I’m not sure when it is that I first became so concerned with gravity. Not concerned. That isn’t the right word. Aware. Aware of gravity. It wasn’t when I was young, that’s for sure. I never thought twice about jumping from the built-in counter, across the room to the couch. I never worried about climbing the old chain ladder up the maple tree and then up to the smaller and smaller branches. I didn’t fret about slipping when playing in the creek and jumping from rock to rock to rock and climbing over the mossy boulders. It didn’t occur to me that I could fall scaling the hills out of the creek, using the tree roots as hand holds and footholds to arrive to the fields above to look out over the valley below.
I simply never thought about gravity, not really. Not till maybe in my late teens or early twenties once when I was thinking that if I was on the moon there would be less of a gravitational pull on my body and therefore I would weigh less and how nice that would be (sadly I am not making this up, I have the eating disorder to prove how that thought blossomed into a full blown destructive obsession with weighing less. More on that later). But beyond that, no serious, on-going thoughts about it. Sorry gravity, you just didn’t mean that much to me. I mean, thanks for everything you do for me and everyone and everything 24/365 but you really don’t get a lot of press. Maybe gravity needs an ad campaign. “Gravity: Without it, you’d just drift away.” Or, “Stay grounded with Gravity.”
So what changed? What happened that gravity became, again, not a concern, but something that I’m more aware of? It’s what’s happening to all of us. It’s happening to you right now! Time is passing.
I noticed it first maybe in others but didn’t put it together or assign it meaning, like most things, until it started happening to me. Gravity has been pulling down on my body for many years now and while I still think I look pretty good, and I do, I look best in clothes because let me tell you, gravity is winning.
First it was my stomach after growing another person in there. I lost all the weight after, but the skin that seemed willing to cling closely to me when I was younger has, in these past couple of years, started letting go. To be sure, starving myself hasn’t helped. When I gain a little weight it always seems to come in my belly first and I actually look better with a little more weight on me because gravity seems to lose. But if it loses, it’s only the battle, not the war, and only in that one area. I won’t subject you to more of the gruesome details because, no doubt by now you’ve already started thinking about your own body. You may be thinking, “Oh my goodness, it is gravity that’s causing me to look like this. And I can never win, not against gravity: so constant, so even, so unforgiving,” and other, maybe more privately horrible thoughts. I’ll leave you to them. Maybe you’re even thinking about ways to get to the moon.
Let me just say that I for one am grateful for good bras, good underwear, and support socks (I work twelve hour shifts and we don’t sit down where I work). I don’t run anymore because I don’t like the way it feels on my knees, my hips or my boobs–all thanks to gravity. I don’t jump anymore because while I don’t mind being in the air, I don’t like stopping–thanks to gravity. I gave away my high-end roller blades–thanks to gravity. Maybe that’s it, maybe gravity does have an ad campaign after all: “Feeling yourself? Thank Gravity!”