I Am Not For Sale

This post was originally published in my weekly newsletter.

The following is pretty much an Instagram post, but I upgraded it a touch with a few additions and tweaks. I didn't mean to pour myself out onto Instagram. It's not my usual platform for deeper thinking, but there I was yesterday trying to get myself into a better headspace so I could leave the house. Here goes:

I haven't been feeling so great lately. Some weight gain and aging bullshit has had me down on myself. I know that's unreasonable, because bodies do this. It's mortality. It's what we are. All of these bits of my body doing what they are predestined to do — what they are predestined to do in each of us — are signs of strength and survival, life and movement, my incredible choice to continue to be here, and hopefully some gained wisdom.

This feeling has had me pulling inward. I stopped going out. I stopped texting friends. I didn't even realize it at first. I wasn't aware of my own slow withdrawal.

Being human is such a mess in this consumerist, capitalist, patriarchal, anti-meaning landscape. We are told our value lies in surfaces — beautiful, smooth, fertile surfaces — like animals up for auction. We're trained that female bodies are meant to be taken, that their value lies in whether someone else wants to take them. We become the consumed as we consume. We consume to make ourselves even more consumable. We are taught to serve ourselves up and believe that it means we've given a priori consent.

How do we reevaluate our sense of self when our value as a product starts to fall? We know logically that we are not a thing for consumption, but we also do not know this. We teeter. We feel invisible. We feel unwanted.

Today, even as I dress in a giant tent of a comfort sweater, I know I'm actually doing okay. I'm okay. Today I am myself. I have my old red boots on, and there is some unseasonably warm fall weather to walk around in. Even if we've collectively detoured for a bit, my world will be alright. I know myself. I will walk the line and tip to the side that knows I am not for sale.