Hello my little backyard birds!!
If this sweet lil message is finding you in the northeastern united states and you are ready for a show, you’re in darn luck, because I’m TOURING!!! I will be sharing some songs from Grief Creature and a lot of oldies from my last couple releases as well. Wyatt will be accompanying me so I don’t completely fall to pieces, and I’m also over the moon to have the brilliantly talented Aisha Burns join us for this run!
Unfortunately, the Crying in the Northeast Tour will not have any meet and greets (turns out, covid is still real and happening!), but I AM offering discounted Cameos & virtual hangs until October! The virtual hangs/sessions are something I usually offer for my workshop participants or people wanting to discuss body stuff, but I thought it might be fun to open it up in lieu of meet and greets or anyone that wants to say hi! However, if you are interested in my Everybody is a Babe workshop, earlybird enrollment is now open for the January cycle!
What else is new?
- The film I have been composing for, 1946, is officially finished and will be debuting before the end of the year! Very exciting news to follow!! Keep tabs on their social media to get updates!
- Our podcast, The Manic Episodes, is on a September break so Wyatt can get settled in with their classes (and committees and advising and faculty meetings…so many faculty meetings) and also so I can tour & WEDDING PLAN (eeeeeeeeee!). We released some fantastic episodes this summer: Queer Art in the Age of Fuckery with Jacob Tobia, Making the Accordian Sexy Again with Jamie Maschler, and Loving & Losing a Pet.
- If I write too much about it, I will absolutely lose control and won’t be able to finish writing this newsletter, so I will not be able to elaborate, but our dear miracle cat, Gracie, died on August 6th and I am learning about pet grief and I am trying so, so hard to not be sad.
- I have been generating ideas for my next album and writing little tunes here and there.
- Wyatt and I are starting to book more college and university events! We are speaking at Cornell a week from today (it is unfortunately a closed event!), but it has been so thrilling to share the podcast in a live setting and especially talk to young adults at such a pivotal age. I desperately could have used a discussion about mental health and body image at that time. It has been profoundly healing to do these conversations live, in a way I can’t totally describe.
Lastly, I wanted to share a post I made last week, because with the discourse about The Whale (if you are fat and/or deal with an eating disorder, I would not suggest subjecting yourself to reading about this film), I think people need fat liberation and fat acceptance more than ever.
You don’t have to love your body. You don’t have to pretend you do or force yourself to wear crop tops if you don’t feel like it. But you do owe yourself the compassion to investigate why.
Times when I have hated my body coincided with disordered eating, or maybe at times when I have been less active (in which case, I had to work to untangle my belief that physical activity had to LOOK a certain way), but it has always been a helpful reminder to me that diet culture has a vested interest in my insecurity; there is no $$$ to be made for– what Sonya Renee Taylor calls the Body-Shame Profit Complex– when I love my body unconditionally.
Everything around me tells me that self-love has to look like kale & smoothies & pilates, but that might not be the right thing for me right now— maybe the right thing is rest or hanging out with friends or a burger—so it makes sense that I may second-guess myself or have insecurity about my choices or my body. We are comparative creatures! When I started running my workshop, the thing I realized caused the most pain for so many of us is the inability to let go of what we expect our body to look like or do, and embrace What Is. Acceptance for What Is—in a culture that tells us we can & must change our bodies with enough discipline and “commitment”—takes radical & persistent thought, redirection, imagination, and curiosity. Sometimes it’s not just about loving your body, sometimes it’s just about seeking peace or the freedom to think of other things.
That said, there are moments when I am completely and utterly enamored with myself— happy round belly and all.
CW: binge eating disorder, food restriction, marijuana
I really do feel like I am reaching a place of body euphoria! It is an incredible life-changing journey I’ve been on for almost 12 years now, and I cannot believe that I’ve come so far. In my early 20s, I compulsively weighed myself and agonized over food and sucked in my stomach constantly, all while my eating disorder was out of control: starving myself all day and then feeling out of control at night when I would finally let myself eat.
It has been years since I have experienced disordered eating, but cannabis has been posing some interesting challenges for me in my relationship with food! Last night, my cramps were killing me, so I decided to take an edible, and found myself pulling food from all corners of the pantry & fridge; This was very much my habit when I dealt with BED, and I find that getting “the munchies”, while it is absolutely FUN, is also a challenge because it becomes difficult to not totally zone out and focus only on whatever god-awful reality dating show is on instead of what my body feels like while I’m eating. I tried asking myself one important question when I realized I might be full and possibly eating past what is comfortable: “am I still having fun?“
It was the perfect thing to ask myself, because that’s the thing with binge eating: It’s not fun!! It’s not like you are actually enjoying yourself or the delightful experience of eating– it just feels like panic and sadness and shame– at least that’s how it felt for me.
I have realized during this journey that shame never works. You can’t shame your body into being different and you can’t shame yourself into loving your body. You are sacred! You are a goddamn miracle! Why shouldn’t eating be joyful?! After I asked myself that question, I did a quick body scan and realized that I was no longer enjoying my experience eating Beaver Nuggets (it’s a southern delight that everyone else in the country is truly missing out on! LOL!), and I was actually really thirsty! That clarity would not be possible if shame was my motivator. Ever since I realized being fat was “bad”, I thought it was my responsibility to get an eating disorder! How fucked is that?! I thought I owed the constant pursuit of thinness to the world. It is so liberating to be free from that self-destructive endeavor, and instead focus on nourishment and connection to myself!
Thanks for reading my little tangent. It feels really important to talk about what binge eating disorder actually is and what it really feels like to be fat in this world, because the conversations I’m hearing right now about fat bodies and BED particularly from people who aren’t fat, have been demoralizing, dehumanizing, and at times, violent. I care about you, wherever this newsletter finds you, and I hope you are taking care of your good self, and if you are not there yet or in an environment where self-care is not possible, I wish for you peace and safety until you can come home to yourself. You deserve it.