In this digital age, what is reality? We regularly conflate facts with feelings and opinions—whether out of laziness, deceitfulness, or ignorance. Social media is teeming with people self-righteously clinging to their beliefs and bludgeoning others with them. Because, as we … Continue reading
Once upon a time, there was a young prince who wanted to be a great and beloved king. He was dutiful in all of his studies. He was kind. And he gave generously. He sought the advice of his parents, … 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.
Dear Home, I miss you. I miss what you used to give me: shelter, warmth, and security. I miss running up and down your steps—taking the stairs two at a time and always jumping down from three up (much to … Continue reading
“The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives…The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given … Continue reading
As an only child for seven years, writing was one of my first companions—after stuffed animals and Barbie dolls, that is. And unlike my imaginary friends (of which I had many), words were tangible and ostensibly powerful. Even then I loved that words are adaptable to any situation; and there are always more to discover and add to my collection. Finding a fantastic new word is like receiving a gift from a secret admirer—and the gift suits you perfectly—a new possession so apt it feels old.
As an adult, I still enjoy playing with words. They can be as supple as Play-Doh and as solid as Legos. Words are conducive to both the serious and the light. They can make you think, make you angry, make you laugh, or make you cry.
Writing is alchemy. It is mysterious magic—conjuring ideas, characters, landscapes and more out of mere syllables—willing something into existence out of loops and lines and curves. Starting movements, forging history, testing paradigms with nothing but words.
Writing is the path, the destination, and the journey. It is an act of perpetual exploration and discovery. It is the vehicle—a means of moving to new and unexplored regions of imagination and reality. It is a mirror, a microscope, a rhythm, and a melody. Quite simply: writing is everything.
There’s only one day a year that a small part of me wishes I weren’t married—Mother’s Day. You see, my mother has been dead for longer than I’ve been friends with, dating, engaged to, or married to my husband. She’s … Continue reading
Things I’ve been in thirty-nine years: Miracle Confident Big Sister (twice) Broken Baptized Insecure Dancer Depressed (a few times) Athlete Dislocated Sleep-Deprived Student Graduate Overwhelmed Teacher Mourner Lost Unsure Home (again) Coach Assistant Associate Editor Writer Worried Best Friend Girlfriend … Continue reading
I have always enjoyed watching the Olympics. I hope to experience them in person one day. The Olympic Games encompass everything I love about sports: excellence in athletic ability, underdogs defying odds, newcomers, veterans, national pride, international unity, and all … Continue reading
Perhaps it’s just a sign of my age. Last year began with sickness—mine. This year began with a number of people I know (or am in some way connected to) dying. It doesn’t seem right for a new year to … Continue reading