Wednesday, June 20, 2012


A few words about the physique of Hamishzadeh (previously Hamishopoulos, but it seems he’s Iranian, so I felt it appropriate to adjust the nickname):  he is not tall (although he thinks he is), but he is very large.  As I said, he’s got the physique of a caber-tosser, which is to say he’s extremely muscular, but not particularly cut.  There’s mass, but little definition.  If you put him in a suit, he’d probably just look pudgy. 

Just last night I was hanging out with him in a social setting, and at one point he leaned back and put his hands behind his head.  Suddenly, I had a moment of recognition, particularly, recognition of self.  Looking at the shape his big upper arms took; I caught a glimpse of the shape of my own arms:  the way that when I raise them, they look meaty, instead of just fat.

It was kind of a quietly startling moment.  I tend to judge myself harshly.  I have little patience for my own fuck-ups, and I won’t forgive things in myself that I’ll readily have patience for in others.  When I look at my arms, I think one thing, but there I was looking at comparable arms on someone else and I saw something familiar, but my interpretation was a new one. 

It reminded me of the lack of capacity that many of us have to view ourselves objectively.  If I can’t haul a certain weight one day, I don’t think that I’m having just a bad day, or remind myself of all the other lifts I just did targeting the same muscle group.  I think I’m weak and not trying hard enough.  I look at my own belly and get angry at my lack of will power, but I see another woman with more generous curves and I’ll think she’s sexy.  I’m trying to learn how to divorce myself emotionally from self-reflection, to treat myself with a little more patience and compassion, but I’m at a loss of how to do this.  Is there any easy way to take a step back from oneself?

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