To my chagrin I’ve learned that I’ve gained more family followers over the past few days. Come for the heartfelt Montreal sentiments. Stay for the puns and poop jokes. If anything over the past few weeks, I’ve learned they’re ingrained family traits. Here be dragons, you’ve been warned.
Between the solo/partnered time I’ve had here, it’s also held a higher concentration of familial familiarity. Familialrity? I’ve been noticing/recalling patterns, reinterpreting my past and recalibrating for my future. If we’re talking family traits, food is a big part of it all. My family, extended and all, loves food. Food is love. We cook, share and enjoy. We talk about meals we’ve had, where to check out and, for better or worse, what it does to our waistlines. Our family is obsessed with weight, image and all that jazz. We’re constantly encouraged to eat more and more, but there’s a pervasive fear of gaining weight. An “undue” amount, y’know? We talk about how “good” people are looking, how “bad” we are for eating certain things. Applying a moral compass to inanimate objects like dessert, etc. I swear it’s borderline highschool shit.
Having thought about this stuff on end for years, I know know that at least I come by it honestly. I don’t regret any of my proclivities for bold flavours or experimental cuisine. If you’re thinking about the calories over the taste, I figure you’re doing it wrong. Moderation is a personal endeavour, but there’s no weight as severe as the guilt above your head of taking it too far. With lifelong struggles over weight and body image I know full well that society hates the overweight. HATES us. Despite any well-meaning comments and euphemisms, it’s judgement all the way down. It’s bullshit, and so often the judgement comes from a totally clueless place where you don’t understand the struggles of others. Despite what you think, someone else’s weight is none of your fucking business. You have no concept of what’s going on in their lives or what their relationship with food is. Whatever that relationship is, it’s theirs, not yours. If you’re unsure of your relationship with food, as ghastly as it sounds, please be prepared to exercise self-compassion. Cool it with blaming yourself, deciding what you can and can’t wear or do. Your value has nothing to do with whatever a scale might say. Throw it the fuck out and decide what healthy means for you. There are far more important things.
Au contraire, I have reasserted the kind of love that flows freely throughout my lineage. Despite any of the above, people care and are present. So many interactions have cast my mind back to how we were raised. The boundaries instilled in us from a young age. How we were encouraged to take care of the dishes post meal or try as best as possible to be hospitable to others within their own homes. To be kind and considerate, to listen and actually hear what people were saying. To practice compassion and adoration to our partners. To give love in abundance and reaffirm how lucky we are to have them in our lives. I don’t think I’ve had a relationship that’s lasted five years. I can’t imagine how it feels when you’re homing in on 40 years together. How slight annoyances must become points of contention. Irritation morphing into outright contempt. I’m sure it’s so easy. What’s harder then, is embracing the faults of your beloveds. To be slow to anger and quick to understanding. Letting the heat of the moment take you will leave you stranded in a constant state of frustration. If you’re together until one of you dies, you don’t want to spend another 15-20 years stewing in resentment. It’s a rapid route to a living grave.
It’s something my own partner has taught me unbelivably well. That blame is in abundance and leads you nowhere. Flights of unnecessary fury only build walls higher and displace compassion. Being emotionally earnest is a reward in itself, knowing that openness pays back dividends. Having someone you feel free to be yourself with, to embrace one another with fullness, doubles the warmth of that embrace. Owning one’s feelings, faults and failings is unimaginably freeing, and it’s hard not to bring that authenticity back to the relationship. Fuck posturing, be yourself and love who you’re with. If you’re not, why be with them? Set them free and find your bliss.
Who’d’ve thought that “don’t be a dick” would take 700 words to say?