On my ideal morning, I rise just before the sun, step out onto warm sand, hear the crashing or lapping of the waves, and watch Earth’s most famous star spill light and color all over the horizon of the ocean. … Continue reading
The world is rich with pleasures. That first day winter breaks and lets the fullness of the sun’s warmth wrap you up like a hug from someone you love, but have missed for months. A clear night far away from … Continue reading
If you do not enjoy being you, then you have some work to do. As I approach my fourth decade, I feel only one thing is being asked of me: that I let my true self take root and live authentically—with no qualifications or apologies. Not conceit—just love and acceptance of self and confidence.
My first decade was marked by an abundance of self-assurance. As a child I was confident (perhaps even conceited), bold, brave, and out-going. I had no antagonistic or ambivalent feelings towards my body. I had an unlimited well of faith in my abilities.
However, puberty proved to be something of a Trojan horse for me. At first (mostly thanks to Judy Blume books), I saw no reason to be any different. I would (as my pediatrician commanded) shy away from nothing just because I had my period. Menstruation would never be an excuse I used for stepping back from something I wanted to do—neither would my gender. I was fiercely feminist—proud to be a girl and looking forward to being a woman.
But then my body began to visibly change—thickening and rounding in very non-ballerina-esque ways. I ceased to see the physique I’d come to esteem and associate with beauty when I looked in the mirror. And that’s when the Trojan horse of puberty burst open—insecurities pouring out of it like an armed and hostile regiment then attacking my identity along with all the confidence I’d cultivated.
My second decade contained a cold war between me and my body. I tried to will it and then deprive it back to the lean and lanky way it had once been. I hid it under bulky clothes. I regretted the veiny appearance of my arms. I appreciated my body’s speed, agility, and strength, but I wished it looked different.
College proved to be a summit of diplomacy. I negotiated a cease fire and then true peace in the company of diverse bodies. I began to focus less on what my body looked like and more on what it could do. I stopped having any feelings of guilt connected to food. And as others made their appreciation of my form known, I began to appreciate it too.
Every decade since has been a journey forward to get back to the unabashed confidence I had as a child. There is still more internal territory to reclaim—still further to go and grow in loving and being who I truly am—both the exterior and what’s inside. But each day, as I age, I try to take a few steps past my comfort zone and to be even more comfortable in my own skin. Each day I seek to love myself more—and this body I’m in.
I wish everyone would choose love and kindness and a genuine desire to understand differences and extend compassion over divides instead of hatred, outrage, or violence. However, I also believe… Continue reading
At first glance, you might think my sister is cold. She isn’t. No one who has truly mastered fire is. Behind her compulsory composure is an immense capacity for love. It’s not the ebullient love of a puppy or doting … Continue reading
The first time I fell in love, it was with dance. The notion of movement and music coming together to produce something new and altogether elevated delighted and moved me. The second time I fell in love, it was with … Continue reading
I think solitude may have been my first friend—the first companion I grew comfortable with. Comfortable like that tee shirt or pair of pajama pants you’ve worn so soft and thin it’s almost not there. Comfortable like cozy under the … Continue reading
Sometimes people are the gifts. I’ve often gained what I lacked via a relationship. So much of what has enriched my life can’t be bought in a store or ordered online. Instead, my most valued resources have been the care, … Continue reading
A sunny day—light making translucent the leaves. A song so compelling I have to move to the beat. A joke that sets me to laughing uncontrollably. Cute dogs, comfy socks, and a good night’s sleep. Standing at the shore of … Continue reading
For me, there are different types of insomnia. There’s the false rush variety, where my mind simply will not stop churning. Ideas (worries and plans mostly) keep flooding my thoughts like a tsunami. My heart races like it’s under pressure … Continue reading