I often feel like I’m living in a sort of limbo, waiting for something better to happen. Whether it’s waiting for a better job, waiting to be my ideal weight, or waiting for the trip of a lifetime. If there’s nothing particularly to wait for, waiting to be my ideal weight is always the constant – something to always aspire to. Yes, I’m a very loyal member of the ‘I’ll start my diet on Monday’ club despite the various feminist books I read and believe in. Perhaps I need to read and reread and think and rethink to make these things stick to my teflon brain. As Hadley Freeman recently put it- when you’re on your deathbed will you really say ‘If only I had been 5 pounds slimmer…’
These days, I’ve still got the wait of the weight of course but can add another one – my three-month trip to India starting in November.
No, I’m not going there to find myself.
This sense of perpetual waiting though, has always disturbed me in how much joy I take in it. My life has taken on a waiting room feel for the main event. I actually take comfort from waiting. Surely this isn’t IT, this isn’t life that I’m leading right now. This is life in anticipation for something else, something huge. When I have my bad days at work, it’s really nice to know that in a month or so I’ll be far gone. Although when I have a really happy evening with my friends, I then feel a bit sad knowing I’ll be leaving soon. Whatever it is, I know I’ll be leaving soon. Whatever it is, I am in a limbo state of anticipation and have my eyes firmly set on the goal rather than the ground beneath me.
What if I didn’t have a target weight to reach? Maybe my weight right now is just the weight I’m meant to be and that little belly on mine (I call her Jennifer) was meant to be put on this earth. Hell, if anyone’s the love of my life its probably Jennifer. We’ve really been through it all together. I know this because on those rare occasions when I’ve actually succeeded in losing weight, and Jennifer has gone a bit quiet, her presence ebbing away, I actually feel sad. I’m bereft at the thought of losing her, so much is she engrained in me. But don’t get me wrong, looking at her right now, I’m filled with nothing but disdain and annoyance. Yep – we may as well be married – can’t live with or without each other.
It’s hard to live life totally in the present. How can you not have one eye on the future. If I lived life totally in the present, I would panic at the sheer expanse of what I could be doing right now. The present is scary. It is infinite and it is NOW. It’s inescapable. It’s life. It’s ugly and bumpy and doesn’t have the technicolour of the future or the rosy hue that my past has immediately taken.
It would probably make me a lot damn happier though, appreciating what’s in front of me. India is exciting. Being a stone slimmer would probably be sweet. But what is in front of me now is a laptop, a mottled dirty carpet and a crumpled supermarket receipt lying on the floor. I can hear the traffic outside and Jennifer is rumbling for some lunch, bless her. She’s not that bad.