“With food restriction, they may experience a hunger high. With purging, they may go numb. With binge eating, they may zone out. Eventually, having dedicated their very identity to ED…many no longer know how to recognize, much less sustain, healthy relationships or more rewarding pursuits. This radical distortion of self-worth effectively enslaves an individual to ED.”—Aimee Liu, Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives
Snoop Dogg, the veteran West Coast rapper, says he underwent a spiritual and artistic rebirth while making a new album in Jamaica last February. He abandoned rap as his preferred mode of expression, wrote more than a dozen songs in a traditional Reggae style and opened up to a documentary film crew about his long and sometimes violent journey from teenage gang member to a middle-aged hip-hop superstar. Along the way, he says, he shed the name and persona of Snoop Dogg and was rechristened Snoop Lion by Rastafarian priests.
First, you need to relax. I know it’s not as warm as it once was but you get used to the cold and warmth can be found in the people around you. Secondly, do not get used to crying to get things. Some people never grow out of it. Avoid them. Spend time around people who smile in the face of despair. Learn from them all you can. Everyone is a lesson. A story. A unique and wondrous perspective on the chaos that is human existence. The more people you talk to, the more you understand it. But never speak if you have the opportunity to listen. Especially if you want someone to like you. There’s nothing you can say that’ll endear someone to you as much as really and truly listening to them. You are on day one of a sometimes remarkable, sometimes terrible, sometimes beautiful, strange and always completely unknown journey. Be ok with this. Worrying about what happens next will ruin the surprise. You will meet strange people along the way, some good, some bad. This is a pattern that will more than likely repeat constantly as you grow up. Some things will be good, some things will be bad. Neither will ever last forever. Nothing will stay the same. Appreciate every moment of happiness and remember it when you despair. Hold them close. And when you are happy, remember the moments of despair and think to yourself, “I told you so.” Never let someone else define you. You are your own creation and only you decide how you feel, who you are and what you want. This can be scary at first but it is liberating to truly and utterly embrace your own identity. People who hate you for not being like them are not worth hating back. Please, let go of hate whenever you can. Accept love whenever it is given and give it out freely. It is the most powerful force on earth.
“Although these struggles may feel like very personal battles, I find that they are rooted in powerful assumptions about what makes life worthwhile. Cultural definitions of the conceivable, the moral, and the desirable help sculpt the capitalist firm and the nuclear family, shape personalities, and create work-family conflict…Conflict between work and family is a wrenching contradiction between powerful cultural understandings of who we are as competent and moral adults.”—Mary Blair-Loy, Competing Devotions: Career and Family among Women Executives
“Perfect is an illusion. Humans are imperfect. Life involves joy and love as well as suffering. Those are just a few of the truths I’ve learned to embrace. Truth can be incredibly liberating.”—Aimee Liu, Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives
Yet I missed it. I liked the stepping outside. I liked the smell of tobacco on my fingertips, on my towels even. I missed the weight of a full pack and the airy tension of an empty one. I missed my new chums, street-bound and unrepentant. Most of all, I missed the propulsion a cigarette lent me, the daylong momentum of one cigarette to the next. You sail by them, like polestars. I missed that. Still do.
Toward the end, in the academic quad at my school, I had a cigarette with an economics professor I had known for years as a heavy smoker. Back when I didn’t smoke, I walked straight by her, waved a little wave, and moved on. Since starting, I’d begun to stop and light up with her. The sort of chance meetings I’d missed out on in my previous forty-six years. She was never unhappy for the company, nor I for hers. These were the best kind of cigarettes — existent due to happenstance and ripe with discovery.
A long, but pleasant read.. especially for smokers.
“It would appear that the real power of gender typing resides less in the child than in the environments in which the child finds itself. The social environment is filled with gendered messages and gendered activities. Even if the child possesses no fixed and permanent gender role, social arrangements will continually reinforce gender differences. in a gender-neutral experiment, social requirements are removed, and so the child does not behave in accord with a gender stereotype. Perhaps it is not internalized beliefs that keep us in place as men or women, but rather our interpersonal and social environments. Because there is considerable variation in what men and women actually do, it may require the weight of social organization and constant reinforcement to maintain gender-role differences.”—Michael Kimmel, The Gendered Society