First I went to visit
We sat in her living room and she talked to me about history and sexuality, about kink and femme armor. I wanted to just listen to her speak forever. Then she made us an amazing dinner. Followed by an amazing breakfast in the morning. She reminded me that even the simplest foods can be filled with flavor and love. I wondered how I’d feel if I fed my body like that every day. The answer is probably: wonderfully!
The next afternoon I met up with Blaise, who’s a professor at University of Georgia. She’d invited me to come speak to her class about, well, being fat. I was very, very, very close to calling and canceling because I just couldn't handle it. I was POSITIVE I’d have a panic attack/hyperventilate because that’s what public speaking does to me and has done since elementary school. I wasn't even able to speak in a staff meeting without a face on fire and the shakes. But, you know what? I didn't cancel. I didn’t turn red or shake or stutter or freak the fuck out. I don’t know how that’s possible. I was a nervous wreck over it for ages! I dropped classes and accepted lesser grades because of how impossible public speaking was to me. But I had the thought, maybe I don't have to be afraid anymore. Maybe my self confidence is improving.
It helped me that the students were amazing! We talked about everything you can think of: internet fame, body image, OKCupid, dating, sex, kink, fisting, weight loss surgery, being true to yourself, self care, reclaiming your body, fucking who you want, feminist thoughts on porn and kink...everything! They made incredible points and actively participated and it was so very cool! They made me think of things in different ways and and and it was just perfect! I wanted to cry from relief and appreciation.
I'm going to be vain and share a comment. Because, one day, I'll be in this situation again and I need to remember that I survived and even did a good job!
As a student who was privileged enough to hear you speak today, YOU WERE AWESOME!!!! You spoke with such grace and poise; I felt like I was hearing from the older sister I never had. Your honesty is inspiring, and narratives such as your own are some of the only raw material we have in the studies of fatphobia and fat oppression.
You didn't just speak to a class today, you engaged and created academic discourse with us, allowing us to expand and analyze theory in ways that we could not have without your input. Your life has value, and you shared that with us. I can't thank you enough.
Hope you enjoy your stay in Athens!
Killing me over here.
We went to lovely lunch. I had a seitan gyro and it was damn delicious! I'm actually craving it right now. Grrrr.
Blaise took me to the tree that owns itself!
This tree owns more property that I do.
And the double-barreled cannon! What the sign doesn't say is that, the one time it was fired, the cannonballs swung around and mowed down the two people firing it! Oh, Georgia. Showing pride in something that failed so spectacularly.
We went back to her place and I took on the nearly impossible task of selecting colors to paint my nails.
A very small sampling of her incredible nail polish collection!
I decided I wanted rainbow nails.
Hi, this is what happens when the sun is allowed to touch me for a few minutes.
So, yes, I'm still shocked that I spoke in front of a group of people. That was my biggest fear. Since always. And I fucking beat it. I fucking beat that fear into the ground and did what I never thought I could do.