Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Hunger makes me.

I love Jenny Slate. Every single thing I've seen her guest on, I've loved her in (Parks & Rec, Kroll Show, House of Lies, Drunk History) and I adored Obvious Child. I follow her on twitter and just think her friendship with fellow-comedian Gabe Liedman is "goals." A while ago she, and a few other female comedians I follow linked to an article by Jess Zimmerman called Hunger Makes Me. I've finally found the time to read it.
The piece is great, and you should read it in its entirety.

Though hunger, as discussed by Zimmerman is definitely gendered, a lot of what she talks about could apply to anyone, especially when it comes to being hungry for something.

Hunger, the desire for something, the quiet need, the gnawing, all of it is deeply existential and humanist. The ways in which all of it is internalized, it also seeps out.
Fearing hunger, fearing the loss of control that tips hunger into voraciousness, means fearing asking for anything: nourishment, attention, kindness, consideration, respect. Love, of course, and the manifestations of love. It means being so unwilling to seem “high-maintenance” that we pretend we do not need to be maintained. And eventually, it means losing the ability to recognise what it takes to maintain a self, a heart, a life.
Take it from me - someone who has been celibate due to being traumatised - who is fearful, parts of me shut down. They shut down to just move on and get through the day. It was too much, I was overwhelmed, and it needed to disintegrate over time. I need the tools, I needed the time.

As things get better for me, I can identify the damage. I can see the work I have left to do. It's a lot. It can be overwhelming. On a bad day, I feel like a loser, a pariah, a romantically retarded, socially stunted troll person. On a good day, I think that things change and evolve, and love and care can be both crafted and found.
Women talk ourselves into needing less, because we’re not supposed to want more—or because we know we won’t get more, and we don’t want to feel unsatisfied. We reduce our needs for food, for space, for respect, for help, for love and affection, for being noticed, according to what we think we’re allowed to have. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we can live without it, even that we don’t want it. But it’s not that we don’t want more. It’s that we don’t want to be seen asking for it. And when it comes to romance, women always, always need to ask.
Feeling unsatisfied is a big one. I think it points to the amount of dissapointment we have to deal with as women.

The last few months I've been thinking about what it is I want. What kind of job and lifestyle? What kind of home? What kind of priorities? These are really heavy questions when your default setting is to minimise what you want and move on to other things.

Romance for me is a non-sequitur right now. Celibacy has been the norm, and I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to self-love and my body. But, I can still relate to everything Zimmerman says, because I'm her "before".

Read the piece! Share it with your friends!

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