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The morning after without a night

I woke up with a cute French guy next to me. I could barely open my eyes, but I felt his smile as he gently stroked my hair. When I got out of shower, he was sitting on the couch, with two cups of tea and some fruits.

It was a classic ‘morning after’. Except that there was no night.

I met him for a couple times at a tennis court. The night before, after playing tennis, we had a very late dinner (Ugh, Europe!) and finished at 1:30am. It was pouring hard, and he was biking, so he crashed at my place. We talked for a while. No alcohol, no kissing, no touching, no flirting. Just tea, blankets and some life-story sharing. He told me about his childhood moving around the world, med school and his mildly wild adventures (recently he swam in the flooded La Seine and got chased by police in the river, with cheering audiences on the banks). I told him about law and policies, life in Asia, and my definitely wild dreams. And then we went to sleep lying next to each other like two kids taking a nap at the kindergarten.

Under the Parisian morning light, everything was so real yet surprisingly not awkward at all. In fact, it felt perfect. So we kissed, and it was indeed perfect.

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So heavy, so light

That was two summer ago. I was lying on the hardwood floor in the study, whimpering so hard that I couldn’t breath. I was crunched into a strange shape, my whole body was cramping. Tear wet my cheek, chin, hair, shirt and floor. One voice was haunting me, hovering over my brain over and over:

I am fat.

I gained more than 10kgs in the year before last summer. At first, it was normal. The stress from working in an investment firm, a lot of drinking and way too little exercise and irregular lifestyle put a few kilos on me. So as many girls, I started dieting. At first, it was even fun seeing my weight drop fast. Everyday I felt prettier, and I couldn’t wait till get on my scale to see the new achievements. But again, as many girls, it went wrong. I started the bad cycle: not eat at all for days, even weeks, then my brain and body cannot handle it anymore so I binge eat everything. Afterwards, I starve myself again out of guilt…

For one month, I didn’t consume anything solid. For the next month, I was eating bread and chocolate in the subway, walking, at office and in bed. Sometimes I ran to the supermarket nearby to buy a huge bag of bread out of burning urge, and started to stuff them into my mouth on the way home. Couldn’t wait that five minutes to get home. I remember the calories of most of food. I spend an hour wondering in a store, staring at food and labels, not being able to bring myself to buy anything.

I was becoming a monster. A slave of food.

After a couple cycles like this, before I realized, I reached the largest in my life. I couldn’t look into the mirror, yet I stepped on the scale every hour. I couldn’t see my friends because I was so ashamed. I couldn’t go shopping. I was angry at life. I was unhappy, and my weight, which was perfectly healthy according to medical standard, was crushing me, suffocating me.

The weight should be the lightest thing in our life, yet often becomes the heaviest burden.

Many things happened since then. New city, new school, new friends, new view from the window…My body as well as brain has slowly recovered, or so I hope. I still  sleep with guys because my insecurity is eager for some validation. I still feel uncomfortable exposing my body. I still want to kill myself when looking into mirrors every now and then.

But, at least, now I am able to enjoy a decent dinner with my girls with a glass, oh well, glasses of wine.

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THE FIRST

We are not fair-faced queens, okay, not even plain-faced ones, and there are not that many kings left on this earth. But still, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

We are heading everywhere, we are heading no where. There are moments with so much joy that we shed tears, there are moments with so much sorrow that we couldn’t.

Fifty years from now, when I sit quietly on my lovely armchair with grey hair, would I remember the dreams and hopes and mountains, all those things that I would kill to have? Or would I just giggle to the memory of riding on the back of a motorcycle with a cute stranger in Athens, full speed towards the hill behind Acropolis? Would I remember the persons I teared my heart for, or the random guys that I shared my bed with.

Not knowing leads to anxious sleepless nights, but knowing is the depression. I guess that is the beauty and cruelty of life.