I am going to assume that I was not the only little kid, teenager, or, adult to fantasize about what it would be like to live in a body that wasn’t the one that I was living in.
The body that I imagined myself in was effortlessly thin. She was so gorgeous, and her skin was always clear. She wore clothing like they were gracing her with their presence, as though they had just fallen onto her body looking that perfect and pulled together. It wasn’t just her body either, she was seriously cool. She had tattoos that delicately dressed up her perfectly pigmented skin, and hair that people would just die for. She was smart. She was eloquent. She was unbelievably charismatic. She was effortlessly successful in every endeavor that she dipped her little toe in, because her smile was enough to make you pull out your wallet.
Sometimes, still, as an adult, I will catch myself fantasizing idly about how she would be dressed or what she would be doing, or, more importantly, how much better my life would be once she just hurried up and replaced me.
Equally important is how my vision of myself was understood in direct contrast to her obvious perfection. Next to her, I was basically nothing at all. Next to her, my skin was blotchy and my hair was lackluster. Next to her, I was awkward and painful in my abrasiveness. Next to her, I was enormous, bumbling with the grace of an elephant in a very small room.
Just about enough to make you hate yourself, right?
One of the most painful things that I have ever gone through has been the slow and arduous process of realizing that she wasn’t going to ride up and save me from my life.
We talk about grief in regards to losing those that we love or having to give up possessions or places by necessity of circumstance. Less often, you will hear people talking openly about the grief that they experience at having to give up a notion of themselves that they clung to for dear life.