You’re Skinny You Don’t Have Problems

The delusions that make up a life.

How did we get here in the first place? How do we go from being children, filled with joyous reckless abandon to adults full of fear and every other godforsaken ill word on the planet?

Jealousy, greed, lust, anger, prejudice, hate, blah blah blah. I’m so sick of making the same mistakes over and over.

I’m in the throes of misery and a big old pity party. But you’d never know it. Instead, I find solace in this blank piece of paper. A million scenarios, the what ifs that play out in my head. Yeah, we can talk about our choices, the disastrous and delightful decisions we’ll make. And we’ll hardly ever really listen. We’ll still make the wrong choices, and still, think we’re getting it right. All we have left to deal with is the aftermath. The tornado that becomes us.

I choose to live in the eye of the storm. I am the simplest person inhabiting the most ornate costume of all time.

I’ve decided that I’d like a shot at reclaiming my life. Now in this life, not the next or the fantasy world that lives in my mind. So, for the good of the soul, I want to get off. And try a different view, preferably one from a beach.

I am a broken woman, full of mistrust and doubt and with hardly any conviction. I didn’t start out this way. I swear I didn’t. I was filled with the desire to wish for the fairy tale instead of the brutal truth that it doesn’t exist. At least it doesn’t exist as it plays out in real life. The million fairy tale scenarios I’ve created to get through the daily grind. I’d jump if I thought it would release my demons and free me from this cycle of very bad choices.

Do you think I’ll be able to turn the page and write a whole new story? Or should I just make one up? And pretend to be happy? After all, this story started out with the best intentions. A light fable, filled with words of wisdom.

I didn’t get the child I thought I wanted; instead, I got the genetic disease. I got the cursed mind that only works with the help of a precious pill. And the fear that every day the bomb that is ticking inside my head will go off again, and I will not be able to have one clear thought. That there will be manic days and highs and devastating lows. And in the midst of a meltdown, when I close my eyes and try to escape my exploding head all I see is electricity. Honest to God bolts of lightning.

Now that I’m back on earth, feet firmly planted thanks to a little salt on the brain; I have clearer thoughts and people telling me I’m the most rational person they’ve ever met. How fucking hysterical is that? That I’m the rational, liberal, creative thinking traditionalist.

As Freud says, there are only two things.

“There’s denial, and then there’s insanity.”

And my life is lived somewhere in the middle.

So, today I make this promise. I promise to smile at strangers, to allow myself some happiness, to chip away at the brick that has become my shell, and to hope.

Because today is a good day. My thoughts are clean and smooth like the Atlantic Ocean in Miami on a windless summer evening.

I’m not writing this for any narcissistic purpose. Maybe it might help someone else out, feel less alone. To live in my present, I have to go back and soothe the little girl the best I know how. I will love her and honor her and continue to tell her she’s going to be ok. The world is indeed a mysterious place where dreams really might come true.

Words on paper are powerful thoughts. They withstand time and stand up on their own.

Can you believe someone once said to me, “You’re skinny, you don’t have any problems?”

Funny how the winds shift and time has throttled you forward slowly and all at once, setting you down in a whole new direction. I think I’ll stay up really late and watch sappy, romance films eating moist, delicious red velvet cake with gobs of buttercream frosting while dreaming of nude torsos, cowboys, Appaloosas, line dancing and swirling summer sunsets at the rodeo.

Photo: ©Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved

Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

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    Sending you so much love, Jackie. I don’t know what to do life’s smackdowns other than try to learn from them and struggle on. It’s trite to say it and hard to do it. This morning, the sun seemed too bright. My dizzy body didn’t want to get out of bed, but I worried about the parched and wilting plants, so I went out to water. As I dragged hoses and cursed my spinning head, a Monarch butterfly floated by. I took a deep breath. There is beauty here.

  2. Dori Owen

    “I didn’t start out this way. I swear I didn’t.”

    Your words. Your powerful words…never cease to awe me. I’m SO fortunate to be writing with you. In the words sung by those great philosophers, The Righteous Brothers :), you are my soul and inspiration.

    And now, to drain any creativity left in me, I am leaving to drive The Moms up north. Please take good care of the world in my cerebral absence. I adore you–xoD.

  3. Jacqueline Cioffa

    Thank you so much for your touching words, taking the time to read mine and your encouragement. Yes indeed, life is not an easy thing to navigate. I’m holding out for seven minutes of sunshine that pop out from behind the clouds. Good wishes to you as well, dear Mary. Hope life is sunny in your world. Xx Jackie

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    Jacqueline, I believe you can write a whole new story. Life is not an easy thing to live, but your strength comes through so clearly in your beautiful writing. Funny (in a not really funny way) about the person who said being skinny solves all problems. Yeah, right. Enjoy this good day, and I wish you many more.

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