The Shapes We Mae


Kate WeinerComment

As any devoted SWM reader will likely know (e.g. my mom, sometimes), my memoir is titled "Back On The Crazy Train." Lily's is "I'm Not Above Eating The Cocoa Powder" because one time, I left sad Lily alone in my room to sleepover at my dumb boyfriend's house—bad friend moment, Lil, I won't ever abandon you again—and she ate almost all of my cocoa powder. Raw. With a spoon that she then delicately left by my pillow. Memories, man.

Anyway, lately I've been thinking that I would like to try riding a new train for a while. It's the "Foxy Soulflower" train because (1) I am a foxy soulflower and (2) I have been forgetting that as of late. I've been so wrapped up in work, in late-night panic about the climate & Trump & whether I am going to ever finish my book, that I neglect to celebrate my essential, sensuous, silly self.

And I love my essential self! I love the me that eats too much garlicky pasta under the stars and wears my hair in messy French braids and dances endlessly at parties. I love eating nourishing food and walking in the wild world; I love moisturizing with luscious oils and writing in my journal as the record player purrs; I love laughing too hard and sleeping in the shade. 

Part of working my way back into the foxy soulflower groove is being truthful about what experiences wrestled me away. I can give more to this world when I'm more generous with myself and so I've had to ask: How am I being stingy with self-love? And why?

Each one of us has an "essential self" (sometimes several!) that we should celebrate and tend to on the reg. But when the going gets rough, we can lose touch with that wild child within. I know that for myself, eco-anxiety, a new job, and residual pain from someone who makes me feel worthless continue to shape my ability to access my foxy soulflower self. I have this fear that I think I'm a better person than I actually am and then I work harder to be better so that I really can be "enough" and I then I get down on myself because I am—like every other human bean—wildly imperfect and perpetually winging it. Crazy, right?

I don't always harbor this fear. In spite of my memoir title, I am sometimes super cool and collected! Like when I'm napping. But it's there, and I think it's always healthy to shed light on what's eating at you so you can have a good laugh at yourself. 

In the spirit of taking care of my foxy soulflower self, I'm dedicating this weekend to nurturing her. I've got a literal barrel of pasta I'm planning on cooking up this evening and the ingredients for my homemade moisturizer on hand and a stack of good books to read as I watch the snow fall outside my window. I've got plans with friends for fries & red wine and a new top that's going to look FINE when I go out dancing. 

We can't be serious & striving every day. There is important work to be done in this world but sometimes, the most important work you can do is to take a moment to be your delicious self.