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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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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Thanksgiving 2021

in the midst of everything going on, I don’t have any urge to buy anything that is on sale right now. But I do want to take some time to reflect on the plentitude I have and gratitude.

This year I am thankful for:

  • My brother moving to New York and being able to spend more time with him than I have since… I left for college, maybe? And being in the same city as him since the same time?
  • Having the means to both support a local restaurant for Thanksgiving for a second pandemic year and supplement that meal with more of our favorite sides and desserts that we always finish too soon and wish we had leftovers of
Showing off my new charcuterie board skills to my brother! Accompanied by a fresh apple cider take on a Moscow mule (but no vodka for me hehe)
  • The good health of myself and my loved ones
  • Modern medicine and public health measures that have helped make said good health possible
  • All of the well wishes from folks in the wake of my grandmother’s passing
  • Being able to attend 4 weddings over the past 3 months after not seeing anyone in person for a year and a half
  • Making new friends locally despite a global pandemic
  • … who let us enjoy cat-sitting and their fantastic view of the Thanksgiving parade
  • Technology allowing me to stay in touch with my parents (and my other long-distance friends and extended family), even after not seeing them for 2 years

Before I go on, I wanted to take a moment to gently remind myself and any readers here that the myth of the first Thanksgiving is, in fact, a myth. Here are a few things I’ve learned about the history of Thanksgiving:

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