notities bij notities
The ways in which I am my mother’s daughter are infinite.
I read, obsessively.
When I read, I could forget.
I often say that reading and writing saved my life. I mean that quite literally.
The courage to heal, by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
It was not as easy te believe these truths as it was to know them [ofwel, knowledge is not yet belief, not yet personal truth – ID]
There was something comforting about graduate school and living a life of the mind [until the mind plays tricks upon you, and it will, sooner or later – ID]
On my first day of teaching, a Monday, I threw up before class because I was terrified, though not of the teaching itself.
The good thing about school is that students have been trained, from an early age, to follow the rules. They come to class and generally sit and behave in an orderly fashion. When you tell them to do things, they do those things.
[Dit is het meest wonderbaarlijke van lesgeven. Wanneer je ze vertelt dat we dingen doen, dan gaan we dingen doen. Er is alleen jij, maar dat weet je in het begin niet. Er is weinig om je zorgen over te maken. Ook dat weet je in het begin niet. De situatie van lesgeven is onnatuurlijk – ID]
I learned how to live in my head, where I could ignore the world.
The show [The Biggest Loser – ID] allows the home viewer to feel motivated without actually doing anything.
Part of disciplining the body is denial. We want but we dare not have. We deny ourselves certain foods. We deny ourselves rest by working out. We deny ourselves peace of mind by remaining ever vigilant over our bodies.
[‘We want but we dare not have.’ We deny ourselves idleness by reading ferociously, hoarding knowledge, gathering wisdom. We deny ourselves peace of mind by remaining ever vigilant over our minds. We numb our mind by eating: devouring other minds – ID]
I have it wired in my head that if I looked different this would change. Intellectually, I recognize the flaw in the logic, but emotionally, it’s not so easy to make sense.
I can’t disappear, though, so either I have to be graceful in the face of this unsolicited conversation or I have to ignore it because, if I allowed myself to lose control, I would let loose so much rage.
[Mind (as opposed to body) seems te be safer, more invisible, yet it doesn’t release you from the same need (selfcontrol), nor diminish its consequence (rage), nor is it true: mind reveals (eg boredom) – ID]
To tell the story of my body is to tell you about shame – being ashamed of how I look, ashamed of my weakness, the shame of knowing it is in my power to change my body and yet, year after year, not changing it.
[To tell the story of your life, or your mind, is to tell about being ashamed of some flaw that’s holding you back, the shame of knowing it is in your power, anybody’s power to change, and yet, year after year, not changing it. Less than one percent of people actually change, and it probably ain’t you – ID]
I recognize the me I could have, should have, would have been and want to be. That version of myself is terrifying and maybe even beautiful, so I panic, and within days or weeks, I undo all the progress I’ve made. I stop going to the gym. I stop eating right. I do this until I feel safe again.
Most of us have these versions of ourselves that terrify us.
My rage is often silent.
[Internet has spoiled me, this control over people to start, stop talking, speeding up what they have to say, is something that’s not there in realtime – ID]
My father believes hunger is in the mind. I know differently. I know that hunger is in the mind and the body and the heart and the soul.
heartburn [waarom heet maagzuur hartpijn? – ID]
Wanting and doing are two different things.
I became a vegetarian because I needed a way of ordering my eating that was less harmful.
I am not the kind of person who can survey the pantry, identify four or five random ingrediënts, and assemble a delicious meal. I need the protection and comfort of recipes. I require gentle instruction and guidance. On a good day, I can experiment with a recipe, try to mix things up, but I need a foundation of some kind.
Coming to it [cooking – ID] in the middle of my life, is how it’s actually a really good endeavor for a control freak. [Does she mean doing the dishes afterwards? This creation stuff. All the mess. It’s the cleaning up, the categorizing, the throwing away, ‘schoonsnijden’ noemt een choreagraaf of ontwerper dat, that satisfies the control freak – ID]
Food, itself, is complicated for me. I enjoy it, too much.
Met lezen zelf heb ik een ingewikkelde relatie. Ik geniet er te veel van. It immediately satifies, nourishes the mind, even the underlining of sentences feels as if you accomplish something, though there is always guilt if it’s not followed up by burning calories, transforming the energy, by writing. We are not mereley minds, we are bodies, reading and writing prevent from satsifying different types of hunger.]
I often tell my students that fiction is about desire in one way or another. The older I get, the more I understand that life is generally the pursuit of desires. We want and want and oh how we want. We hunger.
What I consider good doesn’t always feel very good at all.
The thing is, though, loneliness, like losing control of my body, is a matter of accretion.
All of this makes me very hard on myself, very driven. I just keep working and working and working and trying to be right, and I lose sight of who I am or what I want, which leaves me in a less than ideal place. It leaves me… nowhere.
With age comes self-awareness, or something that looks like self-awareness, and so I try to be on the lookout for patterns of behavior, choices I’m making where I’m trying too hard, giving too much, reaching too intently for being right where right is what someone else wants me to be.
I was playing a role rather than inhabiting an identity that felt true to me.
[I cannot believe any teachter voor wie lesgeven niet als acteren voelt: you act being disappointed students not having done homework, you do believe the essence of the story you’re telling yet there are shortcuts needed that embarras you because they are unnuanced. You cannot be nuanced all the time, you cannot meander, nothing will stick, or some strange detail will stick (‘BJ Fogg plays the ukelele’). Peole will tell you: it’s too difficult. You need to use catch phrases, attention grabbers, pointers, models, B1-language – and then again not. Be yourself. You need to stop taking things personally, yet that’s all you’ve got. I think ‘the ukelele’ works, despite what education experts tell us. Bizarreness effect.]
The body is not a fortress, no matter what we may do to make it such. This may be one of ilfe’s greatest frustrations, or is it humiliations.
More often than not, I feel hopeless. I give up. I cannot overcome myself, my body.
One of the may things I have always loved about writing (not to be confused with publishing) is that all you need is your imagination.
One of my greatest fears was realized. [Ver in het book begint ze een hoofdstuk met een cliffhanger-zin – ID]
dry shampoo [Kortsluiting, droge shampoo? Eerste associatie: tanden poetsen met zand. Het kan maar hoe krijg je het zand weg? Tweede: droge shampoo is handig in een capsule op weg naar naar mars – ID]
Everything was out of my control and I love control, so all my trigger points were being pressed at the exact same time.
I always wonder what healing really looks like – in body, in spirit. I’m attracted to the idea that the mind, the soul, can heal as neatly as bones. That if they are properly set for a given period of time, they will regain their original strength. Healing is not that simple. It never is.
I was broken, and then I broke my ankle and was forced to face a lot of things I had long ignored. I was forced to face my body and its frailty. I was forced to stop and take a breath and give a damn about myself.
Before October 10, 2014, I was running myself into the ground. I have always run myself into the ground, been relentless, pushed and pushed, thought myself superhuman. You can do that when you’re twenty, but when you’re forty, the body basically says, ‘get a grip’.
Ever since I found him [the man who raped her as a girl when he was a boy – ID], I Google him every few days or so like I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t go missing.
I know that it isn’t merely weight loss that will help me feel comfortable in my body. Intellectually, I do not equate thinness with hapiness. I could wake up thin tomorrow and I would still carry the same baggage I have been hauling around for almost thirty years. I would still bear the scar tissue of many of those years as a fat person in a cruel world.
When I was twelve years old I was raped and then I ate and ate and ate to build my body into a fortress.
[When you grow up you become] a different kind of mess – a woman doing the best she can to love well and be loved well, to live well and be human and good.
I am learning to care less what other people think. I am learning that the measure of my happiness is not weight loss but, rather, feeling more comfortable in my body.
I appreciate that at least some of who I am rises out of the worst day of my life and I don’t want to change who I am.
Writing this book is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. To lay myself so vulnerable has not been an easy thing.
See what I hunger for and what my truth has allowed me to create.
Je streept aan wat resoneert. Geen van mijn markeringen of notities tref ik aan in de recensies die ik lees over Hunger van Roxane Gay. Ik zie in haar boek een boek wat ik zou kunnen maken. Je leest vermoedelijk altijd het boek dat je zelf in je hebt.