Starting Over

I am a 36 year old disabled woman who has been variously labeled “fat”, “crazy”, and “a hippie weirdo.” I now try to embrace labels that others use in an attempt to “shame” me into being someone more “acceptable”. I am passionate about issues of race/racism, criminal (in)justice, fat acceptance, and mental health advocacy. I blog at My Name Is JuJuBe and I am on the team at The Intersection of Madness and Reality
Well, I have finally come to the conclusion that I am in a serious rut in my life, and I need to start over. And for me, that will take a change of scenery. It is way too easy for me to remain in my same, old stagnant patterns of behavior living where I live right now. My sister lives about a mile from me, and that has made me complacent about becoming independent. She allows me to use her car at least once a week, so I use that as an opportunity to go grocery shopping and grab some fast food. The rest of the week I sit in my apartment, alone with only my computer and my cats for company.

So, I really need to make a change in my life, and I believe that moving to another environment is the best way to “start over”. I have a very close friend, who I have been speaking to on the phone for a little over a year, and I have decided that I will be moving to the city he lives in. Everyone is getting on my case for “moving for a man”, but that is not the only reason I have made this decision to relocate. Yes, I do have very strong feelings for this man, but I already know that there is no potential for a romantic relationship between him and me. I have accepted that we will just be friends, and that is OK. He has become my best friend over the last few months, and I sincerely believe that moving closer him can only bring about positive change. See, I am not a person who develops new friendships very easily, so when I do find someone special to me, I like to spend time with them as much as possible. And right now, the few friends I have where I currently live do not seem very concerned with coming to visit or spend time with me.

I have always been a very lazy person. I do not walk more than the block from my house to Dunkin Donuts. I do not take the buses because the bus stop is further from me than that. I have developed and anxiety about taking public transportation that I need to conquer. And, I believe that moving will help me make positive changes: to become more active and  to get over my panic about taking buses and trains.

People have asked me why I cannot make the changes that I need to make and remain where I am now. But I am the type of person who does not make the effort to do what it takes to make a better life for myself unless I am forced to. And by making this move, I am forcing myself to change myself for the better. 

Plus, my friend and I have decided to embark upon a project that is extremely important to me, and has the potential to impact the lives of those who discover it. We are reaching out to an important segment of the population in order to convey the need for dramatic change in the current politics of this country. We will be addressing the problems inherent in a white supremacist system and suggesting means of bringing about radical change. This is my passion. This message is of the utmost importance to me, and by moving, we will be able to work more closely on our project.

The funny thing is, the people who know me well do not believe that I am actually going to make this change. They feel like this is just going to be one more thing that Joanna gets all excited about but never brings to fruition. And I am determined to prove them wrong, and make myself a better me in the process, 

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