NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

The Ultimate Fat Lineup!

February2

When I first started to go to fat events it was mostly just meet ups and the occasional clothing swap or shopping. It took me a few years before I attended more organized events. The first fat event that blew me away so completely that I couldn’t stop smiling for days after was “Go Big or Go Home” by Big Moves Bay Area. The show itself was so put together, but it was the feeling of witnessing something so special and honest and amazing that stuck with me! That first major event featured the Phat Fly Girls, Rubenesque Burlesque and Raks Africa! Talk about a triple threat?! Ha-ha! And my first encounter of Marilyn Wann in the flesh! I also had the pleasure of meeting Carol Squires that evening through sheer happenstance; my friends and I asked her to take our photo during intermission. Little did we know that she used to be a portrait photographer (and a member of the Fat Lip Readers)!

Life changing stuff, folks! Inspiring and empowering and moving and just fan-fucking-tastic! I mean, that was also the first time I’d gone strapless in public! Wow! That was nearly two years ago! Now I own like four or five strapless dresses! Ha-ha! I later attended “Queer.Fat.Political” in San Francisco and discovered the Fat Lip Readers and witnessed so radical a group of women that I was humbled and inspired. Standing in that room (I was video taping) and just soaking in all that was around me? It was like a bolt of feminist-fat lightening went through me. I walked away changed, for the better, forever. Never before had I felt such a sense of responsibility to carry the torch, as it were, that these women lit so many years ago and truly set the bar high. Their activism was to me the truest sense of the word. They put their necks out to improve the lives of fat people everywhere. I was honored to be in their presence.

A few months later Big Moves Bay Area hosted “Fatdance: What A Feeling” again featuring the Phat Fly Girls, Rubenesque Burlesque and Raks Africa…and this time hosted by Marilyn Wann and Amy Benson. It was fantabulous! You just can’t be around these amazing women and not get inspired! At the very least you’ll walk away laughing and smiling. There is something so powerful about witnessing someone doing whatever it is that they are passionate about. I don’t have a word for it. It always makes me want to dance again. I do dance, but I just can’t very often. At least not until my knee is sorted out. I had the please that same weekend of attending Marilyn’s b-day party and WDAL fundraiser. Talk about awesome fatty party times?! So fun!!!

I took these experiences as sort of a template or outline for how I wanted Fatty Affair to be. I didn’t want to copy anyone or anything, but these events had such an impact on me and I knew that good feeling just needed to be spread around! That was the point of all of it for me, to have a good time and to connect people and create a stronger community. The first person I asked to speak was Marilyn, of course! If you’ve never had the joy of having a fat-related conversation with her, well, it’s great! It’s this fantastic free flowing exchange of ideas. It’s what all creative types need. It’s what all activists need. It was absolutely what I needed on both of those fronts! She had tons of ideas and plenty of experience in participating and attending such fat events all over the world. I was delighted when she agreed to speak and pleased that she was excited about it, too.

Not being a professional anything at all, I stumbled a bit when I first tried to get people to perform at Fatty Affair. I wasn’t clear in communication and while still running the cafe, sucked at follow up! Once further details and apologies were worked out, the rest of the lineup came together nicely. The last person I asked was my BFF Jery. I don’t know why…I always feel like he “has better shit to do” (gee, wonder why that is? Ha-ha!) or whatever, but I did and he accepted. It wasn’t until two nights before the event that we actually got together and nailed down a timeline for it. I know, we live in the same building and can’t seem to sync our schedules! Ha-ha! But it worked out just fine.

And here is where I use every ounce of restraint I have in me to not gush over Linda Bacon PhD not only accepting my invitation to participate/speak at Fatty Affair, but that she did so after receiving paid offers on the same day! She says it was for purely selfish reasons, that she needed to be around our positive community, to be re-energized. Can’t say that I blame her. It was yet another life changing experience for me and for many others. Everyone who helped, participated, performed or spoke was so fantastic! I seriously could not have imagined it going better than it actually did!

It was a success because of so many passionate individuals who worked together and helped pull this whole thing off! A special thank you and shout out to Raven Eagan and Amanda Evans! Raven was my boy scout and pressure valve while Amanda was the genius who took over the bake sale for me and really made it shine!

  

Amanda & Marilyn (Belly Bump!)

Raven & Jeanette: Babin’!

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about: The FATshion!!! <3

It’s The Simple Things…

January26

That can make you feel so friggin’ awesome!!!

Like Bright Blue Nail Polish (for the first time)!!! (Not really my nails, camera not cooperating)

New Lipsticks that look good and feel good, too:

Being anonymous in a random town

Being anonymous in a big city and just walking around like you live there

Friends! I have the most incredible friends, y’all!
They have so been there for me when I needed them lately and I cannot thank and love them enough!

My readers and commenters! I love you all! You amaze and inspire me everyday! You have touched me in some unexpected ways and I am so grateful to you for the time you spend on this blog. =0)

 

 

Fears Faced

January20

Sometimes when you step outside your comfort zone you can sort of lose yourself in the moment. I sort of caught a glimpse of my reflection and didn’t recognize myself. It surprised me, but I liked what I saw versus what I was thinking. It was an interesting moment. Life is a tricky thing and perception can be trickier. But I also think that things do happen for a reason. We can’t always see beyond the moment we’re in at the time, but can begin to come together in unexpected ways, too.

I get so caught up in my own thoughts from time to time that I can literally stress myself out sitting still! Not healthy! I needed to do something. It was eating me up inside. Time, after so many years, can lose it’s reliable pace. Childhood summers often felt endless while winter break always seemed so fleeting. We work full time and forty hours can feel like torture. The monotony of life can weigh us down and we may not even realize it. Soon we’re simply part of the machine or system or matrix…

It takes something unexpected to jolt us back to reality. It takes an event, a tragedy, a person, a gift, a stumble, a windfall. Something occurs and you can’t understand how you ended up where you are. It’s like you’ve just been walking and forgot what your destination was. I turned around and looked at where I was and was surprised that I was where I am. It made me sad. It made me depressed. It made me angry and I began to fight back, but without knowing what I wanted I couldn’t find my next step.

So I faced some fears. I stared them in the face and said, “I just don’t care!” I have to finally live for me. I have to be my most authentic self and grow! Being miserable was never a life goal, so what if that’s how I spent a lot of my time. I always thought I’d get beyond that old shit. I just never did. It was always there, holding me back. I had been so depressed it began to affect my health. I had no appetite. My gust were in knots. My digestion a disaster. I didn’t enjoy things any more. Life just became a routine again. I looked back and realized that the cafe was so awful because it sort of concentrated these feelings into a full time job. That isn’t how I wanted it to be.

I’m not looking for riches. I’m not looking for fame. I’m not looking for anything but my own journey here. I know that I need to break out on my own and see what I can do. It terrifies me and excites me! If I fail now, I do it on my own terms. If I succeed, same thing. This is life! I can “ride my own melt” and find pleasures wherever I seek them. I don’t know what new adventures and challenges this will bring, but that is okay. I’m doing it and I’m in it, for me. <3

Into The Air

January19

I remember this feeling. This feeling of being so alone yet surrounded by people who love me. It feels wrong yet sweetly painful. When I get like this I dwell, deep and hard! Oh yeah, baby! But seriously, I get caught up or under a spell or something. I reflect and think. It’s probably healthy in some ways. In others quite the opposite, mentally speaking. I always manage to come out of it though. Usually with the help of friends. Scratch that! ALWAYS with the help of friends. Yet the two I have known the longest and have help me the most feel so far away from me right now. I feel I have distanced myself from them.

I fear they might recognize my same old shit. My letting my emotions run my life! Oh same old Sarah! Ha-ha! Wasn’t I saying just a few days ago that I wanted to celebrate my melodrama?! What was I asking for?! Ha-ha! I can only hide from my own bullshit for so long I suppose. I feel not quite so shattered as the other day. My mind begins to race any time it’s idle…which is apparently a lot. I was just explaining to my husband moments ago that writing helps me slow down my thoughts and sort them out. Jeanette suggested doing so and she’s been right about pretty much everything else ever, so here I am. Pouring my heart out onto this digital page for all to see. People often praise me or feel in awe of my ability to turn off the filters and just say what I feel. What is most frustrating is how few people in the world choose to do that.

Words are what can heal or harm for me. Words can throw me into a euphoric state of bliss! They can tear me down to nothing and I will only want them more. Funny thing about calling myself a writer and being so uneducated on the subject. Fuck it! I didn’t know shit about running a business either, but I did it. I lived with that decision for two and a half years. At some point it became agony. Many days I wanted to run away and never look back. It seems so attractive, running away. To just leave it all behind and start a new life. I’ve done that before, sort of.

I find myself reexamining things I haven’t even thought of in years. What my principles really are, you know, what I stand for. Remembering the fire within myself. Being dazzled by life. Being entranced by music! Gawd, how I had forgotten how fucking great it feels to just listen to an album or make a mix-tape! It is a joy of such simple and single mindedness. I highly recommend it. I have loved music, art and poetry for as long as I can remember (and I have crib memories). Somehow life made me forget how much it all meant to me, what words meant to me. I allowed this to happen. But art always saves, no matter it’s form.

Art and love. How could I ever turn my back on you? Music was my greatest passion. A song is always in my head, if not two or three simultaneously. When I turn a friend onto a song, artist or album and they really dig it? It feels like they understand me, that they’ve seen inside of my soul! I know how that sounds, bring on the melodrama! Ha-ha! I think being in touch with my feelings all of a sudden is good somehow. Like, maybe I had shut some shit down for awhile for a reason and now my system is ready to GO! Only I’m not sure where.

I have been pretty self accepting of myself for awhile now, no major struggles or anything lately. Grateful for that. But the last few days some things have come back. I feel like people are staring again. Had I just chosen to stop noticing or am I suddenly the most interesting thing in the room, everywhere?! Sometimes it gets to me, other times I relish in it. I’m a walking contradiction. I would prefer “charming” but wev.

I feel that deep longing for travel. Well, more specifically, the forgiving nights of Portland. I would fly there on business and soak up the night air like it might heal or save me. I would wander around town to the few local music stores and flip through dingy racks for secret gems. I would talk to store employees and felt camaraderie. I would walk back from Gustav’s drunk on Blackberry Margaritas with a belly full of Farmer’s Schnitzel and smoke the most delicious Marlboro light and bask in the misty glow of the moon!

When I went to coffee school I felt so alone. Determined and all, but alone yet not lost. I felt I belonged there, but I hear most do. I miss being comfortable there on my own. I’m never comfortable on my own. It’s like I’m afraid I will evaporate if I don’t have someone, even strangers, near. But in Portland I didn’t feel that. I would take walks along the water at night after class and let the snowy air bite at my face. In California I wince at even the tiniest chill. Funny that. Life seemed more precious there, like it hung in the balance. Like opportunity or possibility was just around the corner or in the next coffee shop. It pulls at me to return and be cleansed. If only I could get away for a few days and lose myself there.

I feel so tethered, though. Obligations, commitments, attachments, stupid fucking feelings…I can’t imagine making a weekend away on my own, happen. Impossible, actually. Or at least it feels that way. I need to refresh or reboot or whatever the fuck, to just center, ya know?! Shit! *StampsFoot* Normally I would cut loose and go out on the town or something. I don’t know that I have that in me at the moment. I do tend to find it when I need it, but even that isn’t the salve I need. I need deep philosophical conversations! I need art and poetry and love and nature!  But I repeat myself.

“Well, Darling, you’re siiiiick!” “They’ll hurt me baaad, they do it all the time, yeah they do it all the time…”

 

Share Bear

January18

I am not the girl who gets the guy. I am not the gal who wins the race. I have no amazing talents or skills. I am so basic and simple and raw sometimes that it freaks me out. To be so vulnerable and to go about the world exposed?! It’s like I forget my armor, whatever it may be, and don’t realize it for awhile and suddenly: POW! Someone will touch me or reach out to me or tell me something that is so new or refreshing or honest that I cannot help but stop and try to find my breath again. People can be so beautiful inside that it is nearly painful to be beside them. You see them bare their heart and soul and you want to worship them like deities!

Yet we all somehow manage to find ourselves in a rut, no matter our reality or status. How is it that we can take something so precious and blow it away like so many quarters on Jolly Ranchers (the sticks). Do we simply lose sight of what is right and wrong? Do we forget what it was we dreamed or wanted? Do we simply change so much that it all loses meaning anyway? Seems all I do is ask questions lately. Mostly of myself. And by mostly I mean almost constantly. I can squash my suspicions for only so long before the need for them to burst forth arrives. And then I must decide to live with some sort of faux reality or be stuck cleaning up the mess!

I get ahead of myself and forget where I came from. That I shouldn’t want or deserve such greatness. But that is the struggle. I am constantly torn. Nothing comes easily. Why should I ever expect it to? I’ve always felt unworthy. As long as I can remember! Unworthy and awkward and afraid to believe. That’s me in a nutshell, scarily. I never felt accepted because I was always waiting for the other foot to fall ( it always did). Nothing seems to last. So I work so hard at squeezing every last bit of goodness from every relationship I have. I scare friends away with “thoughtful” gifts far too soon after meeting them. I am so desperate to return favors even when it makes life worse for myself. What do you call that?

Deep down though, I always believed I was meant for something great. I just never could figure out what that was. All I could ever do was talk. I would get into so much trouble for talking and never understood what the problem was. It’s probably why silence is so painful for me. Whoa! That’s actually it, I think! Nice! Another breakthrough! Ha-ha! But what we want or expect of people changes, too. As we get comfortable and more predictable with one another, we can lose what made them so special to us to begin with. This also includes forgetting yourself, duh!

I hand over my power far too easily and far too quickly. I see it now. I don’t yet know how to stop this, but I am working very hard on it every second of the last four days. I’ve already faltered once, but I don’t plan to again. I hope. Sometimes I push myself too hard though and lose my way and get lost in my head. I get into these thought circles and turn shit into something it’s not or forget that it isn’t whatever that was before. Time has become trivial. It all moves so quickly and slowly all at once. Time wasn’t moving for me at all and now I can barely hang on! I try to stay humble, grateful, hopeful and learn what I can while I can.

What was stolen from me long ago was not my fault. It never was. I did what I had to in order to survive and I need to shed the stupid and pointless guilt and shame of that. Sharing my story doesn’t make some of that easier, but it does help to heal the wound itself. I have been here before. In another life. Another time. I always get the boobie prize. I take what’s behind door number three. I get what I’m given and I am not allowed to ask for more/better/substitutions. I give and I give and I am taken from. I am always making do. I muddle. I manage. I learn and regroup. Then somewhere along the way I get like amnesia or something? What? Oh yeah!

The first 8 days of this year made me feel like what I can only imagine it would feel like to live and breathe as an actual Care Bear. I have to find that cheer within myself and learn to stop seeking it elsewhere. It’s a hard habit to break. It began when I was four years old, I was taught to do so. (That is hard to admit, let alone read.) I lost my rhythm and beat. But I’m starting to hear it again and my feet won’t stop moving and you know my hips will never stop shakin’! I remember what it was to dream and to believe in something. I remember the electricity in the air! Despite the end result of that electricity twenty years ago, I still hold the memories dear. To be reminded of them so suddenly is a blessing in disguise.

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