Yesterday, I spent several hours getting pumped with fluids in a hospital bed, in a developing country, alone. Believe it or not, those were the best three hours of that day. Well, not too hard to believe considering it was cheaper and easier than getting care in the US, I felt like a queen, and got to nap with no other agenda. Fuck. Yes. Every adults dream.
I thought by this point I was good enough to muster the strength of a 4 hour bus ride to Vang Vieng, Laos. Now however, I’m crippled with concern that this bus will be showing waterworks starring me. Main Attraction: Projectile Vomit Everywhere. I have a plastic bag ready, and trust me, my fingers have never been crossed so tightly because I want that show cancelled.
I always joked about how I was one stomach flu away from my ideal weight. Be careful what you wish for. Not only is that a load of BS, but it’s probably the opposite. The laundry list of food I’m going to want to tackle once I get my appetite back will give me enough rolls on my sides to feed a Mormon family. I can’t even imagine how the Australian dude who was next to me with Dengue fever is going to feel.
It puts things in perspective. Fuck being an “ideal” weight. That shit isn’t even ideal. It’s a standard created by mentally ill people. Screw all ideals! Most people are pretty messed up in the head, so I think it’s safe to say the only logical ideal we should strive for is to be genuinely healthy and happy. That may be a no brainer, but hear me out.
When I took 8-10 gym classes a week and counted calories like it was my day job, I thought I was being healthy. What that’s really called is an eating disorder. When I was feeling good as a result of having social recognition and approval from other people in high school, I thought I was happy. That was masked insecurity. It’s harder to be truly happy and healthy regardless of our outside circumstances than we think. Though I’m constantly getting closer to that real healthy, happy place, I’d be lying if I didn’t internally huff and puff trying to fit into my old pair of shorts earlier today.
I think the first step to transcending the bullshit of expectations and unhealthy ideals is to become aware that life, for the most part, is a set of ideals and expectations that have been created by mentally sick people. People who thought happiness came from somewhere or something else. Or that if you didn’t have your life a certain way at a certain time, you were less than. By acknowledging that, at least I can be aware of the bullshit that it is. Awareness, patience, perseverance, and self acceptance of wherever we are, is a recipe to a genuinely healthier, happier life, and a smoother drive to Vang Vieng. I’m pleased to announce that I only have 20 minutes left of the ride, and I think the French boys next to me will stay dry.