myself as a “skinny girl who can really eat!” but I’ll get to that later.

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TD Five Boro Bike Tour

As someone who does not do much cycling at all, I couldn’t believe that I had signed up to bike 40 miles through all 5 boroughs of New York City.

Now that I’m done, I still can’t quite believe I did it! I biked (over) 40 miles through all 5 boroughs of New York City with basically no cycling training at all! And survived to tell the tale!

Starr on a bike in a neon yellow jacket, helmet, sunglasses, and facemask, with other cyclists in the background in NYC
Confession: Of the photos I got back from the official photographers, my posture is best in this one as I became increasingly deflated over the course of 40 miles and many hours 😅
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Worn-Out Feelings

For a while, I’ve been the kind of person who spends a lot of time thinking about how I’m feeling and feeling about how I’m thinking. (Long-time blog readers know this well.) So it was nearly impossible for me to not notice a distinct… shift… in both over the course of this pandemic so far. And I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how to put it into words so I can better understand it myself, likely thanks to 2 decades of making a habit of crystallizing my thoughts into blog posts for a handful of friends and an unknowable number of strangers to read.

Photo: Arun Sharma
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Two Years of Working From Home

Another whole year of working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Time has been so strange during this era of human history and this past year was no exception.
It feels both like ages ago and just yesterday that I was reflecting on a year of working from home, that I was seeing my coworkers for the last time, that I was nursing my husband back to health, that I was welcoming my brother to New York.
Time doesn’t feel quite precise enough for reflecting on the past 2 years.

But we’ll try.

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2022 Resolutions

We made it through 2021, which was weirder than 2020 because, while 2020 was a steady hum of lows, 2021 came with ups and downs all year like the winter surge, the vaccine coming out, devastating COVID variants, seeing family and friends again, and NYC being in the grips of yet another surge during the holidays. (And, of course, an unrelenting news cycle, as per usual.)

This past year, I feel a lot less… ambitious than I ever felt. I just want to survive, you know? I’ve even found my usually competitive nature to be significantly dampened. Games with family and friends (online, as is the case for most of this pandemic) are less stressful and still as fun when I don’t hope for or expect victory? I’m already spending time with people I care about, so anything that follows is an afterthought. It’s fine if people think I’m bad at a game; they might be right, and I don’t have to get my pride hurt about it. I remember wanting to get my mind and my body to the BEST possible condition ahead of turning 30, but by the time my birthday rolled around I didn’t care. I was just holding on.

So my goals for the upcoming year are not super ambitious, and I’m trying to be even more honest with myself so that I can achieve them. As the years start coming and they don’t stop coming, I am really thinking hard about what kind of person these goals are supposed to help me become and why I want to be her.

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