NotBlueAtAll

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

Randomness is Random

May20

I would love to see a blog called “Perfectly Portly”…someone do this! 😉

Dance rehearsal was hard and good and a bit emotional. Our progress is fantastic when only a week ago we had just half a song choreographed. I  got that runner’s high thing again, it’s kind of awesome. I keep getting asked if I’m excited or nervous and I am, but it still somehow doesn’t feel real yet. Part of me also just wants it over with. Ha-ha!

If you’re local to San Francisco/Oakland area and are interested in seeing me perform for the first time in 17 years, or just want to see a fantastic body positive dance show (OMZ! It’s the best!) there are TWO chances: Saturday, May 25th at 8pm or Sunday, May 26th at 2 pm. Get your tickets in advance to save some time and money: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/378829

I paid for my NoLose registration…I cannot wait to go! Hoping and wishing and visualizing awesome job so that I can pay my credit card off and my hotel room. I may have to drive, but I’ve been itching for a road trip anyway. It’s in Portland, Oregon this year. PDX is like my favorite place not in California, so WOO!!!

Did y’all see that ReDress is back?!?! This is where I’ve gotten all of my Teggings!

A pic of me & Raven from the Fatty Affair Family Picnic a few weeks ago:

Gawd we are so aforable!!! Ha-ha! Both wearing Eshakti (current) and I’m not in love with vintage cocktail hats from the 50’s because of this little white one I’m wearing. Do you have any of these? Hit me up!!! I am dying for a black one! 🙂

Today is my last day at my current job. I have some interviews this week and I am feeling good and hopeful. I had a great weekend with wonderful people who made me feel special and cared for and I am so grateful to have them in my life. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I’m excited about it once again.

Rad Fatty Love to you ALL!

<3
S

It Doesn’t Matter if it’s Understood…

May7

Here’s the thing, some people will never get it! Yes, I’m talking about fat acceptance and size diversity, but I’m also talking about me (or you) as a person. No matter how many times you explain and spell things out, some people will just never see the other side. I see this in my own relationships, painfully, more so now than ever. I see that as I find that I know myself and my needs and wants in my life that there are people who will only ever choose to see or accept their own specific version of me. It doesn’t matter how much I shine or grow or change, to them I fit nicely and neatly into some little box they’ve labeled “Sarah” and they’re not terribly interested in allowing upgrades or revisions. So be it.

I have been amazed at how simple and powerful the phrase, “that is unacceptable” can be. When I told someone last year that how they were treating me was unacceptable and that I wouldn’t tolerate it in my life, they didn’t apologize or ask questions or even attempt to make things better or right. Instead they kept insisting the blame was mine and I needed to somehow get over myself…or something. I refuse to lower myself or my standards when it comes to friendships for people who refuse to treat me with respect, honesty and realness. And realness only gets you so far when you are lying to your damned self! 😉

I am unapologetically me! I am lumpy, I have rolls, I am sexy, I am sassy, I am smart and sometimes quite hilarious! I want and choose to enjoy my life. As best as I can, anyhow. I have been dealt some heavy blows lately, but I keep getting back up. Sometimes I don’t even know why, but I do it. I do it because I remember the abuse and not wanting to live anymore. I do it for those who are there in the thick of it now. I love you! You’re worth so much more and you’ll get it, too, if you can find your own light inside…it’s there!  *HUGS* I do it because all I have ever fucking known is to fight and to struggle. It’s exhausting but I wouldn’t know easy if it slapped me in the face.

Living my life out in the open has been liberating and surprising and scary as hell. I don’t fear the same things I used to. Perhaps that’s maturity, but what I crave and ache for has changed, too. I appreciate such simple pleasures at times it makes me laugh, out loud, alone in my room. Ha-ha! My wants are so few and my demands fewer. I want love. I want freedom. I want a choice. I want to survive. I want the truth, always. I want to express myself in any way I see fit. I want color and nature.

Right now I want to pour myself into a bottle of wine and sleep…for life! Monday (when I wrote this) hit me like a ton of bricks and I don’t know that there are tears left in me to give. It’s not that I didn’t know the bad stuff was coming, I did, I was just already feeling so scared and vulnerable. To have the harshness of that extra bit of reality spotlighted was just too much on such a dreary day. When I turned to a friend who has been there for me before and was met with utter assholery, well? That was the kicker. I can’t take getting shit on anymore, ya know?

When I was driving back to work from lunch I drove past a part of town that I hadn’t given much thought to before and it triggered a very bad and very repressed memory in me that nearly had me incapacitated. THAT BAD! I haven’t had a PTSD symptom in over a year, some more than that. This memory was one of the worst of the worst and I thought I couldn’t breathe. The one thing that got me through it though was thinking of that “Special Geek” I’ve mentioned here before. He’s such a shining beacon in the night for me. He’s so kind and wonderful to me and I am so glad my brain chose to focus on him rather than the horrors of the past in that moment. I am so grateful and so blessed and so fortunate, I know this. I have incredible friends both IRL and online and I wouldn’t be able to get up everyday without ’em. And it is why I love with my whole self and end up hurt, too. So be it.

I can only be and honor me and my truth and my experience. I can try to show you, I can try to explain, but until they get rid of all those boxes labeled “Sarah” you/they will never see the real me and I will never, truly, be understood and I think that’s okay.

My STANDard

February8

There’s an effort afoot, led by Ragen Chastain, to buy space for a billboard in Georgia saying “WARNING!  Shame is bad for your health!”  If you want to help out, they’re raising funds at http://www.gofundme.com/dp16w 

Also check out this great post on this same topic:

http://healthateverysizeblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/the-haes-files-a-tale-of-two-billboards/

Please join in the “I STAND…” photos, if you like! Email your photo and credo to marilyn@fatso.com

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

Fatty Affair: So Many Feelings!

January30

It is so difficult to put into words just how I am feeling right now. It’s the Sunday afternoon, after Fatty Affair. If I told you it wasn’t nerve wracking and worse beforehand, well, don’t believe it for a second! But now? Now that it’s all over and done with? I’m in this love overdose afterglow! I feel sort of like a blissed-out version of a hangover. It’s surreal. It’s magical. It’s overwhelming! I am so full of love and positivity! I feel floaty and dreamy and inspired.

So many things fell apart and came together right up until the moment before it began (and even after and during). I felt a bit out of control. I felt guilty for sort of “checking out” of life the last couple of weeks. There were some surprises and disappointments. In the end it all found this incredible harmony and was a total blast! It was a big fat positive party, y’all! My nearest and dearest were there (with one exception, but I love ya P) and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more supported and cared for in my life!

Truth: I was so stressed to the max before we’d even gotten things set up. I was shaking! I was on the verge of a panic attack. This little fact, or the fact that I have had a few of said attacks previously, frightens people and maybe even challenges their idea of me. But I always manage to come through it better off somehow. I know that I need to get better at asking for help when I need it. I did a lot of that. I did some serious delegating, too! This is such an improvement for me already. Some friends really stepped things up and brought not only my stress level down, but made the event the true success that it was.

That I was able to make something I’d only dreamed about become a reality is still boggling my mind, but I know that I could not have done it without the help, love and support of my friends and the fat community itself. It is the thing that energizes me and inspires me and keeps me going. It is for the fat community that I did this. It is my way of giving back the love that has been given to me over the years. The community that gave me my love of style and fashion again. The community that gave me back my confidence! The community that gave me the strength to open my own business and become an activist and writer and so much more! I would not be the gal I am today without it!

A commenter mentioned recently that I sound like I am more alive than ever. I agree completely. I am more alive! I am more keenly aware of the world around me. I am more present and playing a more active role in my own life! It is a powerful thing. I have found that it is only when I stick my neck out, stand up and out, and most importantly get outside of my comfort zone that these amazing things and incredible people come into my life. I urge to to look around and choose for yourself to follow your passions and shove fear aside!

Had I let fear hold me back, Fatty Affair would not have happened. My cafe would never have happened. I would not be wearing dresses again…oh so many pretty dresses! I wouldn’t even think of attempting to write a book! No, fear can go fuck itself in a cold, dark corner! I’m through with fear. I’m through with my inner critic and I am learning to embrace my own vitality and awesomeness! Because “‘To dance or not to dance?” Should never be the question!” and not giving a damn what other people think of me is such a weight lifted from my soul!

I have never been so moved, touched, loved and supported in all of my life. This feeling is beyond words. The people I met and hugged and belly bumped yesterday have changed my life! The work was worth it because of them. The difficult choices I have had to make are all the more clear to me now and why I had to make them.  I feel nearly invincible. I have no fear of an ego growth though, this was not the fruits of the labor of one. No, this was a village effort! This was a tribal celebration! This was what fat liberation/acceptance/pride means to me!

I want you all to know, the many that could not attend the event due to various reasons and circumstances: You were right there with me! You were holding me up and making me smile! I pretty much smiled for five hours straight!!! Ha-ha! It was for you that I strutted my stuff on the “catwalk” and shimmied and danced! It was in your honor that I wore what I wore and said what I said. You give me so much and I want you to know that I am feeling it! I am accepting it! And I am loving it! <3

*You can pretty much count on this entire week being about Fatty Affair! More pictures to come, too, lovelies!

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