England (And Blue Jeans)

The other day, Abby pointed out that it had been four years since we’d been in England, and something about that just threw me.

To me, it seems like a couple months ago that I was hanging out in Liverpool and experiencing a fascinating look at a culture so similar– and completely different– than my own.

I also can’t believe how much has changed. When I started writing this, this was more of a “wow, my life is sure different now” thing, but it turned into something a little more serious. Sorry. You can stop reading now, it won’t hurt my feelings.

Basically, it comes down to two things. I miss England and I miss my jeans, and I’m disappointed in myself for which one I miss more.

I miss England so much. I miss the weather (because it’s like fall….all the time) and the rainy days and nights and my horribly hot little apartment in the Milton House with the strange refrigerator full of cages. I miss being confused every time I went to the grocery store and the feeling of adventure I got whenever I would take the train.

This was a ten minute walk from my house.

I miss being fascinated by how fast the tea water maker thing would boil the water and why people like tea in the first place.

I miss being able to take off at the drop of a hat and skip class to see a play, or, at that point in my life, more than likely go shopping. I miss late nights in Katherine Fletcher drinking horrible amounts of booze and trying to figure out what my new friends were saying, especially the Irish ones. I miss our secret party room, obtained by breaking down the door to the attic (which also gained us a second bathroom) and having this fantastic, unlimited opportunity to go see anything I wanted, at any point.

I have no idea who this guy is. I thought he looked like the guy from the Princess Bride at the time.

 

There is such a duality to that time in my life. It was an amazing, wonderful experience, but at the same time, I was in the deepest part of my eating disorder and throwing up more times a day then I care to admit, or not eating at all. I remember, very vividly, one night when we decided we were going to “dress up” and have a soiree at our house– I didn’t have anything to wear, and when I told Abby that I had no idea what size I was, she grabbed a pair of my jeans and checked. They were a size two.

Sweet Jesus, those were amazing jeans.

In one look, I knew exactly what she was thinking and she was exactly right. Abby had, at this point, known me for three years, and the closest I had ever been to a size two was walking by the rack on the way to the “plus size” section.

But I kept up the ridiculous pretense of “no, I just…run…a lot!” for as long as I could.

Looking back, obviously, I regret it. I regret having to cover my ass about what I was doing in the bathroom and wasting money and time on food– but more than that, I want to know what it would have been like being in England without the constant obsession over calories and was anyone going to find out.

But I can’t change the past.

Looking at the photos of me then, now, is hard– one on hand, I look and say “holy shit, I looked so good”, but deep down, I know what I was doing to myself and how bad that was for me, and how miserable I was.

Since then, I am obviously not a size 2 anymore.

Look at how miserable I am!

There are days when I miss it. There are days when I miss being able to fit anything in the store, but at the same time, I don’ t have to lie to myself every morning and say “just one more time,you can stop tomorrow”. I’m proud of that, and proud of how far I’ve come, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember that I’m worth more than a number on a scale.

But I was happy. At the same time, I was absolutely happy. I have these incredible memories of the experiences I had, the people I met, the friends I made, the crazy nights and late night parties, I miss the bustle of the big cities and the chill, small-town atmosphere of Ormskirk. I fell in love with that city. I really did. I would give anything to be able to live there again.

I don’t know.

I think part of me has just got the itch to travel again. Part of me just misses what I had. I know that’s the point of life, that you live as much as you can, move on and cherish the memories, but I feel like I got short-changed.

I did that myself, and I know it, but it’s just kind of weird still. It’s weird seeing pictures of me, seeing how happy I was in those moments, genuinely happy, and wanting to know what it was that made me go home at night, look in the mirror and think that I didn’t deserve those things unless I weighed 100 pounds.

But I still have those jeans.

You know.

Just in case.

PS: Sorry for the overshare.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. I have happy /sad memories from England too…for totally different reasons, but I always look back and feel like I simultaneously want to relive our semester there and also do it all over, but better.
    It was a weird, wonderful, bittersweet fall.

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