Time Warp Tuesdays: A Worried Kind of Girl

Today’s Time Warp Tuesday? Song Lyrics!

Except I don’t think I’ve ever quoted song lyrics in a single post. So I pulled out a box of old journals and started flipping through them. Surprisingly I couldn’t find song lyrics anywhere. After paging though no less than ten journals I finally located two sets of song lyrics. Neither were very long. I chose the following entry to share:

September 18, 2005

… I’m feeling very, very lonely lately. But I am also learning to sit with my thoughts – to not run away from the shit in my head. In a lot of ways I am exactly where I’ve been trying to be in my life. For the first time in 10 years I am not obsessed with food. I eat what I want when I’m hungry. I’m losing weight despite not having the time to  exercise much. I’m really doing rather well. I can sit still with my thoughts longer and I can deal with my stresses a little better. Things are generally just not that bad. I have a great job that I enjoy even if it exhausts me and I live with my best friend. I have friends on staff, at home in Redwood City, in the city. My self-esteem is possibly the best it’s been in a long time. And yet…

(almost a dozen lines are left blank)

I walked up to the river bridge and 
Stood myself up on the ledge and 
Screamed out to everyone, let me be

I got me a worried mind
Gonna find me a worried kind
Of girl, who’s lonesome just like me

– Jackie Greene

Gone Wandering

I remember where I was when I wrote this. I remember finally feeling like my life was taking the form I’d always thought it would. Finally my depression was receding. I had somehow won my almost life long battle with debilitating body image issues and compulsive eating* and felt comfortable in my own skin. I had a teaching job I loved and colleagues I enjoyed. I was living in the city, in an apartment with my best friend. I was happy, or at least I should have been.

But there was still one thing my life was missing, that my life had always been missing -love (romantic love). At the age of 25, when this entry was written, I had never been in a real relationship. I had hardly ever been on a date. At the time I would have insisted that no one ever wanted to go out with me but even then I think I knew that really I just wasn’t ready. The depression and the body image stuff was just too much. I could barely handle my own issues let alone take on someone else’s.

My hang-ups didn’t stop me from wanting to be loved though. God, I wanted so desperately for someone to love me. I so desperately wanted to love someone else. Making it that far without ever having fallen in love… I was seriously starting to think that something was wrong with me, that I was marked or scarred some how, that I was broken. That I would be alone forever.

Even then, at 25, I wondered how I’d ever have my family if I couldn’t even find a partner. I was already terrified but I was too scared to admit it; I had started noting the years tick by while I remained alone.

What I didn’t know when I wrote this was that the next month I would meet the love of my life. A mutual friend would introduce us at a Cal football tailgate and I’d be so taken with his wit and humor that I’d return to every tailgate that year despite the fact that I never once went to a game.

At the end of the season I’d give his friend my number (because he himself was too drunk before Big Game to save it in his phone) and I told him to call me. A couple weeks later we’d be on our first date. Six months after that we’d be taking this picture in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Five years after that our daughter would be born.

I remember when I first heard that Jackie Greene song, those lines stood out at me. This, I thought. THIS. For some reason finding a line like that in a song gave me hope that someday I’d find someone who was thinking the same thing. Someone with a worried mind, looking for a worried kind of girl, who was lonesome just like me.

Here are the complete lyrics to Jackie Greene’s Standing by the Side of the Road, Dressed to Kill from Gone Wanderin’.

You just can’t trust them pretty girls
They’re only here to wreck your world
And make sure you never get to sleep at night

I don’t know the reasons why
They all wanna hang you out to dry
Till’ you ain’t got strength enough left to fight

Oh but I’m in trouble
Like I know you’re bound to get in trouble too
And I know that it won’t be long
Before the man you love is loving someone new

I walked up to the river bridge and
Stood myself up on the ledge and
Screamed out to everyone: Let me be!

I got me a worried mind
Gonna find me a worried kind
Of girl, who’s lonesome just like me

And I know I’m just one of your poor boys
That you swore you’d never leave behind
And I can see right through you
And I know that you’re not my kind

Now all my money’s gone
To someplace that it don’t belong
I’m singing the broken-down-poorboy blues

I ain’t got nothing to my name
But nothing is my favorite game to play
Cause there’s never anything to lose

*Looking back on that I’m still in awe that I was able to move past my eating issues so completely. There were times in my life I was resigned to the fact that every waking moment of my life would be consumed by thoughts of food. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful to have moved past that. Now I can only hope my daughter will somehow be spared a similar relationship with food.

8 responses

  1. Good morning! What a wonderful post! I am so glad that you decided to do the Time Warp again this week and am impressed how hard you worked to find something you had written in the past that worked with this week’s topic!

    How interesting to get a glimpse of you and your life six years ago! What an awesome story of how your life turned around after your struggle with body image and eating issues. I am so happy to hear how you finally found the love of your life and enjoyed hearing the story of your courtship. That is such a great photo of you two! You both look so happy together!

    I echo your sentiments about what I want to teach my children about healthy eating and body image. I also realize that there is only so much that we can teach and the rest they will have to learn for themselves, just like we have done (through our own life experiences).

    Thank you for participating in Time Warp again this week and sharing such moving and thoughtful song lyrics and memories from your past. I am so glad that our journeys have brought us together, at this stage of our lives, to learn from and be inspired by each other through our writing and shared experience as part of the ALI Community! xoxo

  2. “*Looking back on that I’m still in awe that I was able to move past my eating issues so completely. There were times in my life I was resigned to the fact that every waking moment of my life would be consumed by thoughts of food. Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful to have moved past that. Now I can only hope my daughter will somehow be spared a similar relationship with food.”

    I was anorexic for 5 years or so. I remember once, in October, a friend saying that she was so excited that her birthday was the next day and she was going to splurge and have some cake. She asked me what I was going to have on my birthday. I couldn’t even visualize having cake, for fear the thought would make me fatter. My birthday was in APRIL.

    I’m so proud of you for being able to not only move on, but to realize how important it is that your daughter be able to love herself, too. And to really mean it…I know that sometimes I think to myself “I hope I have thin kids” and that is really screwed up.

    Beautiful post.

  3. So many things I want to respond to here. First, it’s interesting that you had to go so far back to find song lyrics. I can think of 3 of my posts off the top of my head, and I’ve only written 60. I guess I’m not creative enough… I need others to express things for me 🙂 Also, that picture is gorgeous. And I also had an overwhelming feeling that I would never find love – even at a young age, my diary is (embarrassingly) filled with those thoughts. I’m glad you found your love and I found mine!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this post. It’s amazing to go back and look at snapshots in our lives. At the time you wrote that entry, you had no idea you’d meet The One. It’s just so neat to me to think about and reflect on the history of things in our lives.

    Like when Larry & I broke up in high school and that we’d never see each other again. And now we’ve been married 3.5 years 🙂

    I’m also appreciating the optimism you have around food and eating, and moving on. This is the kind of inspiration I need right now.

  5. Love the song and the photo, my God: you both look so incredibly happy!! Now I know where Isa’s sunshiney smiles come from 🙂

    So glad you’ve been able to put the eating issues behind you. That must have been extremely difficult. Kudos for tackling it head-on early in your life.

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