Big Butts and Daisies

Nobody forgets their first heart break.  That first time you came undone.  When your world as you thought you knew it collapses into a pile of dust and rubble, pain, confusion and deep, deep sorrow.  Sure, there were minor cracks before that.  Small fissures that only unrequited love can create.  But this was the first big one:  the carpet pulled out from underneath you; a massive, upheaval of your aortas’ tectonic plates.  When a 25 year-old adult crawls into bed with her parents like a child with a nightmare and heaves body-wracking, wrenching sobs into their pillows between two sets of comforting, concerned arms.

I remember the rebuild process.  I worked 70+ hours a week to distract myself from the pain.  I whittled down to some ridiculous weight, so thin you could see the bones in my sternum.   I had lost myself so completely that I didn’t know how to begin to find, create or reconfigure myself back into a semblance of a person I might like.

I think it was my dad who gave me the book, The Artists’ Way.  A series of projects and writing ideas to help one rediscover their creative impulses.  And one of these projects was to create a figurine of your inner self; the person you see yourself as, or rather, would like to see yourself as.  If you could make a replica of your best self, what would that look like?

I was determined to not be broken.  So, silly as it sounded, I threw myself into this project.  I built a papier mache doll out of wire and cardboard.  For some reason, she had an enormous bootie.  Her body was painted bright yellow and she had large-ish feet with fuchsia-pink toenails.  She had crazy, curly hair and the kind of smile that inspires giggles and laughter; cheeks pinching, eyes all squinty.  She had orange daisies covering her boobs and another orange daisy covering her crotch and I think I named her Faith.

Faith went with me when I moved to Montreal.  She stood high up on a shelf, always smiling, always bright and yellow, and big butt(ed) and naked, (except for the daisies).  Always a reminder of a person I’d wanted to emulate, but was never really sure if I had it in me.

Eight years later, and I think Faith was thrown out when I moved out of my Montreal apartment.  Her head had started to wobble on her shoulders and her big bootie had started to chip off.  And I think that I’d finally realized that I didn’t need a figurine to remind me of a person I was already well on my way to discovering.  Somewhere along the lines, I realized that with Faith inside, it was easier to find the sunny side of a girl I thought I’d lost.

Of course, there were consecutive undoings.  Deeper loves and even deeper breaks.  Hide and seek games with variations of yourself lost and then found.  And I’m not convinced that finding love is not just a series of mistakes and fuck-ups until somehow, someway, (someday) you just get it right.

I don’t have daisies for boobs, or fuschia-pink toenails (at the moment, they’re blue), nor is my bootie quite to Faith’s epic proportions, although I would argue that with a regular practice of Warrior II’s, my bootie is considerably larger and stronger than ever.  But I find it easy to smile, and laugh and love and play.  And my hair is wild and curly and yellow and free.  And the one thing I feel pretty confident about, and I’m sure George Michael would have to agree,

“You just gotta have Faith.”

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 08:06:53

    LOVE IT!!!!

    Reply

  2. Mary Lynn
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 17:49:46

    Awesome Jen! I have faith!!! Lovin your words! xo

    Reply

  3. Debbie Keoughan
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 21:02:38

    There you go again, Jen…. You appear very wise for a young woman….I am impressed yet again….

    Reply

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