Let’s break this up into manageable parts.

1) The few times that I have been a complete ass on my bike – and it’s happened, a very few times – the drivers were pretty nice about it. They seemed relieved that no one got hurt, and I was pretty apologetic, completely acknowledging being at fault. The only times drivers have ever unloaded obscenities on me on my bike have been immediately after the driver did something stupid, dangerous, or downright illegal. This guy came up behind me – I’m assuming he saw me from a ways off – and once he got in front of me he swerved well into the bike lane just to cut me off, and then shriek at me. People are really ugly sometimes.

2) I’ve lived in Chicago for 12 years now, and I’m usually pretty good at ignoring things that people shout at me on the street. (It’s almost never anything worth listening to.) It’s kind of hard to ignore someone who just tried to kill you, though. Especially when they’re confirming insecurities that you were JUST THINKING ABOUT.

3) Photos. Why are photos so hard? I mean, I know why they’re so hard, it’s a frozen moment where you have all the time in the world to criticize flaws, and even find some new ones. It’s very easy for me to look at a photo of myself and see it as a referendum on everything wrong with me. But that’s not going to change. Even if I lost a crazy amount of weight, I’d still hate my own photos. My eyes are too squinty, my teeth are too big, my hair looks dumb, etc etc etc ad infinitum. But no one cares about those things except for me. I’ve got to find a way to push those thoughts out and see photos for what they are: a reminder of a really great time, laughing and talking and having fun with some really great people.

4) It’s taken me too long to admit that smoky head monster is back. I really didn’t want to accept it. It was naive of me to think that he was dead forever, I guess. But! I sent him away once before. I can do it again.