4 Secrets That Can Lead to Self-Acceptance
1. I Have Terrible Cellulite, Possibly the Worst In History
I am going to leave all my money to UC Med, so they can build a wing (in my dimply name) to handle advanced cases such as mine. I've had it my whole life, even when I've been at my thinnest and most fit, which was (sob) 20 pounds ago. Yet I swim in public all summer, in front of anyone who happens to be around. Maybe this does not sound that heroic to you, and granted, George Clooney does not come over to swim very often. But I appear in a swimsuit, without a skirt, whenever I have the chance to be in warm water. I do this as a radical act, because none of us knows how long we will live; and on my last day, I want to have gone for a swim. (For the record, I also want to have had dessert.)
I would not go swimming with a man on my first date, or my second. But I would on my third. I am not my cellulite. At 59, I finally love my strong, jiggly thighs. They just happen to be a part of the package, which is so gorgeous and juicy that a swimsuit can scarcely contain it.
2. I Have Terrible Thoughts—People Would Recoil If They Could Hear Them
Thank God my mind is not hooked up to a public-address system—even the people in my family would run screaming for their cute, little lives. But guess what? This is everybody's truth, or almost everyone's. Maybe Lillian Gordy Carter did not think such vile, judgmental, self-righteous thoughts as I; but otherwise, that's about it. Trust me. So I think about revenge. At weddings, I imagine kicking over the cake. I could dance as joyfully as Zorba when certain show-offy writers get bad reviews, or ignored (even better). I imagine terrible things happening to pit bulls, faithless husbands and sometimes, to dear people who are so fantastic on every level that it just makes me sick.
Here's the thing I wish someone had told me when I as young: Everyone thinks bad thoughts. Everyone, even the most seemingly well-balanced, serene, loveliest people sometimes have icky, repulsive thoughts. To me, this is excellent news. It means that we are all in the same boat, mostly loving and helpful and creative, but every so often? Not so much. This does not mean you are not okay. To the contrary, this means you are real, and deeply human, which is who we were born to be.
Next: The one person she misses most