new active lifestyle
October 20, 2003 06:27 PM

Is it okay to decide to change yourself?

This seems obvious. The answer is yes. But is it?

If you're all about people accepting themselves? If somewhere in the back of your mind is the idea that change could make you better in the eyes of some great Other? If the changes you make could make you more like a you you aren't so fond of, in retrospect at least?

I decided that I don't go out to play enough. I have never really gone out to play a lot. One of those kids whose idea of playing outside was to read or reenact a book outside. New rule, though. At least eight minutes of vigorous exercise upon awaking. Walks once a week, which quickly leads to a need to travel various places just to walk there, as walking weekly the same path has a Zen quality that isn't what we're really after here. And so local life looks more interesting.

Going outside to play means accepting the possibility of looking ugly. Outside playclothes are not cute. Shirts stick out of overalls and pants fall down asses when faced with leaping and running about.

I do not like to look ugly. No. I do not like to look other than intended, do not wish to be seen as other than seen in the mirror, other than already seen and remembered in mind's eye. Do not like to not be in on the joke, the loop, the thing.

And yet. Playing outside is alright.

I decided that I eat too much. I have never eaten much, but I decided that this was too much and so. I'm eating a lot less. It's still more than not eating, more than when. But it's so easy to get obsessive. To count. To eagerly anticipate feeling empty.

It scares me a little.

There is no clearly stated reason for new active lifestyle, no mission statement. It is simply agenda, must be done. Also a little scary, to launch into anything without a vision expressed. Gives way to worry that the subtext is more than, is a true desire to be more like others, not more healthy or more fun but just more like. And I guess I felt a little betrayed.

But there is more fun, and more energy, and that's like being a younger self in a better way. Besides, I'll never be a vibrant go-everywhere old person if I'm not a vibrant go-everywhere young person.

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