I feel like I shouldn’t be writing about this because it means I’m admitting something. No one wants to read about how it feels do they? I mean, people like reading what they can relate to, so my writing about being recognized, loved more, plagued with more anonymous inconsideration… well, frankly, who cares? But then, this isn’t about you, so fcuk it.
When people ask me how my life has changed, I just shrug. It hasn’t really. I mean, I’m still coming home to Linus every night. Yes, sometimes I get the "Are you Stephanie Klein?" thing. But overall, it’s still me in here, ya know. Yeah, these events, articles, deals, whatever, they’re all happening around me, but really I feel like an observer to it all, as well.
Great example: right now. It’s 6:49am on Saturday. I still haven’t slept, reading emails, catching up on my blog reading, and boom. I hit a blog entry on my friend Derek’s site about me. I hit this place where I’m "Stephanie Klein" this object that stands for something, being written about in windows. That is how my life has changed.
When I lost a lot of weight, it took a long time for my brain to catch up to my body. My shape fit into smaller sizes. My head was still a fatty, and to this day, if I overhear someone make a fat remark on the street, I assume it’s directed toward me. Thin didn’t really cozy up to me. "Oh, my God, I can’t believe you were ever fat. You look like you’ve been thin your whole life." I hear the words come out of his mouth, but inside, I’m thinking, "Yeah, right. Okay. Whatever." Because it’s still ME in here, looking out. It’s me in here, the girl who hates to shower because it means having to dry all this hair, the girl who looked out of her bedroom window in the middle of the night, looked up, and wished to be “happy, healthy, and thin” at 11:11 since I was eleven. It’s me in here. You don’t all of a sudden change just because people begin to notice you.
Men noticed me when I was thinner. I felt the difference sometimes, giddy with an offer to dinner with a cute boy, but deep down inside, I was Moose, and that hurt. Like, fetal position hurt. It was an ache so deep that it hits me still, even as I write it. I think it makes me feel more human.
Thin might as well be “celebrity” because it doesn’t change the deep stuff. Yeah, I’m in The New York Times, but “it” hasn’t hit yet. And, I hope it never does. I’m just doing my thing, and I’m not afraid of challenges, though I do find the really mean comments hurtful sometimes. Mostly, I don’t understand where they’re coming from and what the writer’s goal is in conveying his/her nasty remarks. What, to make me feel like shit? That makes you feel good? Please, this isn’t an after school special. It’s easy to be courageous behind a cloak of anonymity, try doing things you’re proud of, things that take real courage.
You know the first things that go through my head aren’t the excitement I’m feeling. It’s now having to deal with more assholes. A friend just called saying, "Just read it. You must be really happy." I am. It has nothing to do with the really nice article Ms. Rosenbloom crafted. At the end of the day, this isn’t about attention, an abundance or a dearth of it. It’s about doing what I love. Being recognized for it feels extraordinary, it does, but really doing it, actually writing, is what really matters to me. Getting paid to do the thing I love most in life is a dream. The kind where when you wake up, you try really hard to fall back into just so you can ride it out a little longer.
The excitement comes in waves like pain. When I first learned The Times wanted to write a piece about me, I was surprisingly calm and matter of fact about it. What it would mean for me hadn’t settled in yet. It’s a story; it won’t change my life. Whatever. I’d hang out with a reporter and my friends. I wouldn’t have to worry about what I wore or how my hair looked. Then she told me there would be a photographer. "Unobtrusive," she promised. How exactly do you go to a bar with a bigass camera and remain unobtrusive? Exactly. I’m obtrusive all the time. Payback.
Then my friends began with, "well you don’t know what she’s writing. I mean, what if it’s all bad?" Believe me, on some level, that’s a fear too. But it was not substantial. I put it out there because this is just who I am. If you want to hate me and spend your time complaining that all I ever write about is a whine laced with sobs about not having a guy, then you’re not reading my writing, not all of it. And that’s just the thing. Just because you read something I whipped out in a matter of minutes doesn’t mean you know a thing about who I am. You won’t know me unless you KNOW ME. That’s just the way it is. But, it’s nice to know you’re trying, even if it is to only be infatuhated with me. I can live with that.